The Gold Coast was the region of West Africa which is now the nation of Ghana. The Gold Coast, Slave Coast, and Ivory Coast were named after the resources there. Early uses of the term refer literally to the coast and not the interior. It was not until the 19th century that the term came to refer to areas that are far from the coast. It was to the east of the Ivory Coast and to the west of the Slave Coast.
It was first colonized by the Portuguese, with settlement in 1482 of the Portuguese Gold Coast. In 1642 this became part of the Dutch Gold Coast, which had been colonized by the Dutch since 1598. The Dutch stayed in the region until 1871, when the last of their settlements were taken over by the British Gold Coast.
There was also the Brandenburger Gold Coast which established a colony in the area in 1682, which later became the Prussian Gold Coast. In 1721 it was sold to the Dutch. The Swedish also had settlements in the area, with the Swedish Gold Coast established in 1650, but seized by Denmark in 1663, and made part of the Danish Gold Coast. The Danes had been in the gold coast since 1658. In 1850 all of the settlements became part of the British Gold Coast.
The British had taken over all of the Gold Coast by 1871. They captured more territory inland in the late nineteenth century after the Ashanti wars. The nation of Ghana was made from the former Gold Coast territory. In 1957 it was one of the first European colonies to become independent.