European prospectors found the first alluvial gold deposits at Eersteling (Limpopo Province) between 1840 and 1870, but the first major gold rush in South Africa, however, started on 5 February 1873 at MacMac, a mere 5 km from Pilgrims Rest as the crow flies.
The big strike however, was when Alec "Wheelbarrow" Patterson discovered gold in the Pilgrim's Creek in 1873.
He could not keep his find secret and soon another prospector, William Trafford, found gold in the Pilgrim's Creek. Legend has it that he shouted with joy "Now at last, a pilgrim is at rest!"
He registered his claim at the gold commissioner's office, MacMac, resulting in a major gold rush on 22 September 1873, when Pilgrim's Rest was officially proclaimed a gold field.
Not even a year later, 1500 diggers worked 4000 claims around the streams of Pilgrim's Creek.
By 1876 most of the tents were replaced by permanent structures, and many made their "gold" from the various businesses supplying the diggers with necessary provisions.
Gold was also discovered in the De Kaap Valley in January 1874 and some diggers moved from Pilgrim's Rest to this area to try their luck.
Small deposits were found at Kaapsehoop and Berlin but it was only with the discovery of alluvial and reef gold by August Robert, alias French Bob in 1882, that the Barberton Goldfields were established.
Gold was mined and melted in ancient times in Southern Africa to a limited extent. Artifacts made of gold were excavated from sites such as Mapungubwe (now a world heritage site in the Limpopo Province), Klipwal (near Piet Retief) and Thulamala in the northern part of the Kruger National Park.
Gold was smelted by means of a furnace, which was probably similar to the iron and copper smelting furnaces excavated elsewhere in southern Africa, and was utilised for personal adornment as well as a means of barter for glass beads from Egypt, ceramics from China and cloth from Phoenicia.
By 1898 the gold production of the Witwatersrand exceeded that of the entire United States of America. Gold is still to this day, the basis of the South African economy.
George Harrison discovered by chance, the Great Rand Reef (Johannesburg) in 1886.
The first diggers moved in, and by September of that year, 3000 prospectors were working the area. In 1893, Peter Marais discovered more gold deposits on the Witwatersrand.
The geologists Harry and Fred Struben were convinced of rich deposits, and erected a five-stamp battery on top of the area which became the largest gold-bearing reef in the world!
Gold, beauty, and power have always gone together. Gold in ancient times was made into shrines and idols ("the Golden Calf"), plates, cups, vases and vessels of all kinds, and of course, jewelry for personal adornment.
F A Q about Selling Your Gold Jewellery
Gold possibly the most precious commodity in the world, countries throughout the world use this commodity to gauge their wealth by investing in gold reserves. Unlike other precious metals / commodities such as diamonds and platinum, gold was found to be the most stable in world markets. In civilized culture as we know it gold was the first form of currency used. Gold throughout the world is mainly used to produce various forms of jewelry but is also used to produce circuit boards which are used in the manufacture of electrical appliances. Gold in whatever shape / form still remains precious / valuable. Majority of people are under the distinct misconception that once jewelry breaks or goes out of fashion that it automatically loses its value. The aforementioned goods in essence is money waiting to be cashed in on.
These goods can be sold for cash to any cash for gold business. However competition in this sector is extremely fierce as more and more entrepreneurs are realizing that buying gold is a “Golden” opportunity to make a dollar out of fifty cents so to speak. Sellers should still however be very weary of being exploited / conned out of their goods. They should also realize that they will only be paid for their jewelry’s weight in gold and not the labor and skill that went into producing the piece.
From a buyers perspective prices should be structured in such a manner that they remain competitive in the market, but also so that a profit is guaranteed as gold prices continually fluctuate in world markets. A basic setup for a cash for gold business would comprise of a license to trade in second hand goods as well as premises to operate from, a substantial amount of capital to give you buying power and a sound marketing strategy won’t hurt either as this will only enhance your business prospects. Buying and selling of gold can be very rewarding if managed correctly but also very challenging at times. Entrepreneurs should also as a matter of caution be sure that they have a thorough understanding of the various methods of testing gold as ignorance in this aspect can result in huge loses and possibly even bankruptcy.