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Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!
Bright and yellow, hard and cold.
To virgin minds, which yet their native whiteness hold,
Not yet discoloured with the love of gold
(That jaundice of the soul,
Which makes it look so gilded and so foul)
~ Abraham Cowley

Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum "gold") and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny metal and the most malleable and ductile metal known. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. It has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history.


  • In a cartoon... King: "REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE!" Peasant: "WHAT’S THAT?" Another peasant: "WHOEVER HAS THE GOLD, MAKES THE RULES!"
    • Remember the Golden Rule (1971), by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart (collection of 1967 The Wizard of Id newspaper cartoons) [1]
  • [A]ny article which is well known to be valued by a large and easily accessible class of persons may be taken habitually in exchange for valued commodities, although those who take it do not want it for their own use, and it does not, on its own merits, occupy such a place on their relative scale as would justify the exchange.  …  If there is some article of very generally recognised value which actually takes its place, as directly significant, on the scales of a great number of people, it may come to be generally accepted, without any special calculation or consideration, by people who are not thinking of any use they may have for it themselves, but are aware that it occupies a sufficiently high relative place on the scales of others to recoup them for what they give in exchange for it.  As soon as this custom begins to be well established it will automatically extend and confirm itself, and the commodity in question will become a "currency" or "medium of exchange," the special characteristic of a medium of exchange being that it is accepted by a man who does not want it, or does not want it as much as what he gives for it, in order that he may exchange it for something he wants more.  …  Concurrently with these developments, or perhaps in advance of them, the custom will grow up of estimating the marginal significance of things in terms of the generally accepted article even when the article does not pass from hand to hand in exchanges.  …  The convenience of such a standardising of values is obvious.  If everything is scheduled in terms of one selected commodity it is indefinitely easier than it would otherwise be to realise the terms on which alternatives are open to us; and if any man defines his marginal estimate of anything he possesses in terms of this standard commodity any other member of the community will at once know whether or not it stands higher on his own scale than on the other's, and therefore whether or not the conditions for a mutually advantageous exchange exist.

    In England the functions of a standardising commodity and of a medium of exchange are both alike performed by gold.  Gold is applied to a vast number of purposes in the arts and sciences, and were it more abundant it would replace other metals in many more.  Consequently a great number of easily accessible persons actually give a relatively high place to gold on their scales of preference, in virtue of its direct significance to them.  It is established by custom (and, so far as that is possible, by law) as the universally accepted commodity; and at the same time it is used as the common measure in terms of which our estimates of all exchangeable things may be stated.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 325-26.
  • You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns—you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!
  • A thirst for gold,
    The beggar's vice, which can but overwhelm
    The meanest hearts.
  • And yet he hadde "a thombe of gold" pardee.
  • Every honest miller has a golden thumb.
  • For gold in phisik is a cordial;
    Therefore he lovede gold in special.
  • Gold begets in brethren hate;
    Gold in families debate;
    Gold does friendship separate;
    Gold does civil wars create.
  • To virgin minds, which yet their native whiteness hold,
    Not yet discoloured with the love of gold
    (That jaundice of the soul,
    Which makes it look so gilded and so foul)
  • What female heart can gold despise?
    What cat's averse to fish?
  • That is gold which is worth gold.
  • Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!
    Bright and yellow, hard and cold.
  • Aurum per medios ire satellites
    Et perrumpere amat saxa potentius
    Ictu fulmineo.
    • Stronger than thunder's winged force
      All-powerful gold can speed its course;
      Through watchful guards its passage make,
      And loves through solid walls to break.
    • Horace, Ode XVI, Book III, line 12. Francis' translation.
  • The lust of gold succeeds the rage of conquest;
    The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless!
    The last corruption of degenerate man.
  • L'or donne aux plus laids certain charme pour plaire,
    Et quo sans lui le reste est une triste affaire.
    • Gold gives to the ugliest thing a certain charming air,
      For that without it were else a miserable affair.
    • Molière, Sganarelle I.
  • Aurea nunc vere sunt specula; plurimus auro
    Venit honos; auro conciliatur amor.
    • Truly now is the golden age; the highest honour comes by means of gold; by gold love is procured.
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, Book II. 277.
  • Not Philip, but Philip's gold, took the cities of Greece.
    • Plutarch, Life of Paulus Æmilius, quoted as a common saying, referring to Philip II of Macedon.
  • What nature wants, commodious gold bestows;
    'Tis thus we cut the bread another sows.
  • L'or est une chimère.
    • Gold is a vain and foolish fancy.
    • Scribe and Delavigne, Robert le Diable, Chapter I, scene 7.
  • How quickly nature falls into revolt
    When gold becomes her object!
    For this the foolish over-careful fathers
    Have broke their sleep with thoughts, their brains with care,
    Their bones with industry:
    For this they have engrossed and pil'd up
    The canker'd heaps of strange-achieved gold;
    For this they have been thoughtful to invest
    Their sons with arts and martial exercises.
  • Thou that so stoutly hast resisted me,
    Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold;
    For I have bought it with an hundred blows.
  • Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,
    The signet of its all-enslaving power
    Upon a shining ore, and called it gold;
    Before whose image bow the vulgar great,
    The vainly rich, the miserable proud,
    The mob of peasants, nobles, priests, and kings,
    And with blind feelings reverence the power
    That grinds them to the dust of misery.
    But in the temple of their hireling hearts
    Gold is a living god, and rules in scorn
    All earthly things but virtue.
  • Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
    Auri sacra fames?
    • Accursed thirst for gold! what dost thou not compel mortals to do?
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), III. 56.

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