The history of gold mining and the different methods for retrieving and producing gold from the earth is quite extensive. Gold has been extracted as early as 2000BC with the ancient roman civilization and has never stopped being mined since then. While the techniques have shifted slightly over the years, the process of finding gold and converting it into wealth has remained consistent and today you can sell gold for cash with ease. It is an interesting history to examine how this gold originally came from the earth.
The Roman civilization as we know were well advanced in their approach to science and this benefited their approach to gold mining. Hydraulic mines and pumps were used to excavate gold from various regions were it was discovered. Gold discoveries prompted the capture and expansion of several territories and countries by the Roman Empire. When gold was mined it was often used to produce coinage and served as the primary source of currency or exchange for goods and services where money really represented its value. Mining with the use of gold panning techniques also most-likely goes back to the Romans. This mining technique requires a prospector to slosh sediment containing gold in a pan with water using the naturally higher density of the metal to shift it to the bottom of the pan and all other dirt or rock forced out on top.
Between the time frame of 1840 to year 2000, the capacity of gold extraction has exploded with world gold production starting at a mere 1 ton growing to currently around 2500 tons. Over this time frame the significance of gold in financial terms hasn't changed with people who continue to sell gold for cash. The increase in production, however, can be attributable to more advanced machinery and mining practices. Hard rock mining is performed when gold is found in cased in rock and requires heavy machinery or explosives to grind rock down to the point that gold can be separated. For gold that is found in veins on loose soil, rock, or sentiment a common process of either dredging or sluicing is performed. These techniques are very similar to panning by allowing the gold to settle to the bottom, but are more practical in commercial application.
These are just a few of the courses your gold may have followed over the course of its use in human history. No matter what the case, it is always possible to sell gold for cash so that it may continue to follow its path and purpose in the human world.