The lustre which drew mankind to gold in ancient times has made it the most prized commodity throughout time. Wars have been fought over it, and civilisations have been subjugated and enslaved in the rush to control its sources. In places like Australia, though, the mere possibility of its existence was feared while the country remained a penal colony. Once found though the rush could not be contained. Gold financed great building, paved roads and made Melbourne the most exciting and expensive city in the world for a time. It was stockpiled in banks, and the currencies of nations were valued against it until the twentieth century wars and the Great Depression brought an end to its use as a standard. Its importance as a measure of individual prestige has continues unabated driving prospectors and miners to search for new deposits and to find better means of extracting it from old mines.
Jill Blee is the author of novels and histories, including three titles in Exisle's well-respected Little Red Books series. Jill Blee is a past chairperson of Ballarat Writers and a board member of the Ballarat Mechanics' Institute and the Victorian Writers' Centre. Before returning to Victoria in 1999 she was actively involved for many years in the activities of the New South Wales Writing Centre and the New South Wales Ice Skating Association.