25 Glittering Facts About Gold That Might Just Amaze You

Posted by , Updated on April 10, 2016

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We have all heard the expression “heart of gold” when someone tries to describe a person’s goodness and kindness. This expression alludes to gold in the sense of something valued for its “goodness” and this is just one of many examples in which gold is used to represent the element of greatness. You’ve probably noticed that Olympic winners are awarded gold medals (though they are mostly silver and coated with only one percent of gold), the Oscar statuettes are coated with gold, as are the Grammy awards, the Golden Globes, and the Nobel Prize medals. But why do we love and value gold so much when there are hundreds of metals on Earth? From as far back in history as we can trace, gold has been considered a precious thing to own. And this lust for gold is not unique to just one culture or another, but to cultures all over the globe, separated by vast distances, a fact that clearly shows that the high value placed on gold was established even before historical records that talk about the spread of civilizations. Of the 118 elements on the periodic table, gold is the one we have always picked to use as currency. Learn more about this fascinating mineral with these 25 Glittering Facts About Gold that might just amaze you.

25

The word gold comes from the Old English word geolu, meaning yellow.

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24

The symbol for gold is Au. The symbol comes from the old Latin name for gold, aurum, which means “shining dawn” or “glow of sunrise.”

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23

Archaeological evidence shows that around 5000 BCE gold and copper became the first metals to be discovered by humans.

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22

The first recorded gold ever discovered in the United States was a seventeen-pound nugget found in Cabarrus, North Carolina. When more gold was discovered in Little Meadow Creek, North Carolina, in 1803, the first US gold rush began.

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21

Gold melts at 1,064.43° Celsius and it can conduct both heat and electricity. It also never rusts.

Melted goldSource: facts.randomhistory.com, Image: Wikimedia

20

Twenty-four karat gold is pure elemental gold. Eighteen karat gold is seventy-five percent pure gold. Fourteen karat gold is 58.5 percent pure gold, and ten karat gold is 41.7 percent pure gold. The remaining portion of the metal is usually silver, but may consist of other metals or a combination of metals, such as platinum, copper, palladium, zinc, nickel, iron, and cadmium.

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19

A karat is used to measure the purity of gold these days and comes from the word carat, which was originally a unit of mass based on the carob seed used by ancient merchants.

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18

The San Francisco 49ers name comes from the California Gold Rush gold seekers who came to the San Francisco area in 1849.

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17

The world’s largest stockpile of gold can be found five stories underground inside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault. It holds twenty-five percent of the world’s gold reserve (540,000 gold bars). For the record, most of it belongs to foreign governments.

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16

The world’s first gold vending machine was unveiled in May 2010. Located in an ultra-luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, the vending machine itself is covered in twenty-four karat gold.

Gold vending machineSource: facts.randomhistory.com, Image: Wikimedia
15

The world’s largest gold bar weighs 250 kg (551 lb).

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14

Due to being extremely rare and its ridiculously high value, most gold discovered throughout history is still in circulation. For that matter, it’s estimated that about seventy percent of all gold in circulation has been extracted in the past hundred years.

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13

Both the Greeks and Jews began to practice alchemy in 300 BCE. The search to turn base metals into gold would reach its pinnacle in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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12

In ancient Egypt, gold was considered the skin or flesh of the gods, particularly the Egyptian sun god Ra. Consequently, gold was unavailable to anyone but the pharaohs, and only later to priests and other members of the royal court. The chambers that held the king’s sarcophagus was known as the “house of gold.”

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11

In 1511, King Ferdinand of Spain coined the immortal phrase: “Get gold, humanely if possible—but at all hazards, get gold.”

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10

Gold is edible in small portions. Some Asian countries put gold in fruit, jelly snacks, coffee, and tea. Since at least the 1500s, Europeans have been putting gold leaves in bottles of liquor, such as Danziger Goldwasser and Goldschläger. Also, the most expensive burger in the world includes flakes of gold.

BurgerflakesSource: facts.randomhistory.com
9

The value of gold has been used as the standard for many currencies. After WWII, the United States created the Bretton Woods System, which set the value of the US dollar to 1/35th of a troy ounce (888.671 mg) of gold. This system was abandoned in 1971 when there was no longer enough gold to cover all the paper money in circulation.

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8

Have you ever wondered why gold is so expensive? Well, gold is so rare to find that the world pours more steel in about an hour than it has poured gold since the beginning of recorded history.

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7

In spite of it rarity, it is believed that over 99 percent of Earth’s gold is still buried in the center of the planet.

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6

Completely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands.

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5

Our bodies contain about 0.2 milligrams of gold, most of it in our blood.

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4

There is an estimated total of ten billion tons of gold in the world’s oceans. That is twenty-five tons of gold for every cubic mile of seawater.

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3

Gold is so pliable that it can be made into sewing thread. An ounce of gold can be stretched over fifty miles.

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2

Gold has been discovered on every continent on Earth. Many scientists believe it can also be found on Mars, Mercury, and Venus…

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1

…And that makes perfect sense if you think that according to astrophysics nearly all the gold on Earth came from meteorites that bombarded the planet over two hundred million years after it formed.

1Source: facts.randomhistory.com, Image: Wikipedia

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