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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT GOLD

Published: 21/09/2020

Gold runs like a golden thread throughout the history of mankind. Although gold is one of the rarest metals, it was the very first to be discovered. The Incas held the view that gold was closely allied to the sun – they referred to gold as the ‘blood of the sun’. The coped with the non-availability of iron by using gold for almost every conceivable commodity.

This precious metal was used for such everyday items as jugs, plates, combs, and every eyebrow tweezers! Egyptian Pharaohs, Roman Emperors, medieval alchemists, Inca Priests, Spanish conquistadors, the gold rush diggers, all shared the same fascination for gold. Gold is the symbol of eternal wealth and glory. Gold is soft and easy to work with. It does not tarnish. Coins that were found after it have been on the ocean floor for centuries, had the same lustre the day they had the day when the ship that transported them, sunk. The chemical symbol for gold is “Au”- from the Latin word for gold : “Aurum”. This mysterious, lustrous, eternal metal which has shaped the destiny of peoples from 5,000 BC to our day, has become as much a part of our daily life as the clothes we wear. Formal or casual, fun or sober, classical or modern, gold jewellery can be all or any of these to suit your style and personality.

Scientists estimate that there are about 25 tons of pure gold dissolved in a square kilometer of sea water, meaning that there is about 9,000 million tons of pure gold in our oceans. This is more than 180 times the total yield of gold taken from mines throughout the history of humanity. It is true that when you take a swim in the ocean, your body is actually surrounded by thousands of minute flakes of pure gold. This gold flows into the oceans via the rivers. Unfortunately no economic way of extracting this gold from our oceans could yet be found!

Pure gold is indestructible, it will not corrode, rust or tarnish and cannot be destroyed by fire. All the gold taken from the earth during all of recorded history is still being melted and re-melted and used again and again.

Gold is not only used in jewellery. Dentists have been making use of gold for a very long time. Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity and is used in some undersea cable systems, calculators, electrical contractors, telephones, radio and TV equipment. Gold plated windows are an innovation that is becoming more and more popular in America. Windows coated with a thin layer of gold reflect the sun’s heat and keep rooms and offices surprisingly cool. Gold is used in a similar way to protect the Spacecraft from cosmic rays and even the visors on the helmets of the astronauts are given a layer of gold.

In the world of medicine, gold is being used for muscle injections to relieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and gold leaf was has been found to be a successful way of to dress skin ulcers.

Tycho Brahe, the famous Danish astronomer, wore a false nose made of solid gold to compensate for the one he has lost !

Statisticians say that in six millenniums only about 9,000 tons of gold has been extracted from the earth. The mind boggles when one assesses that considerably more than 90,000 tons of steel is produced every single hour of the day. A ton of rock from the average South African gold mine will yield about 14 grams (less than 1⁄2 ounce) of gold. If all the gold that has ever been mined was lumped together, it would make a cube no larger than 13.75 cubic meters.

Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all known metals. The malleability of gold is so phenomenal that one troy ounce (equal to one full Krugerrand) can be beaten into a thin transparent film of less than .0009mm measuring roughly 5 meters on a side!

Today gold is the only metal used as an international monetary commodity.

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