Chronicling the history of gold as money, from the ancient world to Wall Street. Included: the use of gold coins in the Byzantine Empire; the effect of the California Gold Rush on the American economy; the theft of gold bullion and currency from occupied countries by the Germans during World War II.
"The Stuff of Dreams” explores the legends and mysteries regarding golden treasure, including the Spanish story of the Seven Cities of Gold; Arizona's mythical Superstition Mountains; and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
Chronicling times in history when the discovery of gold led to massive prospecting efforts, including the the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century; and discoveries in Australia and South Africa. Also: the methods of prospecting; and the use of modern technology in finding gold.
Part 1 recalls the battles fought out of lust for the precious metal. Included: war between Spain and England in the late 16th century over control of Spain's gold; the late 19th century battles between Native Americans and the U.S. Government over control of the gold-laden South Dakota.