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- Gold is a yellow colored metal, although it may be black, ruby, or purple when finely divided. Gold is the most malleable and ductile metal. One ounce of gold can be beaten out to 300 square feet.
- Gold is virtually indestructible and has been highly valued throughout history. Humans have always recycled it. Upwards of 85% of all the gold ever found is still being used today.
- Pure gold is measured in troy weight, but when gold is alloyed with other metals the term karat is used to express the amount of gold present.
- Gold is usually alloyed to increase its strength. There are two types of white gold alloys: white gold mixed with nickel and white gold mixed with palladium. Nickel can be mixed with gold, but some people are allergic to nickel. Copper mixed with gold produces pink and rose tone gold.
- Gold was probably the first metal worked by prehistoric man. Gold objects found in Bulgaria date back to 4,000 B.C.
- Gold has been used in medicine since 1927, when it was found to be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Even before then it was used in dentistry, in fillings and false teeth. Because it is non-toxic and biologically benign, gold is perfect for many medical applications. Surgeons use gold instruments to clear blocked coronary arteries. In another medical procedure, gold pellets are injected into the body to help obstruct the spread of prostate cancer in men. Gold is also used in lasers, which allow surgeons to seal wounds quickly or treat once-inoperable heart conditions. Thin gold wires are used in many surgical procedures to provide strong and inert support.
- Gold has been located on 90% of the earth’s surface and is mined in deserts, high mountain ranges, in the deeply weathered soil of the tropics and in the permanently frozen ground of the Arctic.
- Conrad Reed found a seventeen pound lump of gold on his father's North Carolina farm in 1799, the first documented discovery of gold in the United States. The family used it for a door stop for three years before the lump was identified. Eventually, Reed started the nation's first commercial gold mine.
- Gold foil was wrapped around the Apollo lunar landing modules to protect the astronauts from radiation. A thin gold film over the astronauts' visors is still used to protect their eyes from glare.
- The largest reservoirs of gold on the surface of the earth, an estimated 10 billion tons, are the oceans. Unfortunately, there is no practical, cost effective way to get it out. For more than 6000 years gold has been considered symbolic of power, wealth and status. In 1350 B.C. the Egyptian boy king, Tutankhem, was interred in a coffin elaborately cast from 242 pounds of solid gold. Throughout recorded history men and women have adorned their bodies with gleaming gold. The ancient Custom of exchanging gold during marriage ceremonies continues today.
- Atomic Number - 79
- Melting Point - 1947.52 degrees F. (1064.18 degrees C.)
- Atomic Weight = 196.96655
- Number of Neutrons - 118
- Protons/Electrons - 79