Gold has driven the world mad, won over the hearts of millions, and made many things possible in a myriad of industries. It has been the root of evil, the source beauty, the gift that keeps on giving. All these uses. Each one having its own purpose, its own distinct application. What is this precious metal that has ingrained itself into cultures worldwide throughout the ages?
Gold has an atomic number of 79. It is one of many chemical elements. A lot of people seek gold, their minds and souls bent on discovering it. It is a precious metal, a unique element. It has many applications. Many purposes: Art being one of them.
Gold is found in rocks. It is usually found in the form of a nugget or grain. You can also find gold in the veins of rocks. These veins are spaces inside the rock that contain crystals.
So what are the characteristics of gold? Gold is soft, shiny, and dense. It is the most malleable metal known to man. Malleable meaning it can be hammered into really thin sheets.
What is pure gold? Pure gold is just that. Gold. No additives or preservatives. It has a bright yellow luster and is considered very attractive. The best part about pure gold is its ability to keep its shine. Its most useful quality is that it does not oxidize in air or water.
Pure gold is not cut out for many practical uses due to it being too soft. Pure gold is hardened by mixing pure gold with other metals. The most popular metal mixed with pure gold is copper. This allows the gold to be shaped and used for a lot of different things. This mixing of metals created a need to measure the amount of pure gold in the mixture. This unit of measure became known as the carat (k).
So how much gold is there in the world? A study was done in 2006 about how much gold had been mined. The results of which discovered that 158,000 tons of gold had been brought up out of the earth by the end of 2006. That is an amazing amount of gold!
Gold has many excellent qualities. It is a great conductor of electricity so it is used in electronics. It has the unique ability to avoid corrosion or oxidation which makes it a perfect metal for dentistry.
Gold has been most known for its use as money. This ended with the introduction of paper currency. The reason being that there is finite amount of gold in the world. Paper money can be printed without limit. The last country to use gold to back their money was Switzerland in 1999.