How to Get Rich, 1556

painting of woman gathering rain of coins in apron Detail from Artemisia Gentileschi, Danaë (1612)

“Dear Past, How can I get rich?”

Of all ways whereby great wealth is acquired by good and honest means, none is more advantageous than mining… So let the farmers have for themselves the fruitful fields and cultivate the fertile hills for the sake of their produce; but let them leave to miners the gloomy valleys and sterile mountains, that they may draw forth from these, gems and metals which can buy, not only the crops, but all things that are sold.

Georgius Agricola, De re metallica (trans. Herbert Clark Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover)

If you really want to get rich, quit your zucchini farming and go find some gems and metals. You may not have considered how many things you can buy with a mine full of gems, but the answer is: all the things.