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The Properties of Gold

August 04, 2010248 view(s)

The element gold has an atomic number of 79 and the symbol Au, which comes from the Latin aurum, meaning “shining dawn.” Because of its properties, gold has been highly sought after for all of human history and has a number of practical uses.

Gold is very malleable and ductile—in fact, it is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. What this means is that a single ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet that is 300 square feet large. This is why gold can be in the form of coins or bullion or also in the form of gold leaf.

Because gold is so soft, it is often combined with other metals to form an alloy, which it does easily. Colored gold is an example of an alloy that is created with gold. By adding silver or copper, the color of gold can be changed from yellow to other colors, such as white or green.

Gold is also an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Although silver is an even better conductor, gold is still sometimes used due to its increase resistance to corrosion. Gold as a conductor isn’t common due to its price, but in uses where failure can be catastrophic, such as in spacecraft, the creators will turn to gold.

Pure gold has absolutely no taste or nutritional qualities, but is still sometimes used in food, especially gourmet food. Gold leaf or gold dust is sometimes used to adorn dishes and the German liqueur Goldwasser contains gold flakes as well.

Because of its beauty, its malleability and its resistance to tarnishing, gold has been a historically popular choice for jewelry, coinage and pieces of art. Pieces of jewelry and art containing gold have been found dating back six thousand years. The ancient Egyptians rose to power on their gold resources and plenty of gold artifacts have been found in Egyptian pyramids.

The United States Gold Bureau has a wide selection of gold coins and bullion for you to add to your collection. Give us a call today 800-775-3504 and speak with one of our specialists about our current inventory and prices.

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