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Gold, 2366.jpg

Bars of gold

Name: Gold
Symbol: Au
Atomic Number: 79

Gold is a metallic element, number 79 on the periodic table. Though once considered very valuable, by the 23rd century the Federation considered it almost worthless, except for decorative and functional purposes. (TOS: "Catspaw"; TNG: "The Last Outpost", "Time's Arrow"; VOY: "Muse")

The planet Janus VI was a major source of gold and other minerals for the Federation in the 23rd century. (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")

The Ferengi valued gold as a precious commodity until the 2370s, after which its use to them consisted of little more than a medium for suspending latinum in. It still remained valuable to some primitive civilizations. (DS9: "Little Green Men", "Who Mourns for Morn?"; ENT: "Acquisition"; TNG: "The Last Outpost", "Captain's Holiday", "Rascals")

When bidding for the Barzan wormhole, the Ferengi offered to match anyone's best offer and to add a bag full of small gold ingots. (TNG: "The Price")

When the fictional character of Rumpelstiltskin arrived on Deep Space 9, he thought he was called upon to spin straw into gold. (DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses")

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See also

Background

Dialogue in TNG: "The Last Outpost" and "The Perfect Mate" suggests that, at least as late as 2368, Ferengi considered gold valuable. In "Little Green Men", Quark says to a 20th-century Human that "gold is good." However, by the time of "Who Mourns for Morn?", Quark describes gold as "worthless."

One explanation for this apparent devaluation of gold is the fact that the Ferengi had only recently made First Contact with the Federation. Replicator technology, if introduced to a gold-based economy, could send markets plunging. This may have happened to the Ferengi, who would have experienced a massive gold market crash as a result. Then again, gold may have lost value for some other reason. The comment in "Little Green Men" may be in the context of a pre-replicator economy.

According to the script for "Emissary", the Cardassians playing Dabo in Quark's were winning gold, although it is later stated that it was worthless.

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