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Western Union

The Gnome Poll

How do you reach this enchanted place?


Let's snoop together in the world of gold! The art of gold-working goes back to 2500 BC! Some jewelry made from this material were found in Mesopotamia (today's Iraq). They will spend nearly twenty centuries before Europe, with the Greek and Etruscan jewelery, can match and eventually overwhelm this ancient civilization. In Italy,the legendary Benvenuto Cellini (1400 AD), was one of the first to turn the gold into wonderful jewels. During 1700, the first machine for the manufacture of gold chains was built in France, and between 1800 and 1900 the first goldsmith's factories are opened in Germany and Italy. Italy boasts many firsts in the gold working: it is in first place for the production and export of jewelry, by the number of companies, for the history and the goldsmith tradition, quality, technological innovation and skill in design. In addition, Italy holds the record for buying gold jewelry. But where is all the gold in the world? Gold mines are located in South Africa, the United States, Australia, Russia, Canada, China, Brazil, the Philippines. The amount of gold mined since the beginning of human history is estimated at about 121 million tons each year plus about 3,000 tons of newly mined. The official price is fixed daily in the Rothschild Bank in London. The craftsman is a very common profession with deep local roots, with regional specialties, made with customized designs. Some craftsmen are specialists in the chisel, others in the watermark, other in hand-made chains; the goldsmith's workshop, with encrusted crucibles, blowpipes for manual molding, chisels, arches, coping and hammers, acid bottles, a radio crackles and the cat who runs away, it is still a reality which survives, and not only in small towns. Now I give you a bit of technical data, just to poke into this fascinating world! The pure gold melting point is 1063 degrees Celsius, 966 degrees for silver, and platinum melts at 1760 degrees!! To craft any item, the pure gold is always associated with silver and copper, to make object more solid and resistent; so we will have the famous gold alloy 750%: on 10 grams of gold, there will be 2.5 gr. alloy and 7.5 gr. of pure gold. In Italy we use almost exclusively the alloy 750%, but there are other leagues, with less gold, like 585 and 333. Well, I'll stop for now...

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Febo, the Gnome

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