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Facts About Gold – 37 Fun Gold Facts That Will Make You Go “Hmmm…”
Facts about gold — From adorning royals to stabilizing economies, creating dental pieces, and even making your phone work more efficiently, this highly valued precious metal has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history. Because of its significant influence on the shaping of culture and science, gold is one of the most well-known metals. Gold has been used for much more than just jewelry because of its malleability and lustre, but few people are aware of its interesting history.We did a little bit of digging and compiled this list of fun gold facts. Prepare to wow your friends or takeover trivia night with random tidbits of knowledge that you learn today.
38 Fun Facts About Gold
- The etymology of “gold” finds its roots in the Proto-Indo-European, meaning *ghel- (2), or to “shine.” The term was also used to describe colours like yellow in the context of vegetation.
- Humans have mined nearly 200,000 tons of gold since the beginning of civilization.
- Bulgaria discovered the world’s oldest golden object. The discovery established that humans were using this material for metalworking as early as 6,500 years ago.
Source: CBC/Bulgarian Academy of Science
- Although historical documentation shows that humans have been using gold for over ~6,500 years, two-thirds of all above-ground gold was mined in the last 70 years. The surge in gold production is mainly due to technological advances and more efficient extraction processes.
- It is estimated that there are 10 billion tons of gold in the world’s oceans. However, mining it wouldn’t be an easy task. The concentration of gold in the ocean is so low because it is so dilute.
Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Gold has been discovered on each of the seven continents, including Antarctica. Source: Welcome to The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
- The word Carat derives from the Arabic word “qīrāṭ,” which means “bean pod,” which is derived from Greek “keration,” which refers to both the carob bean and a small weight. Initially, a carat was a unit of mass based on the carob seed used by ancient merchants. Early in the twentieth century, the carat weight was set at 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams.
- The largest gold nugget in the world is the “The Hand of Faith.” It was discovered with a metal detector in Australia in 1980, and it is now on permanent display at Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas.
- Until 1912, Olympic gold medals were made entirely of pure gold. They must currently contain at least 6 grams of gold and at least 92 percent silver.
- The Aztec people referred to gold as “cozteic teacuitlalt,” which means yellow sacred excrement — basically poop of the gods. Tonatiuh, a sun god, is one of the gods from whom the name for gold, Tonatiuh icuitl, is derived.
Source: Klein, Cecelia. (1993). Teocuitlatl, “Divine Excrement”: The Significance of “Holy Sh*t” in Ancient Mexico. Art Journal. 52. 20. 10.2307/777364.
- A gold rush occurred in North Carolina about 50 years before the 1848 California Gold Rush. The first discovery of gold was made by a 12-year-old boy named Conrad Reed, who found a 17 lb gold nugget in the creek that ran past his family farm.
- Clothilde Gilbert’s accidental discovery of a famous gold nugget in the Beauce region sparked Quebec’s first gold rush, with the first alluvial gold operation opening in 1847.
Source: Gouvernement du Québec
- Gold is a chemical element. The symbol for gold is Au, and it is element 79. Despite its Anglo-Saxon name, gold comes from the Latin Aurum, which means “shining dawn.”
- The melting point of gold is 1,064°C, (1,947°F). The metal with the highest melting point is Tungsten at 3,422 °C (6,192 °F). Can you guess the lowest? It’s mercury, which is liquid at room temperature and has a melting point of −38.83 °C (−37.89 °F)
- Because gold is a noble metal, it will not rust, tarnish, or form an oxide film on its surface when exposed to air.
- Alchemy was a medieval speculative philosophy and chemical “science” that predated chemistry (real science) to turn base metals into gold, discover a universal cure for disease, and extend life indefinitely. Alchemists believed that they could transform materials, such as lead, into gold.
- The current world standard of 200mg metric carat was established in 1907, with the United States adopting it in 1913. Previously, the standards ranged from 187mg to 215.99mg.
- Gold is the 58th rarest element among the 92 naturally occurring elements. Platinum-based metals such as osmium, rhodium, and iridium are among the rarest elements on the planet.
- Gold is often melted down, purified, and reused because it is virtually indestructible — this means that your gold ring could contain ancient Aztec gold or (or poop of the gods).
- Did you know that it is possible to shape pure gold by hand? Without a doubt, pure gold is soft enough to do this.
- Gold Asteroids? Nearly all of the gold on Earth was formed by meteorite impacts 200 million years ago. (Some geologists contest this theory, however.)
Source: National Geographic
- Gold has been used in many medical applications and even as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Patients receive liquid gold injections to reduce joint inflammation.
- Gold is one of the most popular precious metals for investment. It holds its value over the long term, is an effective hedge against inflation, and is frequently linked to major economic events.
- Until 1971, the majority of western economies’ currencies were on the “gold standard.” Switzerland was the last country to abandon the gold standard when it joined the IMF in 1999. Until that point, 40% of a Swiss Franc was backed by gold.
- Palladium, no longer the most expensive metal, surpassed gold’s value in 2018. Currently, the most expensive metal is rhodium.
- In 540 B.C., King Croesus of Lydia issued the first pure gold coins. Henry VIII, Diocletian, and Nero were notorious gold debasers who mixed other metals into gold coins, lowering their value.
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica
- Fort Knox held more than 147 million troy ounces of gold as of March 2021 and houses roughly half of the United States’ gold reserves.
Source: US Mint
- The world’s first gold vending machine was unveiled in Abu Dhabi in 2010. The vending machine is made of gold, and the prices are updated every minute to reflect market value.
- In 2002, Sotheby’s sold the 1933 Double Eagle $20 coin for $7.59 million, making it the most valuable gold coin in the world. There are only 20 of these coins in existence.
Source: BBC News
- Elvis Presley, a well-known car collector, owned the first Stutz Blackhawk prototype. This vehicle was super lavish, featuring 24K gold plates, bezels, mouldings, and trim.
- One ounce of gold can be beaten into a 100-square-foot sheet.
- Pure gold does not irritate the skin. Reactions are typically associated with mixing other metals (such as nickel or silver) in lower carat gold jewellery.
- Because of its purity, it is safe to consume gold in small amounts and is sometimes an additive to high-end beverages and foods. (However, we do not recommend gold as part of a healthy, balanced diet.)
- For at least four millennia, gold has been used to strengthen or cap weak teeth because it is durable in the body and highly malleable, and non-toxic.
- The average human being has 0.2 mg of gold in their body.
Source: The Elements, Third Edition, Oxford
- According to the World Gold Council, China is the world’s leading gold producer as of 2021. Due to its technological manufacturing, jewelry demand, and central bank reserves, China is also the world’s largest gold consumer.
- Astronauts’ visors feature a very thin, transparent layer of gold (.000002 inches) as a protective film to reduce glare and heat from sunlight.
Source: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum/ NASA
- Gold is an excellent electrical conductor and does not tarnish. As a result, it can be found in nearly every sophisticated electronic device, including smartphones, from connectors to switches to connecting wires.
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