The gold standard.  A golden touch.  “Golden boy”.

Gold has been a precious metal for millenia.  There’s nothing special about it – it’s just shiny and rare.  From a functional standpoint, at the human level, it’s not worth a lot.  The metal is too soft to be used as a tool.  Works for jewelry or ornamentation, and is durable if it’s mixed with some other metal.  It was used extensively in electronics, especially computers, because it had great electrical conductivity and would not corrode.  Some people made pretty good money from buying up “worthless” old computers (we’re talking mainframes, here) and melting them down to get at the gold inside.

The allure of gold, as a symbol of earthly wealth, has been documented throughout recorded history.  Edgar Allen Poe’s The Gold Bug is actually an insect, but it leads to a treasure worth some fourteen million dollars (and many have caught the “gold bug” across the years).  In the Bible, a river flows out of the garden of Eden and splits into four different rivers.

The first is named Pishon; it flows through Havilah where there is gold. The gold of this land is good.

From Genesis 2:11-12.  We see Abram (before he became Abraham) described as being “very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold”.  He must have been – when he was looking for a wife for his son Isaac, he had his servant offer Rebekah a nose ring and arm bracelets weighing 4.25 ounces.  At prices from today, that would be pushing close to five thousand dollars.  And that’s just a “Hi, how are you?” gift!

Not everyone wants gold.  Dave Ramsey recommends against it, because it barely keeps its value in relation to inflation.  The US government no longer backs its currency with the gold stored at Fort Knox.  Overall, though, I’d accept gold if someone gave me some.

I’m not sure I’d want to live in a golden house, though.  I’m not God.  From 1 Kings 6:20-22, in The Message:

This Inner Sanctuary was a cube, thirty feet each way, all plated with gold. The Altar of cedar was also gold-plated. Everywhere you looked there was pure gold: gold chains strung in front of the gold-plated Inner Sanctuary—gold everywhere—walls, ceiling, floor, and Altar. Dazzling!

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