Interesting facts about gold


Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79.

The symbol “Au” is from the Latin:‘aurum’ meaning ‘yellow’, derived from the word ‘aurora’ (‘dawn’).

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

In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, metal.

Gold is one of the densest of all metals.

It is a good conductor of heat and electricity.


Gold is also soft and the most malleable and ductile of the elements.

A relatively rare element, gold is a precious metal.

Gold has been discovered on every continent on earth.

It often occurs in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits.

Gold is so rare that the world pours more steel in an hour than it has poured gold since the beginning of recorded history.


Due to its high value, most gold discovered throughout history is still in circulation. However, it is thought that 80% of the world’s gold is still in the ground.

About 50% of the gold ever mined has come from one place: Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Karat is a measurement of the ratio of gold to other metals or alloys. Karats are measured on a scale from 0 to 24. The higher the karat number, the more gold there is and the less other metal content.

24k Gold melts at 1063 °C (1945 °F).

gold melting

Because gold is visually pleasing and workable and does not tarnish or corrode, it was one of the first metals to attract human attention.

Examples of elaborate gold workmanship, many in nearly perfect condition, survive from ancient Egyptian, Minoan, Assyrian, and Etruscan artisans, and gold continues to be a highly favoured material out of which to craft jewelry and other decorative objects.

In the Aztec language, the name for gold is teocuitlatl, which means “excrement of the gods.”

aztec gold

For the Inka and other peoples of the Andean region of South America, gold was the “sweat of the sun,” the most sacred of all deities.

Egyptian hieroglyphs from as early as 2600 BC describe gold, which King Tushratta of the Mitanni claimed was “more plentiful than dirt” in Egypt.

The mask of Tutankhamun is a gold death mask of the 18th-dynasty ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. It was discovered by Howard Carter in 1925 in tomb KV62 in the Valley of the Kings, and is now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The mask is one of the best-known works of art in the world.

mask of tutankhamun

The largest gold Nugget ever found, The Welcome Stranger Nugget weighed 71 kilograms (2,200 Ounces), worth a whopping 4 million dollars with the gold price as it is today. A replica has been made of this nugget based on the photograph above and several paintings that were done before the nugget was smelted down.

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

A single gram of gold can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, and an ounce into 300 square feet.

gold sheet

Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become semi-transparent. The transmitted light appears greenish blue, because gold strongly reflects yellow and red.

The last time Olympic gold medals were made from solid gold was at the summer Games staged in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1912.

Today, Olympic gold medals contain only about 1.34 percent gold, with the rest composed of sterling silver.

The most valuable legal tender coin in the world is a US$1 million coin from Australia. Since it weighs 1,000 kg and is 99.99% pure gold, it is worth almost US$45 million.

most valuable golden coin

The fact that it is metal may make this sound daunting, but gold is actually an edible material. Many high-end restaurants around the world have been known to add gold flakes to their dishes to give it extra flair and visual appeal.

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

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence that Earth’s minable precious metals, like gold, came from billions of tons of meteorites that hit Earth more than 200 million years after our planet formed – likely the same meteorites that left craters on the moon.


The oceans of the planet Earth are vast and mysterious and, as it turns out, incredibly valuable. Within its depths, the waters of our planet contain about 20 million tons of gold.

There is gold in Eucalyptus trees. Australian researchers have found that microscopic gold particles from underground ore deposits are present in tree leaves. Eucalyptus tree roots can delve more than 40 meters (130 feet) deep underground in a thirsty search for water.

After Switzerland, the world’s largest per capita gold reserves are held by Lebanon.

Aurophobia is the fear of gold.

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