Gold has always played a role in how humans measured wealth. Gold bullion seemed to catch the eye of Earth's inhabitants as far back as 2500 B.C. in Egypt, as descriptions of the metal appeared in hieroglyphs cast in building walls. By 1500 B.C., gold had become recognized as the preferred medium for international trade.

When most people think about early human development, such as prehistoric beings transitioning from the Stone age to the Bronze Age, they think of rugged tools only useful for minimal chores. However, there is reason to suspect, as How Stuff Works points out, that gold may have been worked into early tools before bronze or other metals, which furthers the mystery surrounding gold. While it had no meaningful significance before humans claimed it, gold does contain properties that are more unique compared to other precious materials. In fact, the malleability of a gold bar has been revered as the metal's best quality.

In Egypt, gold came from a sub-Saharan empire called Nubia located on the Nile river. Egyptian Pharaohs would send travelers to the great city to mine for gold, which goldsmiths would then transform into a variety of articles, such as tombs, furniture and jewelery.

Egyptian Pharaohs insisted on being buried in gold because they believed it was a creation of the gods. However, over the centuries, most Egyptian tombs were raided by thieves, somewhat clouding that theory. But once archaeologists discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, their beliefs in the precious metal were solidified.

Inside the tomb was the largest collection of gold and jewelry in the world, including a gold coffin, in which the Pharaoh was buried. The quality of craftsmanship performed on the gold artifacts proved to historians that gold was not only a measure of wealth in Egypt's past, but an extremely important material in the functions of Egyptians' daily lives.