Gold is a precious metal that has been prized by humans for thousands of years. Today, gold is used in a variety of applications, from decorative jewelry to electronic devices and medical therapies. Being unique among precious metals for its color, luster, and resistance to tarnishing, gold is also malleable, meaning it can be hammered into thin sheets or drawn into wire. Gold is abundant enough that coins can be produced, but also rare enough so that it can only be produced in limited quantities. Here are 10 interesting facts about gold that you may not know.
10 Interesting Facts About Gold
1) Gold Arrived From Space
Geologists believe that almost all the gold on Earth arrived here during meteorite storms more than two billion years ago. These meteorites are thought to have formed following the collision of exotic stars several billion years ago. According to this theory, gold and other precious metals were created in the aftermath of these massive stellar explosions. In addition to gold, these interstellar collisions are also thought to have produced large quantities of iron, silicon, and other elements.
2) How Much Gold is on Earth?
To date, humans have mined almost 180,000 tonnes of gold. In addition to its aesthetic value, gold is also used in a variety of industrial and electronic applications.
3) Gold is a Noble Metal
Gold is a precious metal that is prized for its beauty, rarity, and resistance to degradation. It is relatively unreactive, meaning that it does not corrode or tarnish easily. Gold also resists degradation by air, moisture, and acidic conditions. While acids can dissolve most metals, gold is one of the few exceptions. A special mixture of acids called aqua regia is required to dissolve gold.
4) Can You Eat Gold?
But did you know that gold is also edible? In fact, gold leaf is frequently used to decorate food gifts in Asian cultures, and many variations of gold-infused liquor can be found throughout the world. Gold can also be found in some medicines, where it is used to bind other ingredients together or add a decorative touch. While gold is safe to consume in small quantities, eating large amounts can be dangerous.
5) Gold is Extremely Ductile
A single ounce of gold (about 28 grams) can be stretched into a gold thread 5 miles (8 kilometers) long. Gold threads can even be used in embroidery.
6) Why is Gold Referred to as AU?
The element symbol for gold—Au—comes from the old Latin name for gold, aurum, which means "shining dawn" or "glow of sunrise." The pure element has been known since ancient times.
7) Gold is the Most Malleable Element
Malleability is a measure of how easily a material can be hammered into thin sheets. Gold is the most malleable element. A single ounce of gold can be beaten into a 300-square-foot sheet. A sheet of gold can be made thin enough to be transparent. Very thin sheets of gold may appear greenish blue because gold strongly reflects red and yellow.
8) Is the US Dollar Fixed to Gold Price?
After the Second World War, the United States wanted to create a stable global economy. To do this, they proposed the Bretton Woods System. Under this system, gold was fixed at $35 per troy ounce. This meant that other currencies could be pegged to the dollar, creating stability. However, physical gold could not keep up with the demand. The US abandoned the system in 1971, leading to a period of instability.
9) Gold Has Many Uses
Among other applications, it is used in electronics, electrical wiring, dentistry, medicine, radiation shielding, and in coloring glass.
10) How Pure is 24-carat Gold?
The purity of gold is expressed in terms of fineness, which is the parts per thousand of gold in the alloy. The higher the fineness, the purer the gold. The most common gold purity used in jewelry is 24-karat gold, which is 99.99% gold. Other common gold purities include 22-karat gold (91.6% gold), 18-karat gold (75% gold), and 9-karat gold (37.5% gold).
How Can I Get Gold?
You can conveniently buy gold in the USA from online brokers, auction stores, and physical stores. The option to buy from overseas mints and dealers is also there; however, you cannot buy directly through the US mint.
Collecting gold is not only an exciting hobby for enthusiasts but also a future-proof investment. Consider this one if you’re looking for a reliable investment for your future.
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