Gold in South America had a spiritual importance. Its brilliance evoked the Sun — the golden disk that nourished the Earth. In Peru and Colombia, goldsmiths made some of the most spectacular treasures of the ancient world. Cast and hammered, gold was transformed into sacred offerings for tombs and temples. Europeans, by contrast, saw gold as a commodity — the ultimate symbol of wealth. For decades, Europeans searched in vain for El Dorado, the legendary Golden One. Although many golden treasures were melted down for bullion, magnificent works of art are preserved in the museums of Peru and Colombia.