Gold is a chemical element. Gold is in group 11, the copper group, it has 79 protons in its nucleus. It is a precious metal which has been used as currency. Gold is found in nature as nuggets or grains in rocks, underground and in deposits. It is soft and shiny, and the only metal that is yellow. Gold does not tarnish or corrode, or easily combine with other substances, and thus is found in nature as pure gold.
Gold is significant politically, economically, and culturally. Gold, because of how scarce it is, prevents inflation when currency is based on gold, as when currency can be exchanged for gold. Politically, for much of American history the Republican Party has favored "hard money" (a gold-only standard for currency) while the Democrat Party has favored "soft money" which also uses silver or nothing as a basis for currency.
|“||With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people. — Friedrich August von Hayek||”|
The purity of gold in a compound is measured in Karats, with 24 karats being pure gold. 18 karat gold is three quarters gold, one quarter other elements, and so forth. Gold is usually in alloys because it is soft and pliable.
Due to its characteristics being both resistant to oxidization and rarity on Earth, gold is seen as very valuable. Gold is the basis for a monetary standard used by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Gold is currently in excess of $1500 per ounce.
Because gold is highly conductive and very resistant to oxidation, it is vital in electronics. Gold plating is used on switch contacts, printed circuit boards, and device leads. There is enough gold in electronic devices to make it worthwhile to process discarded devices in order to reclaim the gold in them.
World Production (2018)
Gold production by country in 2018.
|Rank||Country||Production (kg)||Production (%)|
|14||Papua New Guinea||69.1||2.08|
|20||Dem. Rep. of the Congo||44.9||1.35|
Gold is also used in jewelry. However, the New Testament instructs Christian women not to wear gold or pearls. Other uses of gold include aerospace, awards, bullion, coinage, computers, currency backing, dentistry, electronics, glassmaking, gold gilding and gold leaf and medical.
|Periodic Table of the Elements|