How the Romance Factor Can Distort the Perceived Value of Gold

There are more legends about gold than about all the other precious metals put together. Here are just a few of the legends and myths that have exerted such a hold over people over the centuries, in roughly chronological order . . .

"King Midas with his daughter" from "A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, illustrated by Walter Crane.

"King Midas with his daughter" from "A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, illustrated by Walter Crane.

  • In ancient times, it was said that King Midas could turn anything into gold, just by touching it.
  • In medieval times, Alchemists could turn any metal into gold - at least they were trying to do so.
  • In the sixteenth century, Spaniards believed that El Dorado, a mythical golden city, existed somewhere on the Amazon River. Its myth drew Spanish explorers to South America.
  • In the nineteenth century, Edgar Allen Poe wrote “The Gold Bug,” a story about a man who is bitten by a mysterious gold bug. He then goes searching for hidden treasure. The German composer Richard Wagner also wrote his four “Ring” operas about a horde of magical gold.
  • In the twentieth century, Ian Fleming wrote Goldfinger, a James Bond novel about a gold-loving millionaire who wants to contaminate the gold in Fort Knox. And J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a wildly popular series of books that center on the return of a golden ring.

The Power of Myth and Romance on Gold Prices

No other precious metal is the subject of so many legends – certainly not platinum, cadmium, silver or palladium. That could explain why emotion has a bigger impact on the valuation of gold than it does on the valuation of any other metal.

For example, here are some emotional factors that can affect the price of a particular piece of gold jewelry . . .

  • Does it come from an earlier historical period of great interest, like the Roman Empire or the age of King Arthur?
  • Was it once owned by a king or queen, a movie star, or by someone else who was famous?
  • Was it designed by someone famous?
  • Is it part of a group of similar items like a set of gold-plated cutlery, and therefore more valuable?

Variable factors like those can have a big impact on the pricing of any gold item, and help explain why the valuation you get for any gold item can fluctuate so much from one dealer to another. That is why you need an objective party like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to help you understand the actual value of any item or quantity of gold that you have on hand.

Please give us a call at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

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