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Just throwing this out there...
What if, during a turn, a player were to SELL their gold to another player? It is a commodity, and commodities are traded. The game even trades them for resources (the Goldsmith location) so why not put the same mechanic to use during the game?
A player, during their turn, could make any other player an offer. Either resources for gold, OR gold for resources. Instead of using my armies to destroy resources, maybe I try to buy their resources- that maybe I can use right away.
Haven't tried it- only just now thought about it. This would keep the gold circulating in the game and delay the gold end-game trigger. Or a *new* trigger could be introduced: If a player has 3 gold (2? 4?) at the end of their turn, that might trigger the end game...
Please play test your cunning plan a few times with different sets of gamers. Please write it up so you can then blind play test it again with a wide verity of folks. Then post of your findings and your fully developed rules (at no cost to me, of course.)