Gold is the most precious of all metals. Some other metals, like iron and brass, are more useful; they are common. Gold is so precious because it is very rare. It is found in only a few places in the world, and it is difficult to get it out of the rock.
Gold is also the most beautiful of all metals. Its bright yellow colour is very pretty, and it takes a very fine polish. It is also a soft metal, and so can be worked easily. So gold is used to make ornaments, like rings, brooches, and bracelets. The crowns of Kings are made of gold.
But gold is chiefly used as money. The coins of the greatest value, like English sovereigns are made of gold. A sovereign, is a small coin, about the size of an eight-anna piece; but because gold is so much more precious than silver, one sovereign is worth thirty-eight-anna pieces.
Because gold is mostly used for making coins, the word gold often means money. So when we say that a man loves gold, we mean he loves money; or when we say he has much gold, we mean he is a rich man
Gold is found in certain kinds of rocks, which are generally very deep down below the surface of the ground. To get it out deep mines have to be sunk, and far underground miners blast and dig the hard rocks out, and send them up to the surface. Then the rocks are broken up and crushed by strong machines, and then all the pieces that have gold in them are put into great furnaces, so hot that the gold melts and runs out. Many tons of rock have to be crushed to get even a few ounces of gold.
The words gold and golden are often used for anything that is very good or precious; for example, golden words, golden opinions, the golden rule, as good as gold. But a proverb warns us that, “All that glitters is not gold”. Some things can be made to look like gold that is not really gold. For example, common iron can be gilded or painted with gold paint. We must learn not to be taken in by the outward look of things. The proverb, “Fine clothes do not make a gentleman” means the same thing.