Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79. It is one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In a pure form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Chemically, It is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs in free elemental form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver and also naturally alloyed with copper and palladium.
Because of its unique qualities, Au has been the one material that is universally accepted in exchange for goods and services. In the form of coins or bullion, It plays a major role as a high-denomination currency.
Properties of Gold
- Being very good conductors of heat and electricity, the metal does not get affected by air and most reagents.
- The element is corrosion resistant and is present in deposits of alluvium and veins.
- The most common Au compounds include chloroauric acid and auric chloride.
- To provide more strength to the metal, another soft metal is alloyed to it.
- It is also soft and the most malleable and ductile of the elements; 28 grams of gold can be beaten out to 187 square feet in extremely thin sheets called gold leaf.
Uses of Gold
- The metal is mainly used to manufacture jewelry, glass, and different parts in electronics items.
- It can be made into thread and used in embroidery.
- A thin layer of this metal is used on the windows of a large building for reflecting the heat of sun rays.
- Au is also used in medicine. Its radioactive isotope Au-198 is used for the treatment of the tumor.
Facts About Gold
- The metal consumes around 75 % of the jewelry across the world.
- The element is abundant on the planet at 0.03g per 1000kg background level.
- The atomic symbol of gold ‘Au’ comes from the Latin word “aurum”.
- A gold layer (thin coating) is done on astronaut helmets to protect them from UV radiation.
- The price of the metal is determined through trading in the gold.