Gold has several qualities that have made it exceptionally valuable throughout history. It is attractive in colour and brightness, durable to the point of virtual indestructibility, highly malleable, and usually found in nature in a comparatively pure form. The history of gold is unequaled by that of any other metal because of its value in the minds of men from earliest times. (from the Encyclopedia Britannica)
1 Peter 1:7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
These days gold is getting a lot of press because it has reached unprecedented worth as an investment. Right now an ounce of gold is worth just under $1,300! Gold is a "refuge investment" that people move into when they are concerned about other investments. It has a tangible and real worth and the emotional sense is that other investments may rise and fall but gold will always be there. Of course, as the reference above cites, gold has many physical qualities incljuding physical attractiveness, durability and a resistance to impurities. Perhaps those very qualities mirror the spiritual qualities that Peter ascribes to faith...attractive, pure, enduring. We live in a world that can be seen and touched and so the things we tend to value highest can often be seen and touched. But we have been "born again" to a world that transcends the visible...a world that is presently invisible and that cannot be seen and touched. But this is a world that can certainly be experienced, even here. If we think about it, even here the greatest things are the intangibles: love, compassion, purpose, hope, forgiveness. Our faith is not a mineral mined from the earth. It is a miracle from Heaven that was "mined" at great expense and now, amazingly, adorns our innermost person. These are times when it is wise for people to take refuge, not in Gold, but in God and not by purchasing coins and jewelry but by receiving the precious faith, purchased for us outside the marketplace of Jerusalem on the Cross.