Gold  

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Danaë (1907-08) - Gustav Klimt, Zeus came to Danaë in the form of golden rain, and impregnated her. Soon after, their child Perseus was born.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from the Latin aurum). It is a highly sought-after precious metal which, for many centuries, has been used as money and in jewelery.

Symbolism

Golden ratio

Gold has been associated with the extremities of utmost evil and great sanctity throughout history. In the Book of Exodus, the Golden Calf is a symbol of idolatry and rebellion against God. In Communist propaganda, the golden pocket watch and its fastening golden chain were the characteristic accessories of the class enemy, the bourgeois and the industrial tycoons. Credit card companies associate their product with wealth by naming and colouring their top-of-the-range cards “gold;” although, in an attempt to out-do each other, platinum (and the even-more-elite black card) has now overtaken gold.

On the other hand in the Book of Genesis, Abraham was said to be rich in gold and silver, and Moses was instructed to cover the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant with pure gold. Eminent orators such as John Chrysostom were said to have a “mouth of gold with a silver tongue.” Gold is associated with notable anniversaries, particularly in a 50-year cycle, such as a golden wedding anniversary, golden jubilee, etc.

Great human achievements are frequently rewarded with gold, in the form of medals and decorations. Winners of races and prizes are usually awarded the gold medal (such as the Olympic Games and the Nobel Prize), while many award statues are depicted in gold (such as the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards the Emmy Awards, the Palme d'Or, and the British Academy Film Awards).

Medieval kings were inaugurated under the signs of sacred oil and a golden crown, the latter symbolizing the eternal shining light of heaven and thus a Christian king's divinely inspired authority. Wedding rings are traditionally made of gold; since it is long-lasting and unaffected by the passage of time, it is considered a suitable material for everyday wear as well as a metaphor for the relationship. In Orthodox Christianity, the wedded couple is adorned with a golden crown during the ceremony, an amalgamation of symbolic rites.

The symbolic value of gold varies greatly around the world, even within geographic regions. For example, gold is quite common in Turkey but considered a most valuable gift in Sicily.

From most ancient times, gold has been connected to religion and spirituality, especially associated with the Sun. It was also seen as the best material to decorate religious imagery, all over history.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gold" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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