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Religion and Gold:

Religion and gold have always been closely interwoven. The Ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun as a god - gold was to them the embodiment of the sun on earth. All gold in Ancient Egypt was the property of the state - the Pharoah combined statehood and godhood and so all the gold on earth belonged to the Pharoah.

Gold Symbolism

Gold has been associated with the extremities of utmost evil and great sanctity throughout history. The Golden Calf is a widely-recognised symbol of idolatry and revolt against God; concentration camp guards removed the golden teeth from the mouths of gassed Holocaust victims. In Communist propaganda, the golden pocket watch and its fastening golden chain were the characteristic accessories of the class enemy, the bourgeois and the industrial tycoons.

On the other hand, eminent orators such as John Chrysostom were said to have a mouth of gold with a silver tongue. Gold is associated with notable anniversaries, particularly in a 50 year cycle, such as a golden wedding anniversary, golden jubilee, etc.

Great human achievements are frequently rewarded with gold, in the form of medals and decorations. Winners of races and prizes are usually awarded the gold medal (such as the Olympic Games and the Nobel Prize), while many award statues are depicted in gold (such as the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards and the British Academy Film Awards).

Medieval kings were inaugurated under the signs of sacred oil and a golden crown, the latter symbolizing the eternal shining light of heaven and thus a Christian king's divinely inspired authority. Wedding rings are traditionally made of gold; since it is long-lasting and unaffected by the passage of time, it is considered a suitable material for everyday wear as well as a metaphor for the relationship. In Orthodox Christianity, the wedded couple is adorned with a golden crown during the ceremony, an amalgamation of symbolic rites.

The symbolic value of gold varies wildly around the world, even within geographic regions. For example, gold is quite common in Turkey but considered a most valuable gift in Sicily.

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