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 History of Gold (continued)

In 58 BC, after his successful Gallic campaign, Julius Caesar brought back enough gold to present every man in his army with 200 coins. With the remainder, he was able to payback all of Rome's debts.

In the 8th century, Charlemagne conquered the eastern European Avars. In doing so, he also captured their vast quantities of gold, which aided him greatly in becoming the first Holy Roman Emperor and to be popularly perceived as the Father of Europe.

In the 13th century, the Republic of Venice introduced the gold 'ducat'. It remained the most popular trade currency in Europe for over 500 years.

In the 1500s, King Ferdinand of Spain charged his explorers, who were setting out toward the Western Hemisphere, to get gold. They were to do this humanely if possible, but to get gold nonetheless.

In 1787, New York silversmith Ephraim Brasher struck the first gold coin in America. It was a doubloon bearing the American eagle and shield next to his initials. It also bore the reversed national motto, "Unum e pluribus" (One From the Many), and the date 1787.

Between 1789 and 1804, gold was discovered in North Carolina including a 17-pound nugget in Cabarrus County. From then until 1828, North Carolina supplied all the domestic gold coined by the Philadelphia mint.

In 1848, while building a sawmill for John Sutter near Sacramento, California, John Marshall discovered some flakes of gold at the location. The Gold Rush of '49 was about to begin.

In 1897, a small group of prospectors struck gold along the Klondike River in Yukon Territory, Canada. News of the strike precipitated a frenzy of over 100,000 stampeders to the area in hopes of striking it rich.

Next: Rising Gold Demand

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