For millennia, gold has always been treated as the symbol of wealth and luxury. People have fought wars and conquered different lands in the name of gold. A single pound of it is enough to cause conflict between people. Nowadays, however, we find gold in just about anywhere and pay little attention to it. While it is still considered a valuable commodity, it’s been shrouded in mystery and misconceptions. Here are some of the most interesting facts you probably never knew about gold.
1. The Origin of Gold
Gold is one of the most readily available substances on Earth. It forms in relatively small amounts from the ashes of supernovas and stars. The element is taken from the Earth’s crust by the process of erosion and mining. It is also found in the sea, as well as in rivers, streams, and even underground lakes.
2. Gold is Rare in Space
Even though there might be billions of stars in our galaxy, the element gold is scarce in space. The reason behind this is that the high concentration of iron oxide in the core of a supernova star makes the metallic substance separate into layers of iron and gold during the process of combustion. As a result, the star has a multitude of iron and very little gold, if any.
3. Gold Doesn’t Rust
As we know, oxygen is the main component that causes metals to rust. Over time, it interacts with the metal’s surface and breaks it down slowly, causing it to corrode and lose its shine. This is not the case with gold, and the coating of non-rusting material on its surface has been considered to be one of the best in the industry.
4. Gold is a Great Thermal Conductor
Gold is also an excellent thermal conductor. This means that the heat is transferred from the bottom of the pan to the top through it very fast. In certain cases, for example, when making jewelry, this is a very important property, especially if the object is going to be worn on the skin. Gold has three times better conductivity than copper, which is considered one of the best thermal conductors.
5. Gold is Toxic in Large Amounts
Gold is an element that is not very harmful to the human body. However, in larger amounts, it can cause serious problems. If too much is ingested, the body will be unable to process it, and it will accumulate on the skin and in the abdomen. Biologically, gold is similar to iron and nickel, and the human body treats it like a foreign matter which makes it harmful.
6. Gold is the Most Malleable Metal
In the world of metals, gold is the most malleable one. However, due to the fact that it is quite soft, it hardens when it cools down. This characteristic, along with a very high melting point, is the reason it is used to make elaborate jewelry and other things that require fine attention to detail.
7. Gold Can Change Color
The colour of gold is determined by the presence of different compounds in it. When gold is in the presence of oxygen in the air and the level of free sulphide, the colour of the gold changes from yellow to green. In the presence of chlorine, it reaches a dark brown colour. However, if in the presence of hydrogen, the gold changes to black and becomes very soft.
8. There are Two Types of Gold
Gold is not just gold. The element has two isotopes: Au-197 and Au-198. While the former is the most commonly used by jewellers and craftsmen, the latter has a longer period of thermal stability and is used in industry. The gold used in jewelry is usually around 90% Au whereas the gold used in industry is up to 98% Au.
Gold is a metal that has been used since time immemorial. The fact that gold is the symbol of wealth and luxury is just the beginning of its many mysteries. It is a very useful material, and massive quantities of it are incorporated into everyday objects. There are very few substances on the planet that are as useful and important as gold.
Newfoundland Gold is an alliance of companies focused on advancing mineral exploration and mining projects in Canada’s Newfoundland. The province’s blossoming gold sector is one of its oldest and most successful industries to date, which is what the alliance is trying to protect and sustain. Sign up for our newsletter today to receive updates about Newfoundland Gold.