Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Properties of Gold

The properties of gold have always been a fascinating subject for man and gold seems to have had an innate attractiveness and allure for man throughout the ages hence the desire to buy gold and keep it either for investment or simply through a desire to have and hold gold.

Gold is a precious metal or chemical element. It has the symbol Au which comes from the Latin aurum which originally came from the ancient Latin word ausom or "yellow". This word compares to the ancient roman word, aurora or ausoso, The "morning glow, the Eastern country, the east". The word is derived from an even more ancient word. The Sanskrit word "hari" meaning yellow.

Apart from its attractiveness for man gold has some very useful properties making it extremely versatile for use as well as simply ownership.

Gold has an atomic number of 79. It is a soft metal, yellow in appearance and does not react to most chemicals, with the exception of chlorine, fluorine, aqua regia and cyanide. Gold will dissolve in mercury to form an amalgam (hence the use of gold in gold teeth) but does not react with it. Gold is the most malleable and ductile of metals which means one gram can be hammered or beaten out to cover a square meter or one ounce will cover 300 square feet and will then appear translucent. The transmitted light through the gold appears greenish blue, as gold strongly reflects yellow and red. It can also be drawn out to a wire thinner than a human hair.

This malleability makes it ideal for jewelry where very intricate and ornate shapes such as filigree can be created.

Gold does not corrode and as it is unaffected by air and is a good conductor of electricity, makes ideal electrical contacts. It is used extensively in electronic components, particularly circuit boards and computers, cell phones and similar products. It is highly reflective and has been used in Space Projects by NASA as well as in medial research.

Gold can even be eaten in minute amounts! Gold leaf is often used as a food decoration and it can also be found in alcoholic drinks such as Goldschl├Ąger, Gold Strike, and Goldwasser. Of course, like any precious metal, if taken to excess an individual can suffer from heavy metal poisoning.

Gold is one of the more useful metals as well as being considered one of the most decorative. It also holds its value against just about any currency you care to name and makes a great investment for the future for the person who wants to buy gold.

It could be said that the properties of gold include not just its physical characteristics but also its ability to attract such an enormous interest to itself!

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