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Facts about gold

Gold has been a part of human history for centuries. From jewellery to coins, Egyptians to the modern day - gold has been a highly sought precious metal. There are many reasons why gold has been so treasured over the years, and below you'll find 20 interesting facts about gold that you might not have known.

Interesting facts about gold

Gold - Element

  1. Gold is a 'noble' metal, meaning that it does not rust or lose its shine. Other noble metals include ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, silver, osmium, iridium, platinum, mercury, rhenium and copper.

    A gold vein

  2. Gold is the only yellow metal. All other metals darken or turn a yellowish colour after they have oxidised or reacted with other chemicals.

  3. Gold is one of the heaviest and densest of all metals in the Periodic Chart; a cubic foot would weigh more than half a ton.

  4. Pure gold will melt at 1064.43° and boils at 2856.1°. Even at normal temperatures gold is extremely soft. One gram of gold can be flattened down to a square meter sheet, which is so thin that light passes through, and because of this it has been used as a protective film on visors in space suits.

  5. Odourless and tasteless, gold is not toxic - and flakes may be eaten in foods or drinks.

Gold - Natural Resource

  1. Gold is far rarer than diamonds but is only the 58th rarest earth element.

  2. It is estimated about 160,000 tons of gold have been mined throughout history.

  3. Gold has been discovered on every continent on Earth.

  4. In 2018, China was the world leader in gold mining production. Second was Australia, Russia third, US fourth and Canada fifth.

  5. The largest gold nugget is the 'Welcome Stranger' mined in Australia in 1869, weighing in at a colossal 173 pounds (that is nearly 78.5 kilos).

  6. China is the world's largest consumer of gold, based on figures from 2018. India is a close second.

Gold - Currency

  1. The first gold coins were produced in Lydia between 700 - 650 BC. They were made from electrum, which is a naturally occurring alloy of gold.

  2. The Swiss Franc was the last remaining country to peg its currency to a value in gold. It became a fiat currency in 1999.

  3. The Perth Mint in Western Australia cast the largest ever coin - weighing one tonne and measuring 80 centimetres (31.4 inches) in diameter.

  4. New York’s US Federal Reserve Bank is reported to hold 25% of the world's gold reserves.

Gold - Investment

  1. Gold is frequently used as a safe haven asset in times of economic turmoil or geopolitical uncertainty.

  2. Gold has a history of holding its value. It is an ideal way of preserving wealth from one generation to another.

  3. Gold has historically had a weak correlation to movements in the financial markets and is frequently used as a hedge against inflation.

  4. Gold's natural scarcity and high production cost is the ultimate reason why it holds value.

  5. When you invest in physical gold you own it outright. You are not reliant on banks or other financial institutions.

    Investment Gold