The love of and subsequent pursuit of gold has resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of incredible and absurd stories. When crafting this blog, I tried to think of a commodity other than gold that has inspired similar tales, both fact and fiction; however, I could think of none.
Throughout history, gold has been at the center of many infamous tall tales. King Midas was said to have earned one wish due to his generosity towards the god, Dionysus’ satyr, Silenus. With his one wish, he chose to possess the ability to turn everything he touched to gold. This was a great idea until he learned he could neither eat nor drink due to the “gift.” Rumpelstiltskin had his own yellow metal myth. As did Jack and the Beanstalk, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (remember the Golden Ticket? RIP Mel Brooks), and many more.
While the creation of so many mythical stories testifies to humanity’s obsession with gold, many true stories exist which further demonstrate the very real attachment we have to this precious metal. For instance, just last week, the the testimony phase of trial concluded for a Royal Canadian Mint employee charged with smuggling gold nuggets out of the mint via his rectum. Leston Lawrence faces years in jail should he be found guilty. I hope he thoroughly cleaned the gold before attempting to sell it.
In Nova Scotia, a small piece of land named Oak Island is the center of a 150+ year mystery. In the “Money Pit Mystery,” (as it is referred to), three young boys discovered a depression in the ground which sparked their curiosity. They began digging. At 10 feet, they reached an oak platform. After breaking through the platform, they continued digging through 10 more feet of clay until they reached a second oak platform. They continued their dig until 30 ft, when they hit the third oak platform. At this point, the boys gave up the treasure hunt. Years later, excavators came to the island after hearing rumors of buried treasure from a pirate shipwreck. Hundreds of diggers have attempted to find the bottom of the pit to discover what lies beneath. Six men have died in their quest; yet, to this day no answer exists for the seekers.
In 2014, two lucky Californians stumbled upon a cache of buried gold coins on their property totaling over $10 million dollars because their dog sniffed the right spot of a tree and spotted it. A tribe of Ecuadorian natives executed a government leader who was unfairly taxing them by pouring molten gold down his throat. Olympians have been stalked and robbed for their gold medals. Englishmen tried drinking pieces of gold flakes to heal from the Bubonic Plague.
You get the gist. Gold is a fascinating thing. It seems we as humans will always be in wonder of the metal and its value and utility.
So, what’s your crazy gold story? Did you find a rare coin in your local Coinstar machine? Stumble upon something at the beach? Have you heard of a bizarre way gold can improve your life-monetarily, medicinally, aesthetically, etc? Let me know in the comments!
Just kidding. Shout out to my Canadian boss who inspired this week’s blog and the 2016 1 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf. This is one pretty coin.