(Burial mask of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun; images courtesy of Huffpost and Deposit Photos.)
The ancient Egyptians were of the belief that the bodies of the dead were to be preserved in order for the soul to have a place to dwell after death. The mummified corpses had masks that covered their faces; plaster for the common folk and masks made of precious metals like gold for royalty. One of the most famous burial masks belonged to Tutankhamun who was an Egyptian Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. The mask is carved such that it has a nemes headcloth, bearing the royal insignia of a cobra and vulture. There are inlays of gemstones and coloured glass, quartz for the eyes, obsidian for the pupils, lapis lazuli around the eyes and eyebrows, turquoise, amazonite, faience carnelian, feldspar and other stones make up the inlays for the collar. This mask is now on public display in a museum in Cairo.
(Illuminated manuscripts, Islamic and Christian; images courtesy of Pinterest and Wikimedia.)
An illuminated manuscript referred to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver in the form of borders or miniature illustrations. This practice of creating illuminated manuscripts prevailed in Islamic as well as European texts.
(Kintsugi pottery; image courtesy of Ceramic School.)
Gold dust and lacquer, that is what the Japanese use to fix what’s broken. Pottery in particular. Cracks are filled in with this combination which ultimately results in beautiful scars. It is called Kintsugi pottery, the basis of which lies in wabi-sabi, which in turn refers to acknowledging the beauty in imperfection.
Gold; durable malleable gold has always been of immense value, for good reason, since time immemorial.