51 Gold Facts: Things You Didn't Know About The Precious Metal | Kidadl


51 Gold Facts: Things You Didn't Know About The Precious Metal

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Gold is an extraordinary precious metal.

Our knowledge of gold is limited to a few facts only. Other than being a precious metal for making jewelry, it has some other exciting dimensions as well.

It is said that gold has been in existence since 4000 BC. Not only does it contribute to the creation of jewelry, but it also plays a role in the construction of ancient Egyptian tombs. Read on to learn interesting facts about gold that you might've not heard of!

History And Origin

Gold has always been the symbol of purity, power, and beauty that has attracted human civilization since it was discovered. Among the other precious metals, gold has a significance all of its own for its beauty and usefulness.

According to the National Mining Association, the first use of gold was in modern-day Eastern Europe around 4000 BC. The primary use of it was in making decorative items and gold jewelry.

Around 1500 BC, the use of gold was limited to making idols and ornaments in general. But in the upcoming years, ancient Egypt showed a more helpful way of using gold by using it as a medium of exchange. The traders' use of Nubia made it possible for them to use it as an exchange agent for international trade and commerce.

The use of gold coins has been evidenced in history for a long time. But the use was that of minted gold coins that people used to hammer in their homes. Basically, they were not minted by any authority in power.

The homemade coins had different shapes and sizes, which made them hard to regulate.

The method used in making the coins at home was called the clipping method. But the problem with this method was that anybody could clip off small bits from the coins and accommodate enough gold pieces to make more coins.

Another problem with this method was that the results were not the same in measurements.

Egypt minted its gold coins officially, called Shekels, as a standard unit of measure. It weighed 0.39 oz (11.3 g). Afterward, it became a trusted unit of measurement in the Middle East.

The Egyptians tried every possible way to make gold more useful. Around 1200 BC, after discovering the fact that gold could be alloyed with other metals to make it stronger and give different colors, they used this process for various purposes.

Another experiment that the Egyptians started at this point was the lost-wax casting method. The method was used in the creation of replicas of intricate wax sculptures into gold ones. The effectiveness of this method has kept it alive in the present time as well.

The Babylonians were the first to discover the fire assay method, which is a process of testing the purity of gold. This method has proven effective to date and is very much in use as well.

After the Egyptians introduced the use of gold coins, it gradually became the common medium of trade and commerce in different countries. Around 560 BC, the first minting of pure gold coins began in Lydia, Asia Minor.

The Roman-issued gold coin was named Aureus. Aureus is derived from the Latin term for gold, 'aurum'.

In 1284, Great Britain issued its first-ever gold coin, the Florin. In comparison, the Republic of Florence issued their first gold coin, the Ducat. The Ducat became the most popular gold currency on earth, and the position was maintained for almost five centuries.

The US issued its first gold coin in 1792.

According to the data of 2020, the largest gold producing country on earth is China, which produces 11% of the world's gold production.

The largest gold ore on earth is situated in Muruntau, Uzbekistan, and in India, the largest gold ore is located in Bihar.

In understanding the importance of gold, the mention of the goldrush is a mandatory topic. A goldrush, or gold fever in simple language, is the discovery of gold that creates a rush among the miners to take a chance on their luck. Some of the most important goldrushes took place around the 19th century in Brazil, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and many other places.

Characteristics Of Gold

The shiny, golden luster of gold makes it more attractive than other metals when it comes to using it for ornamental purposes. But, you can't even imagine what characteristics it has and how it is usable in many other fields as well.

A yearly supply of 78% pure gold is used for making jewelry. 12% of it goes to the medical, electronic, and dental industries. The rest of the 10% is for financial transaction purposes.

Gold is an extraordinary conductor of electricity and heat as it remains conducive for a longer period of time. But, because of its high value, the electronic industry has replaced it with copper and other metals.

Gold has a high reflective capacity for heat and light. For this specific quality, the astronauts' helmets are given a very thin layer of gold, which is at the same time transparent as well. The transparency lets the astronauts see through it, and at the same time, it resists the heat and light from the sun.

Gold is very malleable and soft, making it very easy to flatten into thin sheets used for gold rooms.

The reason why metalsmiths are ready to give the value of gold is that it is soft and can be hammered, twisted, and stretched easily. In simple terms, it is easy to mold into various shapes.

Its ductility allows it to transform itself into thin wires.

Gold is a nonreactive element to oxygen, acids, and solutions, which allows it to hold its natural color for eternity.

Gold is a symbol of luxury, and it is edible as well. Therefore, it is often used in the food industry to add royalty to the food.

The majority of pure gold is reserved in the planet's core, and the reservation was made when the earth was molten.

Seawater is a decent source of gold. For example, South Africa's Basin has produced 22% of the Earth's gold.

It is possible to create gold from other metals, and this was made possible by the neutron bombardment of mercury by Japan in 1924.

There are more or less 33 types of gold colors.

Gold has a very high recycling rate due to its high value.

Medical usage of gold is nothing new. The trace of gold in medicine has been noted in the Greek medical encyclopedia.

Jewelry is not made with pure gold because the softness of pure gold makes it incapable of holding shapes. So, it is a gold alloy that is used in jewelry making.

Egyptian gold sculptures are important historical artifacts.

Chemistry And Occurrence

The term 'gold' is a derivation from the Latin word 'aurum', and the symbol of gold, Au, is influenced by that.

The atomic number of gold is 79, and it is one of the highest naturally occurring higher atomic number elements.

Gold is classified as a transition metal and belongs to group 11 of the periodic table.

It is solid under standard conditions.

Gold is considered the least reactive material.

Gold is a ductile metal in its pure form.

The metals that gold is generally alloyed with are copper and palladium.

Gold is acid-resistant, but it can be dissolved in aqua regia, a solution of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid.

Another thing that gold can dissolve in is alkaline solutions of cyanide. This solution is used for mining and electroplating.

The atomic weight of gold is 196.96657u.

Gold's melting point is 1,945.4 F (1,063 C), and the boiling point is 5,370.8 F (2,966 C).

The special gravity, or density, of gold is 11.1 oz per cubic in (19.32 grams per cubic centimeter) at 68 F (20 C).

The oxidation states of gold are +1, +3.

The electron configuration of gold is [Xe]4f145d106s1.

The electronegativity of gold on the Pauling scale is 2.54.

The atomic radius of gold is 166 pm.

Gold ionization energies: first: 890.1 kJ/mol, second: 1980 kJ/mol.

Production And Monetary Use

John Maynard Keynes is an economist who states gold as a 'barbarous relic' to stress its usefulness as money in the past. But, the monetary use of gold is not over in the present era as well.

The gold standard is a monetary system that sets the value of money on the basis of gold. It is an agreement between a society and a monetary institution that signifies the value of their money in relation to gold.

For the central banks of many countries, gold plays the role of a very important asset.

Gold is an indicator of economic health.

Gold can be viewed as similar to currencies like the US dollar, euro, yen, and so on.

Gold will never lose its value and importance until the end of time; rather, it will become more valuable by the day. The qualities it has are the reason behind it. From the beginning of its existence, it has benefited the economy, trade, and commerce and will continue to do so.


What are the properties of gold?

The four properties of gold are that gold is a great conductor of heat and electricity. It is ductile and easy to shape. Gold is highly reflective of heat and light. Its beauty and shine are the reasons for its high value.

What is the price of gold today?

The price of gold as of 2022 is $1920 per 1 oz (28.3 g).

What is the price of gold?

Gold is one of the most valuable metals on the planet, with applications in fields as diverse as medicine and electronics. The ornamental usage of gold is also not ignorable. So, we can say that it has great demand in the market all over the world. In that respect, the value of gold is also high and will continue to increase with time.

What is white gold?

White gold is an alloy of pure gold and other sturdy metals like nickel and copper.

How to clean gold jewelry?

To clean gold jewelry, you can take a liquid dishwasher and warm water solution in a bowl and add a few drops of ammonia to it. The next step will be to dip the jewelry into that solution and rub it with the help of a soft baby toothbrush. Finally, finish the process by washing the product with lukewarm water and letting it air dry.

Q: How is gold formed?

A: Supernovae and neutron star collisions created gold on Earth.

Q: Where is the world's largest known stockpile of gold?

A: China has the world's largest known stockpile of gold.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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