Gold & The Roman Civilisation: History Decoded

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Gold gained enormous significance in ancient civilisations shortly after the first human interaction with gold in 3000 BC.

The Romans are credited with being among the first to popularise gold coins as a form of currency. During the Roman era, gold was also widely used in jewellery production. Gold jewellery was a symbol of wealth and prosperity.

With time, gold began to be used to produce pots and other household goods that the upper classes could only afford. It was thought that the more gold found in a house, the wealthier it was. Planning to buy gold? Check the Gold rate today Vijayawada before you invest in the same.

From where did the Romans get their gold?

Rome never had abundant natural gold resources and was slow to acquire them. The Po River in the western Alps and south of Piedmont was the site of the first gold discovery. The Second Punic War (218-201 BC) was possibly the most significant turning point in Roman gold history.

When the Romans conquered Spain, they mined gold in the Aduar Basin, Malaga District, Plains of Granada, and the Sierra Nevada mountain slopes. Gold traces have been discovered in these areas to this day. Another significant source was Julius Caesar’s conquest of Britain.

As the Roman Empire expanded, their desire for gold brought them from Vercellae, the Rhine River, the Atlantic coast of Central Africa, and parts of Egypt. Agrippina, Emperor Claudius’ wife, wore a tunic made of gold threads in AD 49. The Romans had so much gold that they began to create statues of pure gold for display.

History of ancient Roman gold jewellery

Gold represented wealth, prosperity, and an individual’s social status in the Roman Empire.

Gold was widely used for ornaments because it was considered the metal of the gods and was thought to have descended from the sun. Young boys wore bulla amulets from birth as a shield against evil energy. Young boys also favoured gold rings with phallic symbols, which were thought to bring good fortune. Men’s gold rings were the most common – and sometimes the only – piece of jewellery they wore.

Necklaces, bracelets, and armlets were popular accessories for Roman women. Their arms were always adorned with more than seven pieces of jewellery. Bracelets shaped like coiled snakes and pinned with gold were extremely popular among them. The design represented immortality.

Ancient Roman gold coinage

Did you know that the ‘Aureus’ was the basic gold monetary unit in the Roman world? These were used from the mid-third century BC to the mid-third century AD.

During this time period, gold was recycled to create widely circulated coins. The face of the current emperor was embossed on the coins. Augustus’ was the most commonly used.

After the Romans invented hydraulic mining in Spain, gold mining became especially expensive. Although this method produced more gold than deep mines, it also caused river re-channelling and destruction. The Romans mined gold, minted coins, and circulated them far beyond their Empire’s borders.


Gold contributed significantly to the economy of ancient Rome, allowing it to become one of the world’s most powerful empires. The Romans’ love of gold inspired and influenced many subsequent civilisations, giving the world a new perspective on precious metals. You can check the latest Gold price today Agra, to know where the Gold rates stand today.