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Line drawing of a gold prospector and his mule     Through the ages, men and women have cherished gold, and many have had a compelling desire to amass great quantities of it -- so compelling a desire, in fact, that the frantic need to seek and hoard gold has been aptly named "gold fever." Gold was among the first metals to be mined because it commonly occurs in its native form -- that is, not combined with other elements -- because it is beautiful and imperishable, and because exquisite objects can be made from it.

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U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey

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