While the Shang Dynasty merely scratched the surface of gold use, the ancient Greeks adored gold and used it for many forms of creative expression and physical decoration, and of course, retaining wealth. Gold use in Greece began around 1600 BCE, but it wasn’t until Alexander the Great arrived on the scene hundreds of years later, that they upped the ante on gold.
During the Hellenistic Age, Alexander conquered the East and captured the infamous Babylon treasure. As a result, large sums of gold became available to Greek society, which increased desire for gold products, particularly gold jewelry. Everything from earrings, necklaces, wreaths, diadems, and thigh bands were worn. The ancient Grecians loved matching sets (and why not, we do too!) and gold jewels that were adorned with inlaid gems.
Creativity during this period flourished, and craftsmen created pieces that were rich with symbolism, ornamenting jewels with gods, It is worth noting, however, that their next-level gold worship led to the legend of King Midas who turned everything he touched into gold. The myth revealed that the golden touch turned out to be as much a curse as a super-power.