Gold

Gold is heavy for its size, so high value can be transported personally, relatively inert, can be manipulated easily, conducts electricity nearly as good as copper, silver being best. so is used to protect other metals that it covers closely. It can have compounds, but they are rare, so doesn’t need refining. Gold doesn’t tarnish and can be hammered incredibly and just layered onto something.

That said, it’s quite rare, only say 200,000 tonnes of it ever being mined compared to about 2 million for silver and 700 million for copper. It’s said there is a lot of gold in sea water, but it probably comes to maybe a quarter of what has been mined if you add it all up.

For the earth, gold is heavy, so I wouldn’t be surprised if like the other heavier elements on earth most of it is locked up down in the lower crust and mantle.

Most societies started out with natural process and sun worship, and finding a sun type colour in gold that didn’t fade, which you could just take out of the ground therefore had real meaning. Though the Vikings rated silver over gold, and raids were to find that, just taking gold as well if it happened to be there, which is probably why in the Lord of the Rings world Mithril, silver-steel was so important. The sun isn’t so relevant in high latitudes, more water, ice and snow.

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