Table of Contents
Gold, precious metal
The seduction for gold is as old as the history of man, its color, its value and the beauty of the jewels that were made with it from the beginning, contributed to this deference.
As everything on earth has its own history, characteristics and curiosities. In this opportunity we invite you to get to know it more closely.
Gold is a precious metal that since ancient times has been used to make different objects.
With it have been produced from jewelry to coins, sculpture, vessels and is part of the ornamentation of monuments and buildings.
In some cultures, if not all, it symbolized power and immortality and as a clear demonstration of class and power.
Generally you add that first found near rivers in Asia Minor and was also extracted from underground mines since 2000.
Before Christ by the Egyptians and later by the Romans in Africa, Portugal and Spain.
It was a metal that they could work easily and that they mixed with others like silver and copper, to make it stronger and at the same time get other tones.
It is part of what is known as conflict minerals.
Archived data indicates that world gold production totaled 2,860 metric tons of fine gold in 2014 and that the main producing country was China, followed by Australia and Russia.
About its history
Gold has been known since prehistory. It was used by artisans since the Chalcolithic.
The first gold worked in the world comes from the IV Millennium BC in the Varna N ecropolis in the Balkans.
It was used by the Egyptians in jewelry 5000 years BC and in Sumer civilization around 3000 BC. Gold chains were first made in the city of Ur in 2500 BC.
At the beginning of the second millennium the Minoan civilization in Crete produced the first cable chain jewelry and the Minoans made items such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, headbands, pendants, pins and brooches.
They included the filigree techniques. With this technique the gold is pulled on wire and then twisted into various designs.
In South America, it was worked in a similar way by the Chavín civilization of Peru around 1200 BC and the foundry was perfected by the Nazca from 500 BCE.
The Romans used gold as the setting for precious and semi-precious stones, a fashion continued in the Byzantine era with the use of pearls, gems and enamels.
In Central Europe, various objects were found that attest that man not only knew it but also worked with knowledge. Golden hats and Nebra disc, dating from the second millennium. C. in the Bronze Age.
And in ancient times in Egypt, Pharaoh Dyer, in 3,000 BC, carried in his title an hieroglyphic referring to metal, and is also mentioned several times in the Old Testament.
It is considered a standard for measuring values, so much so that coins were minted to exchange with the metal.
Superstition has accompanied it, also in ancient times some people believed that if their food were served every day on gold plates, they would live longer and retard old age.
Ignorance reached limits bordering on the absurd. During the black season in Europe some alchemists had patients take pulverized gold because they thought that this would heal them.
Gold has been used in dental work for over 3,000 years . A key example is the Etruscans, who in the seventh century BC used the gold wire to set in place the teeth of animals replacement.
Also as a thread it was woven into fabrics.
Gold in the language.
From the language also the word has other considerations. The symbol of gold, Au, in chemistry comes from the Latin aurum, which means bright dawn.
It is a word that, due to its strong significance of power and weight, is used in linguistic expressions and is used in many languages.
For example: golden rule, time is gold, Not everything that glitters is gold, the golden opportunity, the golden century or the golden letter s, everything to mean something shiny or precious.
Expressions like the golden rule or the golden dream allude to gold without mentioning it.
The culture is strongly influenced on a daily basis by the golden metal. Other qualifiers imply the characteristics of the metal.
When we classify something as very valuable we say that it is gold. We refer to oil as black gold and shrimp as rose gold.
Henequen in Yucatan, avocado in Michoacan, emeralds in Colombia, the coca plant and n Peru, cannabis and soy, is called green gold.
White gold defines platinum , cocaine hydrochloride, cotton, and ivory.
On the other hand, there is red gold, a qualifier with which human blood and red coral are known.
Finally there is liquid gold as olive oil is also known. The uncontrolled fear of gold is chrysophobia.
Gold in Chemistry
It is located in group 11 of the periodic table and its atomic number is 79. It is a precious metal, soft and golden in color. From the Latin aurum comes its name, it means bright dawn.
Highly prized in jewelry for their physical properties, having low perishability, ductility, malleability, rarity, brilliance and difficulty of finding in nature.
It does not react with a large number of chemicals, but it is sensitive and soluble in cyanide, mercury, aqua regia, chlorine and lye. It is normally found in its purest form, in the form of pips and alluvial deposits.
How is it formed?
A study conducted suggests that gold found on the planet was formed after the colision of neutron stars, but there is another confirmation states that due to the extreme conditions created in the collapsing core of supernovae.
It happens that when nuclear fusion ceases, the upper layers of the star collapse on the stellar nucleus, compress them and heat matter to such a temperature that the lighter nuclei give rise to heavier metals such as gold, uranium, between others.
On the other hand, the essential gold deposits in the crust are formed from very hot gases and liquids that rise from the interior of the Earth and move to the surface through the faults of the Earth’s crust.
Characteristics of gold
Gold is yellow in the rough, it is considered the most ductile and malleable metal that exists on earth, due to this, alloys with other metals are frequent to provide hardness.
It conducts heat and electricity well and remains the same when in contact with air and with most chemical agents.
It is highly resistant to chemical alteration by heat, humidity and to the May Oría corrosive agents.
It is extremely inactive, although it dissolves in mixtures containing chlorides, bromides or iodide.
It can also be dissolved in other oxidizing mixtures, in alkaline cyanides and in aqua regia, a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid and when exposed to cyanide.
Gold in Medicine
Gold is also used in medicine. Its name is Chrysotherapy and it is used as an anti-inflammatory in gold thiolates to combat rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.
But there are drawbacks, most of these compounds are poorly soluble and need to be injected, others are administered orally.
In general, patients abandon treatment due to its side effects. It is that the human body does not absorb gold well because its compounds can be toxic.
Up to 50% of osteoarthritis patients treated with gold-containing drugs have been found to have suffered liver and kidney damage.
Medicines as gold thiosulfate, aurothioglucose, the gold sodium thiomalate can cause poisoning gold.
In this case it produces adverse effects such as skin rashes, papular eruptions, herpes simplex and severe exfoliative dermatitis.
It is also harmful to the digestive system, the aforementioned drugs can cause salivation, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, with hepatosis and nephritis appearing.
For the nervous system, it carries damages such as aplastic anemia, granulocytopenia and thrombocytopenic purpura.
In either case, the medication should be stopped and a specialist should be consulted.
Gold in fine jewelry
Gold is highly prized in fine jewelry and for this purpose is classified into three types: high, medium, and low.
It is known as high gold to 18 kt, it has 18 parts of gold and 6 of other metal or metals, that is, 75% in gold.
It is very bright and colorful, but it is expensive and not very resistant.
The average gold is 14 kt, with 1 4 parts of gold and 10 of other metals, 58.33% in gold , it is the most widely used in jewelry, since it is less expensive than gold. Lastly, low or 10 kt gold at 10 parts gold for 14 other metals, 41.67% gold, is the simplest.
As a soft metal alloys can be made of high gold, It can be obtained in different colors: blue, red, pink, yellow, green and White. It is important to mention that the color, except for white gold, is predominantly yellow. As a logical consequence, that is, the so-called green gold is not green as such, but yellow with a greenish hue, this is also the case with the rest.
– The blue gold is 75% gold and 25% iron.
– The gray gold is 75% gold, 15% nickel and 10% copper.
– The red gold is 75% gold and 25% copper.
– The rose gold is 75% gold, 5% silver and 20% copper.
– The yellow gold is 75% gold, 12.5% silver and 12.5% copper.
– The green gold is 75% gold and 25% silver.
– The white gold is 75% gold, 16% palladium and 9% silver.
Gold as speculative value
The ISO 4217 code for the gold coin is XAU. This precious metal is used as a hedge against the dollar, inflation, interest rates and economic crises. Some store it in the form of bullion or coins for speculative purposes. However, some economists say they do not believe it serves as a hedge against inflation or currency depreciation. Modern gold coins for investment, collection or speculation purposes do not require good mechanical wear properties, they are generally fine gold at 24 kt .
Gold as currency
Known and appreciated for thousands of years, gold is also valued for the ease with which it works and its resistance to corrosion.
For all these reasons, it began to be used as an exchange currency and for international monetary transactions.
It was useful hoisted for the first time as money to signals from the eighth century before C Risto in Asia Minor. The first of pure gold with images were published to King Croesus of Lydia between 561-546 BC and they also had a gold refinery
The Mycenaean civilization also used gold coins, as did the Greeks and Romans. One of the most famous ore in antiquity was the Roman bezant, Wristle introduced by the emperor in the fourth century to e l XII.
Currently countries use pure gold bullion reserves, these bars confirm wealth.
The American Gold Eagle and British Gold Sovereign are minted at 22 kt by tradition, as is the South African Krugerrand, first shown in public in 1967.
The special issue of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin has the highest gold purity than any other, but there are also or after 99.99% pure gold coins such as the American Buffalo gold coin with a purity of 99, 99%.
Another popular is the currency or Australian Kangaroos Gold or Gold Kangaroos, coined for the first time in 1986 as the Australian Gold Nugget, but changed the design of the reverse in 1989.
Other Also popular are the currency of Philharmonic gold Vienna the Chinese Gold Panda.
Gold in religion and other aspects of life
Due to its value and beauty, it became a highly demanded material for political and religious objects such as crowns, scepters, symbolic statues, vases and votive offerings.
The deceased with good economic and social status were buried with gold pieces, the more pieces, the better guaranteed the payment for the entrance to the afterlife.
In the Inca civilization of Peru, gold meant the sweat of the sun god. Objects of religious significance were made from it, such as masks and sun disks.
In ancient Colombia it was venerated for its brilliance and association with the sun . Gold in powder form covered the body of the future king at the coronation ceremony, this gave rise to the legend of El Dorado.
It was used to decorate shrines, temples, tombs, sarcophagi, statues, ornamental weapons and armor, ceramics, glassware, and jewelry.
Although gold is best recognized for its value for money and in jewelry, it has many applications, and this metal performs critical functions in communications, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and other products.
It is used as a coating for biological materials seen through the scanning electron microscope and also as a protective coating for satellites because it reflects well infrared light.
The first electric wires led gold instead of copper due to its high electrical conductivity, but had to be replaced by silver due to theft continuous.
This situation also reached silver, it was finally replaced by copper.
Due to its high electrical conductivity and its resistance to oxidation it is used in thin layers on the surface of electrical connections to ensure good low resistance connections.
It can form strong mercury amalgams that are sometimes used in dental fillings.
On the other hand, chloroauric acid is used in photography and in sports competitions a gold medal is awarded to the first place.
Gold nanoparticles are studied in many laboratories for medical and biological purposes and used as a golden paint on ceramics.
The 198Au gold isotope is used in some treatments for cancer and other diseases.
It has been used in facial or skin creams and in the production of fine flutes, it heats up faster and makes the instrument easier to interpret.
Gold in mining
Where is it located?
It is generally found as nuggets or as embedded metal in some minerals, quartz veins, shale, metamorphic rocks, and alluvial deposits originating from these sources.
It can often be found associated with the minerals quartz and pyrite, and is combined with tellurium in the minerals calaverite, silvanite, and others.
There is lot of gold in the seas and in the oceans, but there is no cost – effective method for obtaining it.
It is also found in rivers because on some stones are the gold nuggets inside. The force of the water is what separates the nuggets from the rock and divides them as a consequence into very small particles that settle at the bottom of the channel.
How is it extracted?
The gold is extracted by leaching with cyanide, to separate it it is reduced again using zinc.
In addition, the technique of separating heterogeneous mixtures is used.
Gold prospectors locate these gold particles from rivers using the batting technique.
For this method the pan is used, a container in the shape of a frying pan.
It is filled with sand and river water and removed. The heaviest materials are deposited at the bottom, causing the heavier materials, such as gold, to be deposited at the bottom and the surface sand to come off.
Some curiosities about gold
In ancient Egypt, gold was considered the skin or flesh of the gods, particularly the Egyptian sun god Ra. Consequently, it was only for the pharaohs, and only later for the priests and other members of the royal court.
The chambers that held the king’s sarcophagus were known as the golden house.
There are over 400 references to gold in the Bible, including specific instructions from God to cover the furniture in the tabernacle with pure gold, it is also mentioned as one of the gifts of the Magi to the baby Jesus.
It is so flexible that it can be turned into sewing thread, a single ounce can stretch over 50 miles.
It exists on every continent on earth and 80% of its entirety is still on earth. The world’s largest gold bar weighs 200 kg, or 440 pounds.
Nugget ‘s largest gold is the premiere Welcome, an outdoor to by John Deason and Richard Oates in Australia on February 5, 1869. It has 10 inches and 25 produced 2,248 ounces of pure gold, this piece was found only two inches below from the soil surface.
In 1599, a Spanish governor in Ecuador so mistreated the Jivaro tribe that they executed him by pouring molten gold down his throat, a form of execution also practiced by the Romans and the Spanish Inquisition.
The Olympic gold medals awarded in 1912 were made entirely of gold. Now they only cover six grams of the metal . There are ATMs in Dubai that dispense gold.
The Roman politician Cayo Graco had a reward for his head. Whoever delivered it would have the weight of it in gold.
The head was delivered, but the reward was not paid because the captor had filled it with lead.
In 50 BC, the Romans issued gold coins called Aureus and the smallest solidus. En 1511, King Ferdinand of Spain coined the immortal phrase: “Get gold, humanely if possible, but at all hazards, get gold.”
Originally the US mint made $ 2.50, $ 10, and $ 15 solid gold coins. Gold coinage ceased in 1933, during the Great Depression.
Ancient sailors wore gold earrings so that, if they drowned and ended up on a shore, they could serve as payment for a Christian burial.
The world’s largest gold reserve is found in the Bank of the Federal Reserve of New York, where 25% of the world’s gold reserve , 540,000 bars of gold , is kept.
In some Asian countries it puts gold in fruits, jams, coffee and tea and Europeans put sheet s gold bottles of liquor.