Gold is something that has been coveted by humans for thousands of years, and the lust for the yellow shiny metal seems only to get stronger. So what is it about gold that makes our eyes light up, even though there is little use for it other than decoration?
The Properties of Gold
When looked at from a scientific perspective, gold is inert and does not react with very many other elements. Gold is also the most malleable and ductile out of all of the other metals. If you took one single ounce of this relatively soft and shiny metal, you could make a thin wire up to 80 kilometres long. You could also beat the same amount into a thin sheet 9 meters squared, which would leave the gold around 0.000018 cm thick.
Other properties of gold are that it is very resistant to heat as well as also being a good conductor of electricity, while it is also is the highest corrosion resistance of all of the metals. The only way to corrode gold is to mix Nitric and Hydrochloric acid, and Gold is also classed as a Noble metal because it does not oxidise.
The Scarcity of Gold
One of the main reasons that the price of Gold is relatively high compared to other more useful metals is the fact that it is so scarce. The rarity of Gold makes people want it all the more, and the market dictates the price. Gold can be quite expensive to mine out of the ground, and the price of gold has a direct relation to the market price. There are estimates that the total amount of gold that has been mined since humans took a fancy to it is around 165,000 metric tons. If you were to split this between every person on the planet, it would give everyone almost 24 grams of gold.
The Beauty of Gold
With Gold being so malleable, it can be made into intricate jewellery that incorporates a high level of detail. You often find that other metals are added to gold, to add strength and rigidity that helps it to stay in shape longer. The adding of alloy metals can also change the colour of the gold, with pure gold looking much more yellow. There are also other colours to Gold such as white, which means that it is possible to make jewellery and decorations in various colours of gold. For thousands of years, humans have been doing wondrous things with gold; it doesn’t look like that will be changing soon!