Gold statue, depicting a female with long hair and her hands resting on her chest, Inca, 15th - 16th century
Gold is a yellow precious metal that has always been one of the most valued materials. Not only is it rare, but it can be exposed to the atmosphere for a long time without tarnishing, and can be repeatedly melted without much loss in weight. Gold, and to a lesser extent silver, were coveted for their monetary value and the possession of these metals was a measure of wealth. Gold jewellery and artefacts have been made for more than 6000 years.
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