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Gold is a remarkable, rare metal, with an unparalleled combination of chemical and physical properties. It is the only yellow metal and bears its name from the Old English word for yellow, ‘geolu’. It is also the only metal that forms no oxide film on it’s surface in air at normal temperatures, meaning that it will never rust or tarnish.
Some Amazing Facts Of Gold
1. Gold is so soft and malleable that an ounce of it could be stretched into a wire 50 miles in length, or be flattened into a sheet 100 square feet in area.
2. Despite its softness, gold is so incredibly dense and heavy that a cubic foot of it weighs half a ton. In 1875, English economist Stanley Jevons calculated that if the 20 million British Pounds in transactions that cleared the London Bankers Clearing House each day were paid in gold coins, it would require 80 strong horses to haul them away.
3.Â Much of today’s gold supply comes not from digging deep mines in search of ore-bearing veins, but from sifting through vast quantities of soil for loose grains eroded from mountains and carried by flowing water. In order to extract South Africa’s annual output of 500 tons of gold, for example, about 70 million tons of earth must be milled â an amount equivalent to the Egyptian pyramid of Cheops in volume.
4. Â While no one knows for certain how most heavier elements like gold are made, what is known about the stellar origin of all elements is that a star’s nuclear furnace can only produce nuclei up to the size of iron (atomic number 26 – gold is 79). The best guess for the source of all heavier elements is the only force in the universe with the enormous energy needed to fuse large nuclei: a supernova explosion. So the next time you hold gold in your hand, try to imagine mind-blowing circumstances of its birth, a genesis that must reach back to before the origin of our Solar System.
5.Â According to the World Gold Council, about 70 percent of the world’s gold output is used for making jewelry. Only about 13 percent is used to make coins, put in nations’ central banks or purchased by investors. The rest goes to a variety of uses, such as industrial applications and dentistry. India is the biggest consumer of gold, snapping up about a quarter of the world’s supply. According to an article in Diamond World magazine, the South Asian nation imports about 800 tons of gold annually, and uses about 600 tons of it to make jewelry.
6.Â The karat, the measurement of the purity of gold, originally was a measure of weight. The unit was named after the fruit of the leguminous carob tree, whose pods each weigh about one-fifth of a gram.
7. Gold is prized not just by jewelers and bankers but by Ativan Dosage electronics manufacturers because its high degree of thermal and electrical conductivity makes it an excellent material for efficient wires and contacts. It’s also durable and highly resistant to corrosion, and so sufficiently malleable that gold alloys can be drawn into extremely thin diameters without breaking.
8.The vast amounts of gold and silver seized by Spanish conquistadors and shipped back across the Atlantic in galleons increased the European supply of precious metals five-fold between 1492 and 1600. But all that gold actually weakened the Spanish empire, rather than enriching it, because the Spanish used it to buy consumer imports rather than investing the wealth in productive enterprises that would generate income. That drove up prices, which made the gold worth less, and Spain wound up amassing huge foreign debts that ultimately led to its decline as an international power.
9.Â In relatively pure form, gold has a characteristic sun-yellow color. But when combined in alloys with other metals â silver, copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, tellurium and iron, among others â it can take on hues ranging from silver-white to green to orange-red.
10.During the fourteenth century, drinking molten gold and crushed emeralds was used as a treatment for the bubonic plaque.
11.Gold and copper were the first metals to be discovered by humans around 5000 B.C. and are the only two non-white-colored metals
12.Â The 40,000 miners who joined the California Gold Rush in 1849 were called â49ersâ. Only a very few ever got rich.
13.Â Gold is almost indestructible which implies that it is immune to physical destruction of any kind and can be recycled and used as many times by the owner.
14.Gold is edible, and is put into fruit, jelly snacks, coffee, and tea in some Asian countries. Even Europeans are known to put gold leaf in bottles of liquor.
15. Outside the lunar module of the United States âApollo â airship was coated with gold foil, with the aim to protect astronauts from radiation. Even now, the helmet worn by astronauts is still coated with a thin gold membrane to protect astronautâs eyes from intense light.
16. Gold is the only precious metal that is yellow or golden in colour.
17.Two thirds of the world’s supply of gold comes from South Africa. US sources include South Dakota and Nevada. The UK has a small amount in Wales.
18. Only 88000 tons of gold have been mined from the earth since records were kept.
19. In gold reserve, the United States ranks first in the world. However, if included the gold ornaments, then India will grab the top spot, twenty percent of the gold used as decoration in the world, were used in Indian saris.
20. The methods of refining gold will destroy the environment in some extent. Gold mine will dumped a lot of cyanide into the ditch, and pour the nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides into the air.
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