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Inca Gold


The greed for the Inca gold was the motive to destroy the Inca Civilization. The Incas did not use the gold as we do it today. Gold, silver and copper was not use as currency for payments. The Incas use the textiles and Mullus to trade for products. The Mullus are big and red shells that grows in the north of Peru, only when the El Ni'o effects warm up water of the Pacific Ocean.

The gold was not pure gold as everyone believes. Today we think about the gold as a metal with great monetary value, for the Incas, it has religion value. The Incas believe gold means the holy male image of the sun. The silver means the holy female image of the moon and copper was the holy image of the earth. Because religion, the Incas mix these three metals in all Inca gold artifacts produce by them.
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    • mullu
      The Mullus only appear when the El Ni'o - Southern Oscillation occurs.
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    • gold inca glass
      This is a copper glass with a golden shower.
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    • inca gold
      Peru still one of the world largest producer of gold.

The Incas melt down 75 percent of gold, 15 percent of silver and 10 percent of copper, the resulting alloy was calling Tumbanga. The temperature to melt the Tumbanga alloy is much lower than gold or silver. It is harder than copper and ones it is pound, it still preserves malleability. Plus it produces more quantity of metal with a gold appearance. The Tumbanga was the standard Inca gold alloy use to make all Inca Jewelry in the entire Inca empire.

The Tumbanga was use to create objects for funerals, ceremonies and other purposes. The funeral objects were mainly masks, chest decorations, head decorations and other Inca Artifacts for decoration of the funeral container. The ceremonies objects were rattles, cups, sculptures and knifes used to kill animals as sacrifice. Tumbanga knifes were also use in human sacrifices of capture enemies, but it was not a common practice.

The Inca gold was use to make sandals, bangles, earrings, gold bibs, crowns, necklaces, tibia protections, nose rings and falconry. The Inca artisans have great imagination and they could make almost anything with gold. Some old Inca tells, talk about special Inca Women from important families that use to dress all their body decorated with plaques of gold.

The gold was considering social status and it was not inherit by your descendants. So when the owner died all his gold goes with him. It is the reason of why all the best Inca gold collections where found in tombs by archaeologist or Inca treasure hunters. The Incas use gold to decorate walls and altars of their most important temples.

Today, if you take the gold reserves of a government, the economy of that country will collapse. It wasn't the case of the Inca government. Because when the Spaniards took the Inca gold from their temples, it didn't hurt their economy, it hurt their culture. Spaniards loot all Inca Gods images from their temples, melt them and make coins. Imagine the pain of the Inca people watching the images of their gods and religion symbols, been melt into coins to be send to Spain as trophy of war.
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    • inca gold necklace
      These necklaces are heavy; wearing them in regular basis must be painful.
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    • inca gold artifacts
      The marvelous skills of the Inca artisans were capable to create this.
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    • inca gold bracelet
      For the Incas wearing as much gold as possible mean that you are closer to the Inca god.

The Inca gold was collect from rivers, using the panning technique. It was simple, they took gravel from the riverbeds or gravel banks of a river, and then they use a pan to wash out the gravel. The golden nuggets are heavier so they normally remain at the bottom of the pan. We know the Incas collect large gold nuggets from their riverbanks. It stills a mystery which rivers the Incas use to collect their gold, and provably we will never know.

When the world discover the existence of the Incas; all Europe wants their gold. And they took it by force from the Spaniard ships. The ships send from Peru to Spain with shipments of gold and silver were a common target of pirates hire by other nations. Just for a minute, imagine the greed of this people. Add the fragility of the wood ships in those days. Give us the answer of why the best Inca gold treasures are in the bottom of the oceans.

Today, there is a legal battle that starts by the treasure hunter ship odyssey. They extract gold coins from a wreck; the coins are over 500 years old, made in Peru. Spain thinks the Inca gold belongs to them because the wreck has Spanish flag, odyssey believe they own it because they found it. The Peruvian government thinks they own it, because Spain took it from the Incas. At the end, it's not important who wins the trophy. What's important is to respect the memory of the millions of men, women and children who die for that gold.
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