And the purity of the metal will also greatly effect the value of the metal. 24-karat gold is the most pure and the most expensive. At today's prices, 10 grams of 14-karat is worth $235.11, while 10 grams of 24-karat gold is worth $415.77. The quantity of the karat of the gold represents the purity of the gold.
But how does gold go from a rock to a shiny bar? Have you ever heard of the refiner's fire?
Psalm 66:10 "For you, O God, tested us; you purified us like refined silver."
Oh, yeah. The refiner's fire. For gold, which has no nerve endings, senses, or feelings, this may be a hot process but it is not a painful one. But for us....who do have those pesky feelings and such...it is not necessarily pleasant. All right, it is usually most unpleasant. It can even be painful.
Proverbs 17:3 "The crucible is for refining silver and the furnace is for gold,
likewise the Lord tests hearts."
Why would God test and purify our hearts, which causes pain, if He loves us?
Because He loves us.
Because He loves us too much to let us rest in our impurities. In gold, those impurities are called dross. Merriam-Webster defines dross as: the scum that forms on the surface of molten metal; waste or foreign matter. Ummm.....I don't think I want "scum" in my life. It makes me think of the nasty, smelly green stuff floating on top of a stagnant pond. I don't want any of that!
But this definition makes me think of something else as well. When I think about the dross as foreign matter I realize man was not designed "in the beginning" to be a substance containing "scum". When man was created "in the image" of his Creator, there was no scum, no foreign matter, no waste. Oh, the terrible destruction and cost of sin. It pollutes and contaminates our hearts and our minds.
So, we enter, by our loving Father's leading, into the fire. In the old hymn "How Firm a Foundation", this picture is beautifully painted with words:
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
God is the pure and holy One, and to the greatest degree possible Believer's want to reflect Him. And the gold of our lives will reflect Him better if it is clean and pure and shiny. He does not place our path through the fiery trials because He does not care for us. On the contrary. Just like when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the fire (Dan. 3), when we are in the fire we are not in the fire alone. When He places us in the fire, He stays with us all along.
I Peter 1:7: "