What is the symbolic meaning, common associations and psychology of the color gold, plus what does it say about your personality if you love to wear gold jewelry or if your favorite color or material is gold?
Gold is a universal color of infinite appeal. With multiple meanings and associations, this dazzling hue possesses depth. In most cases, the color gold signifies prosperity and luxury. At the other end of the spectrum is arrogance, extravagance and moral instability. These different qualities make gold equally loved and hated.
Meaning of the color gold
Gold is the color of wealth and class, it is self-confident, perhaps too much so, becoming arrogant and egotistical.
Gold is flashy, rich and extravagant, it is the color par excellence to symbolize luxury. It is also linked to divinity, gold has a lot of importance in Christianity, it has similar meanings to the color white, which signifies purity and daylight.
Other religions often display gold as it is associated with knowledge, wisdom and learning. Gold, like purple, is also associated with royalty. Buddhists see gold as a separation from ordinary worries and cares.
In general, gold is valued and related to money and prestige. Whether it is a gold bar, a gold feather or a gold painting, it implies the same thing: wealth and high status. Gold is also related to success and victory, first place and winning a gold medal, for example. Gold is at the top of the hierarchy, above silver and bronze.
Personality associated with the color gold
You are a positive and ambitious person, this is an attractive trait that attracts and influences others.
You have a desire for luxury, whether it is a fancy house, car or accessories.
You are friendly, outgoing and like to be the center of attention.
You have a high desire to succeed, you don’t sit around waiting for things to happen, you go out and get them.
You have above-average knowledge and wisdom, and you like to share that knowledge with others.
You have a clear focus on what you want in life. You build strong boundaries for acceptable behaviors and do not tolerate those that go beyond those boundaries.
You can be arrogant at times, and your ambitions can be unrealistic, which can lead to failures and mistakes.
Meaning of wearing gold
Gold is often used and displayed in the jewelry and watches we wear. Wearing or displaying gold could suggest that someone was very interested in social status and showing off their wealth.
How others perceive them is important to them. It indicates an outward thinking, approval seeking person who is trying to impress others.
Spiritual significance of the color gold
Widely used in religious environments, the color gold is synonymous with divinity and power. Christians hold that the color gold represents icons, which is why this color appears in numerous mosaics. When this majestic hue is present, it reminds Christians of God’s strength and omnipresence
In Hinduism, the color gold is associated with learning, meditation and self-improvement. Hindu idols are often depicted with golden haloes. This indicates their unlimited wisdom and virtue.
Gold is one of the seven metals of alchemy (gold, silver, mercury, copper, lead, iron and tin). For the alchemist, it represented the perfection of all matter at any level, including that of the mind, spirit and soul. The symbol of gold could also be used to represent the sun in astrology.
Gold and alchemy
Since ancient times, gold has been recognized not only for its beauty, but also for its unique chemical and physical properties. Nowhere was gold more valued than in the mysterious practice of alchemy: a philosophical and proto-scientific tradition that sought to create gold from other elements and was practiced throughout history, from Ancient Egypt to the European Enlightenment.
The earliest records of the practice of alchemy date back to the emergence of metallurgy around 3500 BC. Historians have identified traditions of alchemy in China, India, the Middle East and Europe
The Egyptian alchemist Zosimos of Panopolis writes around 300 BC about the concept of the “philosopher’s stone,” a legendary material central to alchemy that supposedly could cure all ills, grant eternal life and turn metals into gold. Some believed it was given to Adam by God.
Alchemy focused mainly on the transmutation of base metals (e.g., lead or copper) into “noble metals,” especially gold, as well as the creation of a “panacea,” a remedy that would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. Gold was believed to be the origin of all metals, a view well illustrated by George Starkey (known by the pseudonym Eirenaeus Philalethes), an alchemist in 17th century colonial America who wrote “Every metallic seed is the seed of gold: for gold is the intention of nature with respect to all metals. If the common metals are not gold, it is only because of some accidental impediment: they are all potentially gold.”[i] This interpretation of the chemical properties of gold is not a new one.
This interpretation of the chemical properties of gold motivated alchemists around the world to search for the “philosopher’s stone,” a legendary substance or elixir believed to be able to turn base metals into gold.
Even Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), recognized as one of the geniuses of science and perhaps the most influential figure of the scientific revolution, devoted much time to alchemy. He believed that, in the entire mineral kingdom, metals were the only materials that could “vegetate,” while other minerals could only be formed mechanically. Newton spent days locked in his laboratory practicing alchemy and attempting to transmute lead into gold
Some believe he finally succeeded. Perhaps that explains why, at the height of his career, he was appointed director of England’s Royal Mint, with the duty of securing and accounting for England’s gold deposit
Having the ability to turn lead into gold would have obvious benefits today, but the reason ancient and medieval alchemists sought to change base metals into gold was not simply greed
As Nevill Drury and Lynne Hume wrote in their book The Varieties of Magical Experience: Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic: “Alchemists did not consider all metals to be equally mature or “perfect.” Gold symbolized the highest development of nature and came to personify human renewal and regeneration
A ‘golden’ human being glowed with spiritual beauty and had triumphed over the power of evil that beset him. The lowest metal, lead, represented the sinful and unrepentant individual who was easily overcome by the forces of darkness… If lead and gold were composed of fire, air, water and earth, surely by changing the proportions of the constituent elements, lead could be transformed into gold. Gold was superior to lead because, by its very nature, it contained the perfect balance of the four elements.
Many of the goals sought by ancient and medieval alchemists have been achieved by today’s chemists and nuclear physicists. The discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896 and the discovery of the electron by Joseph John Thomson a year later provided insight into natural transmutation
In addition, joint experiments by Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy in the early 20th century demonstrated that the radioactivity of thorium was the result of a process of disintegration or decay of one element into another. This transmutation and other consecutive discoveries facilitated the release of enormous amounts of energy that scientist TJ Trenn called “the gold of the new alchemy.”
Although the creation of gold from other metals proved impossible for alchemy, the alchemists played an important role in formulating our understanding of the material world and laying the foundations of modern science. And their legacy lives on: in the 21st century we have found a way to create gold and other elements by replicating exploding stars.