The Ancient Egyptians believed that gold was a heavenly metal that was totally and utterly indestructible. This statuette of the god Amun is from the Third Intermediate Period (945-712 BC). Amun/Ra was often referred to as a mountain of gold, hence this pure gold representation of him.

Gold in Ancient Egypt was used as far back as pre-dynastic times (3,400 BC). Although most cultures value gold in monetary terms, the Ancient Egyptians viewed gold in a more spiritual way. They believed gold to be the skin of the gods.

Obelisks, death masks, statuettes and jewellery were all subjected to lashings of this precious metal. They associated golds durability with eternity so it was a very prominent material in funerary rituals.

Expeditions were sent out in search of gold. It was used in trade and was a high commodity when Egypt was negotiating with its near neighbours and allies.

Gold is an extremely rare material. In fact, it is so rare that scientists estimate that if all the gold in the world was collected and melted down, there would only be enough to fill about three Olympic sized swimming pools.