A gold mining settlement has existed in the area since Roman times, when it was known as a municipium under the name of Ampellum. The name Zlatna (derived from the Slavic term for gold) was first recorded in a 1347 document. In 1387, it was awarded town status. During 1619-1620 Gabriel Bethlen, brought to Zlatna a few hundred German and Slovakian settlers for mining work. Zlatna regained its town status in 1968, after a time when it was officially a commune.