Gold is known to mankind for more than six thousand years. Gold is known as a noble metal. The appeal of Gold is universal across humankind. Wars have been fought and empires have been toppled for Gold. Gold is a global currency. Gold has formed the backbone of global economic activities as a reserve currency over the last several centuries. Gold is the most liquid asset known to mankind and is en-cashable in any form, at anytime, anywhere in the world.
Pure gold is yellowish in color. The chemical symbol of gold is Au. The atomic number of gold is 79. The boiling point of gold is at 2856 degree Celsius and the melting point of gold is at 1064 degree Celsius. Gold comprises of 79 protons/electrons and 118 neutrons. The atomic weight of gold is 19.96655 atomic mass per unit. Gold is one of the heaviest metals known to mankind, the weight of gold is around 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter. The specific gravity of gold is 19.32.
Gold has unique properties and does not react with any natural element thus making it virtually indestructible. Gold is one of the most malleable and ductile metal. Gold is the most suitable metal for human adornment and gold has been the most favorite metal for jewellery fabrication among the jewelers. Gold has a rich history and finds a place in most of the religions across the world. Gold is known as an international hedge and has stood by human beings in times of crisis. Gold is inseparable from human past, present and future.
Gold is found both above and below the ground. Initially gold was discovered on riverbeds as nuggets. Currently major production of gold is achieved by underground mining and also through open cast mining. Gold is mined as an ore either in open cast mines or deep underground mines. Finding gold deposits and mining gold is a complex process. Gold is valued primarily for its rare availability. As a thumb rule, to get one part of gold about three hundred thousand parts of gold ore has to be collected and processed.. The mined gold is melted to form dorey gold which is usually between 70% to 90% purity. The dorey gold is further refined into fine gold which is minted or casted in to tradable gold bullion bars of different denominations. Gold purity is denominated in carats and the absolute purity of gold is measured as 24carats.
In the history of human kind about 1,50,000 tons of gold has been mined. Apart from investment and adornment gold is also used in various industries like dentistry, medicine, electronics, satellites, space crafts etc. Major gold producing countries in the world are China, Australia, U.S.A, South Africa, Ghana, Russia, Peru and Indonesia. Currently about 2900 tons of gold is globally mined per annum. The major gold consuming countries are India, China, U.S.A, Countries in the Middle East, Turkey, Italy and U.K. Gold is utilized by most of the countries across the world.
Some interesting facts about gold :
- Mankind has been using gold jewellery for over 6000 years.
- China is the largest producer of gold in the world.
- 2,50,000 gms of rock deposits need to be mined and processed to yield 1 gram of gold.
- The word gold is derived from the old English word ‘gelo’ meaning yellow.
- The chemical symbol of gold is Au, derived from the Latin word “Aurum” for gold.
- Gold is one of the heaviest metals found in nature. One cubic foot of gold weighs approximately 5,00,000 grams. Calculated @ USD 39 per gram, this cube would be valued at USD 19.50 Million.
- If all the gold in the world that has ever been refined formed a single cube it would be 20 meters a side, weighing over 1,50,000 tones. It would sink deep into the ground with its weight.
- Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals.
- 1 gram of gold can be drawn into a wire 1km long or beaten into a sheet of 1 sq meter.
- Gold is virtually indestructible, it does not react with any substance found in nature.
- Gold can be alloyed with different metals to give different colours, such as white, yellow, pink, black, purple and green.
- Globally gold is one of the most liquid and widely accepted form of exchange.
- Gold has proven to be the best financial protection in times of political and economic crises.
- Gold has been used as a widely accepted standard of currency across the world.
- Besides being used in jewellery, gold is used in computers, spacecrafts, medical treatment etc.