INTRODUCTION

Gold (Au) is a malleable, ductile and one of the softest metals on earth. It is highly valued due to its rarity, luster and unique yellow color. Most of the gold mined or recycled in the world is used to create jewelry, while small percentages of it are used as financial stores of governments. Due to its ductility it is easy to shape it into intricate designs and jewelry pattern, thus enhancing its desirability and price.

There are around twenty kinds of gold minerals found across the world, but they are all very rare and seldom found in large quantities.

REACTIVITY & PROPERTIES

Gold is chemically unreactive but is soluble in mixtures of nitric and chloric acid. Malleability and ductility are the primary properties of it. High malleability allows to create thin, tin foil like layers of gold – for uses in astronaut helmets and airplane cockpits. Ductility allows it to be drawn into wires as thin as human hair. Gold also resists tarnish and rust. It has been categorized as a noble metal, unlike silver or copper which lose their luster when left in contact with air; It retains its bright color almost forever.

PROCUREMENT

Russia, South Africa and Peru are among the world’s largest gold producing countries of the world. Most of the gold found in the earth’s crust is in the form of native metal. It is found in veins and alluvial deposits in mines. Sea water is also known to contain gold in low concentrations.

USES

Gold is used for:

Manufacturing jewelry and ornaments.

Coinage and bullions

Electronic goods for protecting copper components from oxidation

Dentistry for tooth fillings and caps. Usually as a gold alloy

Treatment for arthritis in specific scenarios

Nanoparticles of gold are used as industrial catalysts

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