The golden color shines with just existing. Its chromatic characteristics distinguish it from other colors such as red and blue.
But it is not only because of this that this color attracts attention, but because of the precious metal that is traditionally associated with it: gold. And is that this element is very rare in nature, which makes it very valuable.
This is why the color gold has been associated so much with wealth and power, among many other meanings. here we will see what the golden color means in psychology, In addition to some historical curiosities and current uses of this color.
The golden color: how it is obtained and its characteristics
Gold color is one of the rarest and most striking colors. It is named after the most characteristic metal of this color, gold and it is, in truth, a shade of yellow, with a wavelength between 565 and 590 nanometers. The brightness of this color will depend on the light effect of the reflectance of the material.
Although it can be obtained by mixing artificial pigments and other compounds synthesized in the laboratory, gold has always been made with a small amount of gold. The shades are obtained from the metals with which it is mixed. So, yellow or more normal gold is obtained by mixing it with silver and copper. Red gold, most commonly used in the past, contains copper.
This metal is characterized by its resistance to the action of acids and bleaching agents, as well as by its non-oxidation. There is only one way to modify its chemical properties, and that is to subject it to the action of a mixture of concentrated hydrochloric acid and nitric acid, which produces royal water, a substance that can damage gold.
What does the golden color mean in psychology?
The amount of meanings associated with the color gold is very wide, all related to the strong connection between the color and the material from which it was originally obtained. Although this color is related to yellow, its meanings are not the same. Thinking about the color of gold is thinking about the precious metal from which it is obtained.
We can first mention aspects such as wealth, power, abundance, ambition and luxury. It has also been associated with life and happiness, symbolizing success throughout life and in many ways such as work and family.
It has been associated with loyalty. This is due to the very characteristics of the metal from which it was obtained, since gold is a chemical element that does not combine with other elements in the process of being cast. For this reason, wedding rings, which represent the fidelity that the spouses will have with each other, are made with this material.
Although money does not bring happiness, it helps to achieve it, which is why the color gold has also been associated equally with wealth and happiness. Everything that is used to gain wealth is related to this color, such as having very important qualities (for example, a great singer has a “golden voice”). Even though it is not about things of that color, the word “gold” is often used to refer to things that are very expensive, such as petroleum is “black gold”, porcelain and ivory are “gold. White” …
gold it is also associated with pride and merit. It is the color associated with fame and awards, which in themselves represents the outstanding qualities of a person and his victory in obtaining them. There are many prizes which are of this color and which are also called “gold” or “gold”: the Oscars are statuettes in gold, the Golden Globes are awarded to the cinema. ..
Gold is undoubtedly the color of luxury, excess wealth and exorbitant prices. Shiny golden dresses are reserved for special situations, such as important events and parties. Gold jewelry, sometimes so striking that it is no longer elegant, is a symbol of excess wealth, a display of power. Objects that cannot be made of gold are bathed in this material and see their price increase and receive the luxury goods label.
Cultural and historical significance
Although the meanings given to the color golden throughout history do not differ much from those mentioned in the previous section, it is worth highlighting a few curiosities in relation to this particular color.
In the Middle Ages, alchemists were associated with this color. Indeed, they persisted in transforming all matter into precious metal and concentrated their efforts on obtaining and researching the Philosopher’s Stone, which had the power to transform everything it touched into gold, a power shared with the fable of King Midas.
Since gold is, in fact, a shade of yellow, it has also been associated with the Sun.. The rays of the King of the Stars are generally referred to as gold. Another curiosity related to this is how the Incas believed that gold was, in truth, the blood of the Sun. In the same way that this material was associated with the King of the Stars, silver, traditionally considered its antagonist, was associated with the Moon in many cultures.
In painting, the use of gilding has always been linked to paintings with pious patterns. For example, Russian icons of Orthodox churches today retain backgrounds of this color. It is a color that generally sticks to earth tones and also serves to enrich the palette of reds and burgundy. The great Austrian painter Gustav Klimt associated this color with nobility, and his paintings, like “The Kiss”, could not do without this color.
As we have seen previously, wedding rings are not made of gold just because the material is of great value, but because it lasts a long time and keeps the appearance of the first day. Gold never loses its value and is not thrown away. He resists, as any good marriage should. Moreover, after fifty years of marriage, the golden marriage is celebrated.
One curiosity, linked to how this element is viewed with luxury, is the case of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. This particular character hosted a big luncheon in 1980 in which he literally celebrated luxury. Dinners were given golden cutlery, golden cups and potatoes, coated vegetables and roasts, as you would expect, French toast were served.
Some examples of how the color gold has been associated with perverse and negative aspects we have in the case of Thomas More who in 1516 published a story about the plot set in the land of utopia. Here, criminals wore gold chains and performed forced labor.
Another case is that of the James Bond film Goldfinger, (1964) by director Guy Hamilton. In the movie, people come out covered in gold, who claim to see it as a symbol of wealth, however, the gold does not allow them to sweat on their skin and they drown in their own vanity.
In astrology, gold is associated with the sign of Leo (July and August), that is, when the sun is at the top of the firmament. In turn, gold it is associated with the monarchy and the upper echelons of the nobility. Gold is associated with the king, in turn the lion is the king of animals and the sun is the king of the stars.
King Francis I of France ordered 13,600 gold buttons to adorn a single dress. In the 16th century, this man was considered the most elegant of his time. However, to ensure that this continues to be the case, the king has decreed that no one below the crown prince can wear gold clothing.
In heraldry, the golden color is considered one of the most important. Normally, shields cannot have more than one metal represented, either gold or silver, but there is one exception to this rule: the Pope’s shield. The colors of the Vatican flag are gold and white, being in the white part the shield, made of gold and silver studs, in representation at the gates of heaven guarded by Saint Peter.
Below we will see two Quite interesting uses of the color golden, both in the field of health, although far from scientific evidence, and in the commercial field, more precisely in marketing.
Colors, by themselves, do not have healing or magical properties; however, today it has some uses which could be considered, to a greater or lesser extent, to be related to behavioral changes, although this is quite controversial.
in Asian art of Feng Shui, it is normal to put flowers or ornaments in yellow and gold color in a room when trying to fix communication problems with people important to you.
Although as we have seen, colors do not have magical properties that cure problems of any kind, it should be mentioned that in alternative medicine, especially chromotherapy, uses this color to fight, in theory, the psychological disorders such as depression.
They do this because they believe that gold balances the mind, gives energy and gives happiness, although there is no scientific support for such claims. Following the line of beliefs without scientific basis, in other alternative medicines, gold is believed to be used to transmute negative energies. For example, they recommend meditating for 10 to 15 minutes using the color gold to facilitate the flow of words.
Leaving aside the spiritual and mystical world of color therapy and beliefs like that, we move on to something a little more real like marketing. This is where gold is used advertise luxury products or services. How this color is associated with luxury, at the very least, they offer a product under the currency which is gold, gold or “golden” justifies the power to sell it at exorbitant prices.
Premium services, that is, those that offer something that at a normal or free price cannot be obtained, are usually sold in golden tones, which in themselves attract attention and capture people. clients.
However, and resorting to the saying, “It’s not all gold that glitters,” being golden doesn’t mean it’s better, it’s just another strategy for selling a product or service.
- Clarke, T. and Costall, A. (2008). The emotional connotations of color: qualitative research. Color Research and Application, 33 (5): 406-410.
- Heller, I. (2004). Psychology of color. How the colors act on the feelings and the reason. Editorial Gustavo Gill.