GOLD 101

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 11:59pm.

101 fascinating facts you may or may not know about gold...

1. Gold is money.

2. Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au.

3. The atomic number of gold is 79.

4. Gold has been sought for coinage, jewelry, and arts since the beginning of recorded history.

5. Gold occurs as nuggets, grains in rocks, veins, and alluvial deposits.

6. Gold is shiny, soft, and dense.

7. Gold is the most malleable metal known.

8. Gold is the most ductile metal known.

9. Gold has a bright yellow color which is maintained without oxidization in air or water.

10. Gold is a coinage metals and serves as a symbol of wealth and store of value.

11. Gold has been linked to a variety of symbolisms and ideologies.

12. A total of 161,000 tons of gold have been mined in human history.

13. Modern industrial uses of gold include dentistry and electronics.

14. Gold is used because of its resistance to oxidative corrosion and its quality as a conductor of electricity.

15. Gold is a transition metal.

16. Gold is chemically least reactive.

17. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and other base metals.

18. Nitric acid is used to confirm the presence of gold in items.

19. In 2008 China overtook South Africa as the world's largest gold producer, the first time since 1905 that South Africa has not been the largest.

20. In all of history, the 161,000 tons of  gold that have been mined are barely enough to fill two Olympic-size swimming pools

21. An ounce of gold can be beaten into 300 square feet.

22. Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become translucent.

23. Gold readily creates alloys with many metals.

24. The alloys gold creates can be produced to modify the hardness and metallurgical properties and control the melting point or create exotic colors.

25. Gold is used as a conductor of heat and electricity.

26. Gold reflects infrared radiation strongly.

27. Gold is chemically unaffected by air, moisture and most corrosive reagents.

28. Gold ions in solution are readily reduced and precipitated out as gold metal.

29. High quality pure metallic gold is tasteless.

30. Gold is very dense, a cubic meter weighing 19300 kg.

31. The color of pure gold is metallic yellow.

32. Gold, cesium and copper are the only metallic elements with a natural color other than gray or white.

33. Gold reacts differently, depending on subtle relativistic effects that affect the orbital around gold atoms.

34. Common colored gold alloys such as rose gold can be created by the addition of various amounts of copper and silver.

35. Gold has only one stable isotope, Au, which is also its only naturally occurring isotope.

36. Gold has been widely used throughout the world as a vehicle for monetary exchange, either by issuance and recognition of gold coins or other bare metal quantities, or through gold-convertible paper instruments by establishing gold standards in which the total value of issued money is represented in a store of gold reserves.

37. The amount of gold in the world is finite and production has not grown in relation to the world's economies.

38. Today, gold mining output is declining.

39. In the 20th century, the world's gold reserves and their trading market have become a small fraction of all markets and fixed exchange rates of currencies.

40. At the beginning of World War I the warring nations moved to a fractional gold standard, inflating their currencies to finance the war effort.

41. After World War II gold was replaced by a system of convertible currency following the Bretton Woods system.

42. Gold standards and the direct convertibility of currencies to gold have been abandoned by world governments, being replaced by fiat currency instead.

43. Switzerland was the last country to tie its currency to gold; it backed 40% of its value until the Swiss joined the International Monetary Fund in 1999

44. Pure gold is too soft for day-to-day monetary use and is typically hardened by alloying with copper, silver or other base metals.

45. The gold content of alloys is measured in carats (k).

46. Pure gold is designated as 24k.

47. Gold coins intended for circulation from 1526 into the 1930s were typically a standard 22k alloy called crown gold, for hardness.
48. Modern bullion coins for investment purposes do not require good mechanical wear properties and are typically fine gold at 24k.

49. The American Gold Eagle, the British gold sovereign, and the South African Krugerrand continue to be minted in 22k metal in historical tradition.

50. The Special issue Candadian Gold Maple Leaf coin contains the highest purity gold of any bullion coin, at 99.999% or .99999 finess, while the popular issue Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin has a purity of 99.99%.

51. The Australian Gold Kangaroos was first coined in 1986 as the Australian Gold Nugget, while its kangaroo theme appeared in 1989.

52. There are several coins of the Australian Lunar Calendar series, and the Austrian Philharmonic.

53. In 2006, the United States Mint began production of the American Buffalo gold bullion coin with a purity of 99.99%.

54. Many holders of gold store it in form of bullion coins or bars as a hedge against inflation and other economic disruptions.

55. The ISO 4217 currency code of gold is XAU

56. Because of the softness of pure (24k) gold, it is usually alloyed with base metals for use in jewelry, altering its hardness and ductility, melting point, color and other properties. Alloys with lower caratage, typically 22k, 18k, 14k or 10k, contain higher percentages of copper, or other base metals or silver or palladium in the alloy.

57. Eighteen carat gold containing 25% copper is found in antique and Russian jewelry and has a distinct, though not dominant, copper cast, creating rose gold.

58. Fourteen carat gold-copper alloy is nearly identical in color to certain bronze alloys, and both may be used to produce police, as well as other, badges.

59. Blue gold can be made by alloying with iron and purple gold can be made by alloying with aluminium, although rarely done except in specialized jewelry and is more brittle and therefore more difficult to work with when making jewelry.

60. Fourteen and eighteen carat gold alloys with silver alone appear greenish-yellow and are referred to as green gold.

61. White gold alloys can be made with palladium or nickel.

62. White 18 carat gold containing 17.3% nickel, 5.5% zinc and 2.2% copper is silver in appearance.

63. High-carat white gold alloys are far more resistant to corrosion than are either pure silver or sterling silver.

64. The Japanese craft of Mokume-gane exploits the color contrasts between laminated colored gold alloys to produce decorative wood-grain effects.

65. In medieval times, gold was often seen as beneficial for the health, in the belief that something that is rare and beautiful could not be anything but healthy.

66. Some modern esotericists and forms of alternative medicine assign metallic gold a healing power.

67. Some gold salts have anti-inflammatory properties and are used as pharmaceuticals in the treatment of arthritis and other similar conditions.

68. Only salts and radioisotopes of gold are of pharmacological value, as elemental (metallic) gold is inert to all chemicals it encounters inside the body.

69. Injectable gold has been proven to help to reduce the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis.

70. Gold alloys are used in restorative dentistry, especially in tooth restorations, such as crowns and permanent bridges.

71. Collodial gold preparations in water are intensely red-colored and can be made with tightly controlled particle sizes up to a few tens of nanometers across by reduction of gold chloride with citrate or ascorbate ions.

72. Colloidal gold is used in research applications in medicine, biology and materials science.

73. Gold, or alloys of gold and palladium, are applied as conductive coating to biological specimens and other non-conducting materials such as plastics and glass to be viewed in a scanning electron microscope.

74. Gold produces a high output of secondary electrons when irradiated by an electron beam, and these low-energy electrons are the most commonly used signal source used in the scanning electron microscope.

75. Gold leaf, flake or dust is used on and in some gourmet foods, notably sweets and drinks as decorative ingredient.

76. Gold flake was used by the nobility in Medieval Europe as a decoration in food and drinks, in the form of leaf, flakes or dust, either to demonstrate the host's wealth or in the belief that something that valuable and rare must be beneficial for one's health.

77. Goldwasser, is a traditional herbal liqueur produced in Poland , and Germany, and contains flakes of gold leaf.

78. There some expensive (~$1000) cocktails which contain flakes of gold leaf.

79. Since metallic gold is inert to all body chemistry, when it is eaten it adds no taste nor has it any other nutritional effect and leaves the body unaltered.

80. Gold solder is used for joining the components of gold jewelry by high-temperature hard soldering or brazing.

81. Gold can be made into thread and used in embroidery.

82. The world's oceans hold a vast amount of gold, but in very low concentrations (perhaps 1-2 parts per 10 billion, e.g. every cubic kilometer of water could contain 10 to 20 kg of gold). But more realistic estimates put the amount of gold on average at 13 parts per trillion

83. Gold produces a deep, intense red color when used as a coloring agent in cranberry glass.

84. In photography, gold toners are used to shift the color of silver bromide black and white prints towards brown or blue tones, or to increase their stability.

85. Gold has been known and used by artisans since the Chalcolithic.

86. Gold artifacts in the Balkans appear from the 4th millennium BC, such as that found in the Varna Necropolis.

87. Gold artifacts such as the golden hats and the Nebra disk appeared in Central Europe from the 2nd millennium BC.

88. Egyptian hieroglyphs from as early as 2600 BC describe gold, which king Tushratta Mitanni claimed was "more plentiful than dirt" in Egypt.

89. Egypt and especially Nubia had the resources to make them major gold-producing areas for much of history.

90. The Romans developed new methods for extracting gold on a large scale using hydraulic mining methods, especially in Spain from 25 BC onwards and in Romania from 150 AD onwards.

91. The Mali Empire in Africa was famed throughout the old world for its large amounts of gold.

92. The European exploration of the Americas was fueled in no small part by reports of the gold ornaments displayed in great profusion by Native American people.

93. Although the price of some platinum group metals can be much higher, gold has long been considered the most desirable of precious metals and its value has been used as the standard for many currencies in history.

94. Gold has been used as a symbol for purity, value, royalty, and particularly roles that combine these properties.

95. There is an age-old tradition of biting gold in order to test its authenticity. Although this is certainly not a professional way of examining gold, the bite test should score the gold because gold is a soft metal.

96. Gold in antiquity was relatively easy to obtain geologically, however, 75% of all gold ever produced has been extracted since 1910

97. It has been estimated that all gold ever refined would form a single cube 20 m (66 ft) on a side (equivalent to 8000 m3).

98. One main goal of the alchemists was to produce gold from other substances, such as lead— presumably by the interaction with a mythical substance called the philosopher's stone.

99. In ancient Chinese the symbol for gold was the circle with a point at its center (☉), which was also the astrological symbol and the ancient Chinese character for the Sun.

100. During the 19th century, gold rushes occurred whenever large gold deposits were discovered. The first documented discovery of gold in the United States was at the Reed Gold Mine near Georgeville, North Carolina in 1803

101. Because of its historically high value, much of the gold mined throughout history is still in circulation in one form or another.

January 17, 2010 - source IsraelFinancialExpert

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 11:59pm.