Gold is durable because it does not corrode or tarnish and is chemically very stable. Gold can always be used as a currency because its value will never depreciate. It will always maintain its value, which is why people invest in gold. The gold standard is a monetary system in which the value of national currencies is fixed on a certain amount of gold.
Domestic money, including bank deposits and banknotes, is convertible into gold at a fixed price. Gold is used as a standard because of its durability, rarity, and universal acceptance. When used as part of the hard money system, it reduces currency volatility. Once you've linked your currencies to gold and silver, your economy will be at the mercy of the quantity of them available in your area.
Silver served as money for thousands of years until the gold standard was introduced in the 19th century. Platinum is very rare, much rarer than gold, which is why it became a symbol of prestige and wealth, apparently larger than gold, since platinum is often described as the gold of rich men. But as is always the case, gold has value because people say they have it because of its uses, its appearance or its association with status, wealth and power. Rupert is a market analyst for Kinesis Money and is responsible for updating the community with information and analysis on the gold and silver markets.
All of this is a quick summary of why gold has been the dominant form of money as opposed to all other elements. In South America, the Incas and other Andean communities considered gold to be “the sweat of the sun”. Gold was used in international trade and in larger transactions, while silver, which was less valuable, was more suitable for smaller everyday purchases. Gold is the metal we'll turn to when other forms of currency don't work, which means that gold will always have value in difficult and good times.
Because of its malleability and ductility (and resistance to wear and tarnishing), platinum is also widely used in the jewelry industry as a substitute for gold. When other assets plummet, gold can be trusted to continue trading steadily in the background, preserving a portion of the investor's wealth. From the 19th century until 1971, gold was the basis of an international monetary system under the gold standard (this means that national currencies were fixed on gold at a fixed price per ounce or were defined in terms of the weight of gold). Gold is durable to the point of being practically indestructible, since it cannot be destroyed by water (it does not rust), time or fire.
Therefore, part of the reason gold has always had value lies in the psychology and nature of human experience. Silver, which shares many of the qualities of gold, has an annual production of around 1 billion ounces, compared to 150 million ounces of gold.