Characteristics and Properties of Gold
- Gold is malleable, ductile, rare, and has a yellow color.
- It can be melted, fused, and cast easily without oxide or gas issues.
- Gold is a noble metal and does not react with most elements.
- It is found in its native form and does not oxidize or tarnish.
- Gold can be pressure welded and two small pieces can be pounded together to make a larger piece.
Historical Significance of Goldsmithing
- Gold has been worked by humans in all cultures where it is available.
- Superbly made gold objects from ancient cultures are displayed in museums worldwide.
- The Varna culture in Bulgaria is credited with inventing goldsmithing.
- Techniques developed by ancient goldsmiths surpassed modern skills.
- Chemical techniques used by ancient artisans have not been reached in modern times.
- A goldsmith possesses a wide array of skills and knowledge.
- Gold is often alloyed with other metals to make it stronger and create different colors.
- Various tools and machinery are used, such as rolling mills and drawplates.
- Parts are fabricated through different processes and assembled by soldering.
- Goldsmiths can work with precision approaching that of machinery using hand tools.
- There are notable goldsmiths throughout history.
- Goldsmiths played important roles in medieval guilds and acted as bankers.
- The Sunar caste in India has a long history of goldsmithing.
- Engraving techniques were developed by goldsmiths in Germany.
- Goldsmiths achieved high levels of skill and craftsmanship.
Early Gold-working Centers and Artifacts
- The first major gold-working center was located at the mouth of the Danube, on the shores of the Black Sea in Bulgaria.
- The oldest known gold jewelry in the world, over 6,000 years old, was found in Varna Necropolis, Bulgaria.
- The jewelry from Varna Necropolis is radiocarbon dated between 4,600 BC and 4,200 BC.
- Grave 43 at the Varna cemetery is the richest single grave from Old Europe.
- The grave from Varna cemetery is dated around 4600–4500 BC.
- Ancient technology for metal coatings, including gold, was highly advanced.
- The ancient gold-plating methods from 2,000 years ago cannot be matched today.
- The Kalogjera family from Blato on the Island of Korčula had a goldsmith's book.
- Goldsmithing has a long history dating back thousands of years.
- Gold artifacts provide valuable insights into ancient cultures.
Goldsmith Data Sources