Some commodities command massive economic, social, and political influence. This title examines the business around gold, one of the most sought-after and valuable metals on Earth. It explores gold's historical significance as a monetary standard and as the motivator for boom-or-bust expansion as well as gold's contemporary ties to underdeveloped economies, the environment, and technological innovation. Features include essential facts, a glossary, selected bibliography, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Essential Library is an imprint of Abdo Publishing, a division of ABDO.