The Incas were an advanced civilization in South America. They were ahead of the Aztecs and many other ancient civilizations in North America because they knew how to mine for precious ores and useful metals.
Mining was mandatory in the Inca Kingdom. It was part of the tax obligation from each of the provinces. The people were forced to mine for copper, bronze, gold, and silver.
The commoner metals (copper and bronze) were often used for tools or weapons, like hammers, pickaxes, and hoes; and the rarer metals (silver and gold) were used for ceremonial purposes.
The Incas called gold "the sweat of the sun" and silver "the tears of the moon". Both were important parts of their ceremonies and were often used to make burial masks and plates, goblets, and other culinary implements for the king and his court. It is said that the inside of the king's palace was made out of solid gold.