The philosopher's stone, the alchemical substance that supposedly turned lead into gold, is referenced by Zosimos in the encyclopedia Cheirokmeta.
In the 7th century, the Byzantine Empire reclaims the gold mines in Europe that were lost in the fall of the western Roman Empire.
The villa that will become the Temple of the Golden Pavilion (which still stands) is built in Kyoto, Japan.
Temple of the Golden Pavilion
According to legend, Aztec emperor Montezuma hides his golden treasure from Spanish invaders but dies before he can recover it.
Europeans begin their search for the mythical lost city of gold, El Dorado, believed to be in South America.
The first piece of U.S. gold (a 17-pound nugget) is discovered in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The first U.S. gold rush begins four years later.
Gold is discovered by James Marshall in California, drawing 300,000 gold seekers to the state.
A gold nugget found in the Empire Star mines, Nevada County, Calif. It is now displayed in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
The world's largest nugget—nearly 200 pounds—is found in southeastern Australia.
Gold is discovered along the Klondike River in Canada's Yukon region. The resulting rush provides the setting for Jack London's Call of the Wild.
The U.S. officially adopts the gold standard, tying the value of the dollar to the metal.
The Gold Reserve Act withdraws gold coins from circulation.
The United States Bullion Depository opens at Fort Knox in Kentucky.
The first gold record is awarded to Glenn Miller for selling 1 million copies of the song "Chattanooga Choo Choo."
Goldfinger hits theaters. Sean Connery's James Bond faces a villain who suffocates a victim with gold paint.
American Express launches the Gold Card.
American Express gold card
Neil Young releases his third solo album, After the Gold Rush, in August; it goes gold in November.
President Richard Nixon takes the dollar off the gold standard.
Work begins at the world's deepest mine, Mponeng, in South Africa, more than two miles underground.
Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson breaks the 200-meter world record wearing golden Nike spikes.
Michael Johnson's gold Nike spikes
The golden dollar coin is released into circulation by the United States Mint.
Ke$ha gets a gold tooth.
A 24-karat-gold iPhone 5 selling for $4,700 hits the market.