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The Element Gold

Atom

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What is Gold as on the Periodic Table? Definition of the Gold Element
A soft, yellow, corrosion-resistant element, the most malleable and ductile metal, occurring in veins and alluvial deposits and recovered by mining or by panning or sluicing. Gold is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and is unaffected by air and most reagents.

A good thermal and electrical conductor, gold is generally alloyed to increase its strength, and it is used as an international monetary standard, in jewelry, for decoration, and as a plated coating on a wide variety of electrical and mechanical components. The term carat describes the amount of gold present - 24 carats is pure gold. The Atomic Number of this element is 79 and the Element Symbol is Au.

The Properties of the Gold Element
Symbol of Element : Au
Atomic Number : 79
Atomic Mass: 196.96655 amu
Melting Point: 1064.43 C - 1337.5801 K
Boiling Point: 2807.0 C - 3080.15 K
Number of Protons/Electrons : 79
Number of Neutrons: 118
Crystal Structure: Cubic
Density @ 293 K: 19.32 g/cm3
Color : Soft yellow

What is Gold? Origin / Meaning of the name Gold
The name originates from the Old English Anglo-Saxon word 'geolo' meaning yellow. The Symbol Origin is from the Latin word 'aurum' meaning 'shining dawn' which is in reference to Aurora, the Roman Goddess of dawn. Gold was once referred to as one of the 'Noble Metals' which also included  Silver and Platinum. Noble Metals were so called due to their long association with the aristocracy.

What is Gold? Periodic Table Group and Classification of the Gold Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Gold is classified as a "Transition Metal" which are located in Groups 3 - 12 of the Periodic Table. Elements classified as Transition Metals are generally described as ductile, malleable, and able to conduct electricity and heat. For additional facts and information refer to Gold Properties.

Facts about the History of the Discovery of Gold Element - A Metal of Antiquity
Gold was discovered in Ancient times and used by the ancient South Americans, Asians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese. It is mentioned in the Bible. Gold is measured by troy weight and by gram. The term 'carat' meaning purity is used to indicate the amount of gold present, with 24 carats being pure gold and lower ratings proportionally less.  Gold is one of the metals referred to as one of the 'Metals of Antiquity'. The ancient 'Metals of Antiquity' together with their approximate dates of discovery and use are Gold (6000BC), Copper (9000BC), Silver (4000BC), Lead (6400BC), Tin (3000BC), Iron (1500BC) and Mercury (1500BC).

What is Gold? Occurrence of the Gold Element
Gold is widely distributed on the earth in the form of dust, grains, flakes, or nuggets. The chief producers are South Africa, the United States and Australia. Gold occurs in veins and alluvial deposits and is recovered by mining or by panning & sluicing.
Obtained from the crust of the earth
Hydrothermal ore deposits of gold occur in metamorphic rocks and igneous rocks
Found as the native metal in the form of dust, grains, flakes, or nuggets
Nearly 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals which are detailed in the List of Metals.

Abundance of Gold
% in Universe 610-8%
% in Sun 110-7%
% in Meteorites 0.000017%
% in Earth's Crust 3.110-7%
% in Oceans 510-9%
% in Humans 0.00001%

Gold Mining - Placer Gold Mining and Hydraulic Gold Mining
Native gold occurs in the form of small grains or larger nuggets in the sands of old rivers, or imbedded in quartz veins in rocks. In the first case it is obtained in crude form by placer mining. The sand containing the gold is shaken or stirred in troughs of running waters called sluices. This sweeps away the sand but allows the heavier gold to sink to the bottom of the sluice. Sometimes the sand containing the gold is washed away from its natural location into the sluices by powerful streams of water delivered under pressure from pipes. This is called hydraulic mining. In vein mining the gold bearing quartz is mined from the veins, stamped into fine powder in stamping mills, and the gold extracted by one of the processes to be described.

Medical Uses of Gold - Health and Treatments
Interesting information is contained in the following list of Medical Uses of Gold, Health and Treatments.

  • Dental / Teeth problems: Toothache: Gold dental alloys are used for fillings, crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances

  • Lagophthalmos: Inability to inability to close the eyes completely: Implanting small amounts of gold "weights" in the upper eyelid

  • Cancer / Tumors of the stomach and intestines (the peritoneum): Various symptoms according to the type illness and health issue: Colloidal gold is injected into the peritoneum - gold therapy

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Inflammation of the joints: Used as a suspension in oil or as water-soluble preparations for injections. A drug containing gold salts

A useful reference providing information regarding the medical uses of Gold, associated health issues and disorders and treatments using Gold. Gold salts are among the most toxic of therapeutic agents and must be given only under strict medical supervision.

What is Gold? Associated Uses of Gold
Gold has always been used as an indicator of wealth and the fabulous death mask of Tutankhamun is a well known example. The Ancient Egyptians also believed that gold had a magical potency containing significant religious properties and was therefore referred to as the 'Flesh of the Gods'. Other uses of this precious metal include:
Currency
Coinage
Jewelry
Tableware
Medicine and Health Care
Dental alloys
Electronics

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