Gold is what makes Gaia go ’round. Before you get excited, let me clarify that this is Gaia gold. It’s good only for buying items for your avatar, or to access particular site features. This is no different from the paper money you get when you play Monopoly. In other words, Gaia gold is useless outside Gaia.Anything you do on Gaia earns you gold. When you refresh the page or click another link on the site, you get 1g. When you post, you earn gold. When you answer polls (yeah, a topic can have a poll), you earn gold. There are more ways that you can earn gold, but these three are the most common.
Other users can also donate gold to you. Some users take advantage of this and go begging for gold through posts. They also send private messages to users whose avvies look rich (with lots of nice clothes and items). There’s a charity subforum where altruistic users raise funds for those who just joined Gaia and have no good clothes and shoes.
With the gold, you can buy clothes and items, which goes into your inventory and can be equipped on your avvy. Gaia has a wide range of clothes and items that you can get your grimy paws on, and it’ll probably be safe to say that you can create an avvy that is unique.