Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents of different shapes and sizes for various markets, while the mint in central
Perth produces coins and medallions with their own intrinsic value.
The whole organisation also runs depository programs, producing and
holding gold for around 15,000 clients worldwide -- holding more than $2
billion worth of gold.
And so the story of gold continues. As ancient civilisations before us
coveted this precious timeless metal, so too do we today.
Sandra points to India where the women layer themselves in gold. "It s a
cultural thing," she says.
"They give gold for weddings... it s like a personal bank and insurance
company. When they have some spare cash, they buy a bracelet. When times
are tough, they sell one."
And while uncertainty in world economy remains, gold will continue to
be favoured by many investors, but as Sandra says, "no-one can tell what the
price of gold will be. It goes up. It goes down. No-one can be certain what the
One thing is certain. Gold will remain a symbol of wealth, beauty and
success. Couples will still use it as a symbol of marriage on the wedding finger.
Kids will keep looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and
athletes will keep striving for that elusive Olympic gold medal (which is
actually a solid silver medal coated with six grams of gold plating). sm
Chances are as you read this,
there's probably someone deep in
the Outback searching for Austral-
a's equivalent of El Dorado -- the
mythical lost city of gold.
Only in this case it's not a city
but a 3m-high, 15km-long "reef"
of gold, worth billions in today's money, and supposedly stumbled upon
by 20-year-old Harold Lasseter in the remote central desert near the WA
border in 1897. Lasseter allegedly took samples from the mysterious reef
but got lost trying to get back to camp. An Afghan camel driver rescued
him, delirious and half-starved, and took him to a surveyor's camp.
For the next three decades, Lasseter tried in vain to raise enough
interest, and money, for expeditions to rediscover the reef. But with gold
plentiful in Kalgoorlie and other areas, few were keen to trek out further
into the harsh desert. Lasseter got a break though when the Great Depres-
sion hit Australia in 1930 and the lure of this fortune in desert gold proved
irresistible to many.
He managed to raise £5000 for an expedition, which included a spotter
plane and motorised transport. But disaster struck when the plane crashed
and Lasseter and his companions fell out.
Lasseter split from camp and headed into the desert, only to die of
thirst and starvation when he tried to walk 150km to Mt Olga. His death
made front page headlines.
In the 80 years since, scores have tried to pinpoint this fabulous gold reef
-- despite the lack of maps or any concrete evidence it even exists.
But the saga of Lasseter's Reef has slipped into Australian folklore,
spawning poems, songs, countless books and is surely a tale worthy of a
movie (Baz Luhrmann, are you out there?). -- Norman Burns
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