Swapping poor deities for Lakshmi in Gujarat, India...
WHEN I WAS LITTLE, my father often said to me that "An inch of time cannot be bought with an inch of gold."
Time went by and a few decades later, I landed in Gujarat – India's most economically developed state where gold (or at least wealth) is everything. Soon, I realized my father's god of duty doesn't function anywhere in the world, whereas Gujarat's God of Gold (Lakshmi) is omnipresent and omnipotent.
My stint in the land of Navratri and Garba helped me hone my wisdom and taught me the most important lesson in my life: Lakshmi is everything and without gold man is just bald.
So, I decided to bring in reforms to my puja room. All 'un-wealthy' gods were replaced by the moneyed ones and the place of worship got a fresh coat of yellow paint (you can guess why it was yellow). Photographs, idols and other paraphernalia of the 'poor' presiding deities were shown the door to make way for the affluent holy ones.
Khrysos (Chrysus), the Greek god of gold, also found a place of reverence among other rich ones. He is the child of Zeus – and for gold, neither moth nor rust devoureth it; but the mind of man is devoured by this supreme possession. A seat was also reserved for the Feng Shui god of wealth, Tua Peh Kong.
After keeping all the gold gods in good humor, I started decoding gold itself. I found out fascinating facts about the glittering metal. Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from the Latin Aurum) and atomic number 79. It is a highly sought-after precious metal which, for many centuries, has been used as money, a store of value and in jewellery. The metal is found as nuggets or grains in rocks, underground 'veins' and in alluvial deposits.
It is one of the coinage metals. Gold is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile of the known metals. Pure gold has an attractive bright yellow colour. Gold forms the basis for a monetary standard used by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
The ISO currency code of Gold Bullion is XAU. Modern industrial uses for gold include dentistry and electronics, where gold has traditionally found use because of its good resistance to oxidative corrosion. Chemically, gold is a trivalent and univalent transition metal. Gold does not react with most chemicals, but is attacked by chlorine, fluorine, aqua regia and cyanide.
Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys, but does not react with it. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which will dissolve silver and base metals, and this is the basis of the gold refining technique known as "inquartation and parting". Nitric acid has long been used to confirm the presence of gold in items, and this is the origin of the colloquial term "acid test", referring to a gold standard test for genuine value. (Learn more about Gold & How It's Valued here...)
As my knowledge on gold increased, I figured out that the yellow metal has all the qualities of the gods. It has a halo, it is worshiped by all, it is strong and omnipresent and it can solve our worries in the material world. I saw all other gods pale before gold. That was the moment of Nirvana for me when I realized Gold is God.
by Rahul Suri for Commodity Market magazine...