Gold, gold cloth, gold lace From earliest times gold has attracted man by its lustre, its brilliance, its density and its immutability. It was mined and used to make beautiful objects, which included jewellery, by all the ancient civilizations, who valued it highly. After Bronze Age man had discovered the art of melting metal, prized articles were made with gold. The Egyptians mined quantities of the metal and used it in all forms of costume ornamentation, from solid mounts for jewellery to finely beaten sheeting which they employed as a covering or veneer to other materials such as wood or ivory. In classical times gold was mined in Asia Minor and in Transylvania, and civiliza- tions which did not have direct access to their own mines obtained the metal by trading. Gold workmanship was produced by the Minoans in Crete and the later Myce- nacans specialized in handling the metal and creating fine quality craftsmanship with it. Greek gold jewellery was of a masterly quality, seen in such items as leafy garlands of beaten gold to wear round the brow and the finest of filigree work. Etruscan craftsmanship in gold was also of superb quality, comparing favourably with that of contemporary Greek. The Etruseans specialized in a decorative process known as granulation, where gold powder is disposed in patterns on the surface of the metal. They portrayed scenes in granulated silhouettes, showing figures against a background; alternatively, the figures were in relief and the ground was granulated. The Etruseans also developed a delicate style of filigree work, using open- work patterns without a background - a fine, technical achievement. They used sheet gold as well, designing wreaths, necklaces and bracelets with embossed convex shapes. Under the Roman Empire gold was employed in quantity for jewel- lery but the designs were of coarser quality than the Greek or Etruscan; they were elaborately rich and heavy. Byzantine ornamentation was even richer. Gold was mined and used for jewellery throughout the Middle Ages in Europe but more sparingly because supplies were scarcer. After the discovery of America, gold became available to Europe in quantity and the craftsmanship of the Renaissance and Baroque periods was very high and with an infinite variety of design and treatment of the metal. In the nineteenth century America and Australia were the important world suppliers of gold but, by the early twentieth century, South Africa possessed the richest goldfields in the world. Cloth of gold or gold tissue has been a prized fabric worn by the nobility and the royal houses of Europe from the early Middle Ages. Its history in the orient is even more ancient. The material was woven from a warp of flat threads of gold with a silk weft. Gold fabrics are still in use for evening gowns and wraps, as well'as for all forms of trimming. Gold lace used to be made with threads of gold wire but later was a silk braid covered with gold leaf.