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Gold Fun Facts

Gold is the most sought after precious metal of all time. Wars have been waged, and nations have been built or demolished because of this elusive yellow metal. It has been money and a symbol of wealth for thousands of years, and will always be...

Below is a list of a few "Gold Fun Facts" I have put together:

* One of the rarest elements in the world, gold makes up less than 1 in a Billion atoms in the earths crust. As a parable to help put this ratio in a little better perspective, 1 billion seconds is the equivalent of 31.68 years! So only 1 second out of almost 32 years of time would be Golden....

* The atomic number of gold is 79 on the periodic table of elements, meaning that there are 79 protons packed inside the nucleus of every atom of Gold. This is why gold is so dense and heavy. Its chemical symbol is AU, which is short for the Latin word "Aurum" which means "glowing dawn".

* Gold is one of the most malleable elements there is. In fact it can be stretched into a super thin wire that would only measure about 5 microns in diameter (or 5 millionths of a meter thick) An ounce of gold would produce a wire of this size that would be about 50 miles long, and you could run a current through it! 1 ounce could also be hammered or flattened into an ultra thin sheet that would cover 9 square surface meters (or 81 square feet). These "gold leaf" sheets are so incredibly thin that it would take about 250,000 of them just to be 1 inch tall.

Gold is very rare, but gold nuggets are extremely rare! In fact less than 2 percent of all the gold ever mined has been in the form of a nugget! A 1 ounce gold nugget is more rare than a 5 carat diamond. The largest gold nugget ever found was in Moliagul Australia in 1869, it weighed an astonishing 2,316 ounces! It was named the Welcome Stranger. Sadly it was melted down. 

* Pure 24 karat gold is 19.3 times heavier than water. A 14.2" cube of gold weighs 1 tonne. Gold is one of the densest elements there is. In fact there are only 6 known metals on Earth that are denser than gold; Plutonium, Platinum, Iridium, Neptunium, Osmium, and Rhenium. 

* The total estimated amount of gold extracted from the earth is approximately 175,000 metric tonnes. I stress estimated, because I am sure that a good percentage of the gold mined each year goes unreported. If all this gold was put into one big cube it would measure just over 20 x 20 meters. Globally, about 2500 metric tonnes of gold are mined annually. More than 90% of the above ground gold has been mined since the California gold rush.

* The melting point of pure 24 karat gold is 1,947.52 degrees fahrenheit, and it's boiling point is 5,173 degrees fahrenheit.