Gold Metal of the Gods and Mere Mortals – Part 1

“The glowing Ruby should adorn, those who in warm July are born, then will they be exempt and free from love’s doubt and anxiety.” – Unknown


“Inspired by the use of the cantilever, by certain architects I know.” – ce

This “Cantilever Ring” balances its flat plane on the bar of a square ring. It may look as if it is teetering�but rest assured. It is secure. It is shown here in white gold with the sparkle of a princess cut diamond set off-center. Great ring for the right hand, middle or index fingers.

CED – News & Events

July 28-31 (Fri/Sat 11-7 & Sun 11-5)CA Boom Fest II – Claudia Endler Designs will be exhibiting at CA Boom II in booth F115. For the Contemporary Design Junkies, 3 1/2 days of cutting edge contemporary design and architecture. CA Boom combines work from contemporary independent designers, architects and manufacturers, tours of cutting-edge homes and a speaker’s conference whose participants are the leaders and innovators of the contemporary design community. Do you want to meet the industry’s most talented? Do you need to know where the most unique design resources are available? Come to CA Boom II at the Santa Monica Civic Center. Join us at the Opening Party with DJ on July 28th. Use our discount code, CLA846, to get an online discount on


California Design Biennial 2005 – The Pasadena Museum of California Art

Now through August 28 – The California Design Biennial is a juried exhibition of the most innovative and experimental design in fashion, furniture, transportation, consumer products and graphic design. From Frank Gehry to Jasmin Shokrian to Apple Computers, this exhibition celebrates the creativity of established and emerging designers who are making California the center of international design. For more information,


Public Art Opportunity: “AIDS and Spirituality” Request for Proposals– The Wall-Las Memorias Project AIDS Monument at Lincoln Park. The office is located at 111 N. Ave. 56, Los Angeles, CA 90042 (Highland Park). Submission Deadline: Tuesday, August 16, 2005. For more information, please contact Eddie Martinez at 323-257-1056 ext. 28 or via e-mail An RFP can be downloaded

JULY’S FEATURE: Gold, Metal of the Gods and Mere Mortals – Part 1

A History of Gold

Gold is the oldest precious metal known to man. There is so much history, myth and legend associated with this metal that it is difficult to cover everything. Let’s just start by saying that gold was probably used by prehistoric man. Highly sophisticated gold art objects and jewelry discovered by archaeologists in the Sumerian Royal Tombs at Ur, in what is now Southern Iraq, date back to around 3000 BC. The Egyptians mastered the arts of beating gold into leaf and alloying gold with other metals to achieve variations in hardness and color. They also develop the ability to cast gold, using the lost-wax technique, still used in today’s jewelry industry. Pendants, necklaces, rings, armlets, earrings, diadems, head ornaments, pectoral ornaments and collars of gold were all produced in ancient Egypt.

In the 1500s BC, the immense, gold-bearing regions of Nubia made Egypt a wealthy nation, as gold became the recognized standard of exchange for international trade. The Shekel, a coin originally weighing 11.3 grams of gold, is still used as a standard unit of measure throughout the Middle East. The coin contained a naturally occurring alloy called electrum, which was approximately two-thirds gold and one-third silver. In ancient Greece, gold beads in the shape of natural forms, such as shells, flowers and beetles, were manufactured on a large scale. Beautiful and delicate necklaces and earrings were found in burial sites in Northern Greece.

In the 1300s BC, the young Egyptian King Tutankhamun was interred in a pyramid tomb laden with gold; his remains lay in an extravagant gold anthropoid sarcophagus. (BTW: The King Tut Exhibit is coming to LACMA this summer). The Babylonians began to test the purity of gold. Goldsmiths of the Chavin civilization in Peru were making ornaments by hammering and embossing gold by 1200 BC.

From 1000 BC onward, in China, the Roman Empire and Asia Minor, gold was minted into coins. The Roman gold coin was called the “Aureus”. The Roman Empire furthered their quest for gold, by mining extensively throughout the empire. They also advanced the science of gold-mining considerably. They diverted streams of water to mine hydraulically. They mined underground and introduced water-wheels and the ‘roasting’ of gold-bearing ore to separate the gold from rock. In the 800s BC, the Italian Etruscans, in the Tuscany region, produced granulated textured gold work. They made large fibulae or clasps, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. They also made pendants that were hollow and could be filled with perfume. The Italians are still renowned for high-quality, stylish, trend-making gold work today.

During the Byzantine Empire in the 600s AD, artisans of the period produced intricate gold artifacts and icons. In the 1200s AD, Venice introduced the gold Ducat, which soon became the most popular coin in the world, and remained so for more than five centuries due to the Venetian influence on trade. The first major gold coin issued by Great Britain was called, the Florin, which was followed by the Noble, the Angel, the Crown, and the Guinea.

In the 15th century, Spain sent explorers to the Western Hemisphere in search of gold. The discovery of America by Christopher Columbus was thought to be an indirect result of the endeavor to uncover the source of China’s gold, which had riches beyond any of those of Europe. The lure of gold led the Conquistadors to murder and pillage the Central American civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. These Spanish invaders melted down centuries old artifacts and icons of exquisite craftsmanship into ingots, for the monarchy.

In 1787, a goldsmith struck the first US gold coin. Did you know that North Carolina was the site of first US gold rush? All the domestic gold coined for currency by the US Mint in Philadelphia was supplied by North Carolina, until 1848, when the California gold rush began, followed by the Alaska gold rush in 1898.

In 1900, the US adopted a gold standard for its currency. It was required that a certain percentage of paper money printed is backed by actual gold. As we know today gold is traded on the stock exchange and is also affected by the world gold supply and demand. Gold prices have jumped 30-40% over the last 2 years. Other than jewelry, gold has many other industrial uses, which we will discuss in an upcoming issue.

The Inca’s referred to gold as the “tears of the sun”�..Wouldn’t you agree?


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. The ring arrived yesterday. It’s amazing. We love it. It fits perfectly and looks great on him! – Andrea A

THE WAY OF CHIC: The proper serving utensils are not only chic, but great conversation pieces.


Imagine a cake server that is sleek and elegant or leaf shaped serving tongs handmade in silver. From martini skewers to bon-bon servers, the perfect wedding, house warming or holiday gift can be found at very reasonable prices. We discovered these beautiful and unique treasures at the last Contemporary Craft Market, in Santa Monica. We wanted to share them with you (just in case you missed it). Available in Los Angeles at Boule at 420 N. La Cienega, W. Hollywood or online through

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