Early civilizations offered it to appease their gods. Ancient Egyptians placed it in tombs to support the dead on their journey to the afterlife. It was used in coins as early as 560 BC, and is still used in financial transactions. Today, it is also used in dentistry, computers, and even spacecraft. And you might be wearing it on your body right now. It is gold--a precious, shiny, yellow metal.

Image credits: main image, courtesy of AMNH; Jim Webster, courtesy of AMNH.