Gold (the Latin name is Aurum) is a precious yellow metal. Compared to other metals, it has certain qualities that make it unique from other metals. Also, this is generally more special than other metals because of things like colour, brightness, durability, and malleability. Most of the time, we meet this metal in its pure form in nature. Also, because it has a clear history compared to other metals, it takes a special place among other metals.
Global gold mining production countries.
When we consider "Gold mining", it is a global business that operates on all other continents except Antarctica. It is extracted from a broad range of mines and also varying sizes of mines. For example, South Africa was the biggest producer until 2006. But now, China was the world's largest producer at the country level by 2020. That amount is approximately 380 tons, and it is 11.7% of the total. In addition, Australia and Russia rank second and third in the world for production, respectively. Their tonnages are 320 and 300, respectively. Also, in terms of percentages, Australia has 9.9%, and Russia has 9.9% of production.
How is gold formed?
This represents a tiny fraction of the elements in the universe as we know it. It is thought to be formed in incredibly powerful collisions within stars. That means all of this metal on earth is believed to have come from the debris of dead stars. About four billion years ago, due to the impact of the receiver on the earth, the deep layers of the planet were stirred up, where some were forced into the diaphragm and crust.
And sometimes, this can be found in and out of rocks. As mentioned before, this is a metal found in the soil in its natural form as a pure native element. But in most cases, this is mixed with some other element. But in some cases, erosion can free it from other minerals. Either way, this is heavy enough to end up in the soil. Apart from that, due to various natural disasters like earthquakes, we will be able to find it.
Naturally, we can find this metal anywhere on earth. But in most cases, this exists in deep places on the earth. They are, in most cases, challenging to obtain from ordinary surfaces. Excavation work has to be done for that. But in many cases, this comes from inside the earth due to natural calamities like volcanoes and earthquakes.
Substitutes for gold.
This is a scarce and very high-value metal because of that rarity. Therefore, producers often try to find a substitute for it. To help with that, gold plated is often used in making things like jewellery. Because the amount used there is less, it becomes easier for the producers.
Although the value is low, its appearance and other external features are made of real gold, so users do not feel a big problem with it. So producers always try to substitute some other less valuable metal. Often today, Palladium, Platinum and Silver are used as the main substitutes for this because their generally expected properties are much closer to this.
Appearances of gold.
Colour of gold.
Out of the many reasons, the appearance of gold is one of the most prominent reasons people use it. Regarding the types of metals, the colours of most types of metals are grey, silver or white. But originally, it had a slightly reddish-yellow colour.
Talking about the colour, we use a few main colours: yellow, silver and rose. Adding copper to the normal-coloured gold metal makes it possible to create 18-karat rose gold. And we know that palladium or nickel is very important to produce white gold with commercial value.
We measure the purity of this in Karats. The weight is measured as 24 Karats, or as a percentage of 4.1667. As a whole, the portion containing is counted according to the purity of the alloy.
16 karat comprises 16 parts of gold and 8 parts of alloy, whereas 24 karat gold contains is all pure.
As mentioned above, when considering a gold object, it is often mixed with another alloy because normal pure gold (24 Karat) is too soft and cannot be used to produce a certain product or object. In such a case, pure gold is usually made by adding copper or other metal with a stronger alloy to make the necessary things.
History of gold.
Gold has become a very attractive and valuable metal today. Although it is a prevalent metal today, it was discovered about 5500 years ago. The colour of this metal is yellow. The colour of the sun is also yellow. In many cases, the colour of the sun is associated with the colour of gold, so there is often evidence that this was used for various ceremonies and religious occasions in the past.
Also, in some cases, in the various paintings and statues of the past, there is evidence that the people in them were wearing jewellery made of gold.
Properties of gold.
This has become a rare metal today due to its difficulty finding and the high cost of extracting it from impurities.
2. Acceptance anywhere.
Today the value of a lot of things is measured by money. Most of the time, we don't get anything else to exchange for cash. But due to the unique qualities of this metal, it has become more special than other materials. That is why this can work as an exchange currency. We can get food, clothing, jewellery, etc., by giving money in our normal life and also we can get goods and services by giving them with the same value.
It is valid not only in our country but in any country worldwide. For example, even if we take the currency of the country we live in and go to any other country, there is a chance that the currency is not valid in that country. But if we have gold coins or bars, we can do our transactions in any country without any problem. The special properties make them valuable enough to be used in almost any country.
We know that nowadays various types of accessories are manufactured from this. For example, it is mostly used in the production of jewellery, but nowadays, people are motivated to manufacture vehicles, telephones, clothes, shoes, etc. The reason for this is flexibility.
The flexibility can be compared to other metals allowing us to produce anything quickly without breaking. And a perfect example of that flexibility is the gold leaf. Usually, one sheet is about 0.000127 millimetres. And it is considered to be four times thinner than human hair. So you can see that this is a ductile metal compared to other metals.
4. Gold is a good conductor of heat and electricity.
Of course, this is a perfect conductor that resists heat and electricity. So the items made of it do not get tarnished quickly. So anyone can use gold jewellery or accessories without fear.
5. Cannot destroy.
If we talk about the chemical side, it is a heavy metal and does not easily react with other metals. Therefore, it is very difficult to destroy this. And all of the currently mined from the earth can be collected, melted, and reused for human use.
Usage of gold.
When talking about gold, "why do we use this?" is crucial. The value of something always depends on the ability or inability to use it. As the ability to use it increases, its value also get increases.
As usability increases, its value increases relatively. Let's see why it is called that. As mentioned above, it has many properties. All these properties combined make this very valuable, so different people use it for other things. Let's see the different usages and how people use this metal for their works.
Make gold jewellery.
When we talk about it, the first thing that comes to our mind is jewellery. Because the first thing we know about it is through jewellery. Although most women prefer it, relatively all groups prefer to wear jewellery made of it. Gold rings, earrings, necklaces, etc., are some of the ornaments that can be used in this way. Today people have learned the habit of making not only jewellery but also the clothes they wear sometimes.
However, one of its primary use is in the manufacture of jewellery. Due to the properties of this metal, such as elasticity and flexibility, it is possible to bend and assemble it in the desired way and produce jewellery in the desired shape. Also, there is evidence of people wearing jewellery made of gold since ancient times, so many people prefer to wear gold jewellery. Also, many tests have found that most newly mined or recycled ones are used in jewellery production. It has also been found that 78% consumed yearly is used for jewellery production. Accordingly, the most important and widely used use of this metal is the "production of jewellery".
Gold jewellery recycling.
Due to the current scarcity of this in the world, recycling jewellery has been used in recent years as an excellent strategy to preserve gold. It has become a multi-billion dollar industry today. Since we can use it as another currency unit, jewellery made of this is also very valuable.
It is very cost-effective to remove them after they are broken or damaged. At a time when it can be assumed that such a shortage of it may occur, removing it and destroying it will still contribute to losses and disadvantages to the commercial world.
Uses in Dentistry.
There is a lot of evidence that it has been used in dentistry as far back as 700 BC also; it was used to fill cavities in ancient times. However, such tactics are still used today. Imagine if you had to use another metal like iron to fill your teeth. You will realize that it is not such a good idea. But this is a very sensible thing for any purpose. Although expensive, it is used in dentistry because of its superior functionality, aesthetic appeal and safety. Since it is a non-allergenic metal in most cases, both dentists and patients are able to work with it without any fear.
Furthermore, it can cure diseases related to your teeth and prevent side effects like using other metals. That's why now, more than ever, there is a temptation to use this metal for dentistry. The reason for the increase is probably because low inert metals can have long-term adverse health effects.
Gold leaf cannot be a word that many people have not heard by now. This can be made using gold, which is much more malleable than most metals. This is truly a leaf because of its thinness. These are thought to be made by turning that meal into sheets several millionths of an inch thick. Often this leaf is used to coat the surfaces of various thin plates, picture frames, mouldings, furniture, etc. That way, the products can last longer and will not tarnish. It also provides a corrosion-resistant coating to the goods. Today, this leaf is used to apply not only for various goods and materials but also for the external and internal surfaces of buildings. The cost of using this leaf is much higher than the cost of using a normal type of paint.
In some cases, the cost can be hundreds of thousands of times higher than the average cost and often, a few percent of the cost of the entire project has to be applied for this gold leaf coating. Therefore, such things are usually done only if necessary. It is often used in important places like religious buildings.
Did you know that gold is used for food? The E number is 175. The European Food Safety Authority has expressed that it should be considered golden food.
Gold leaf, plates or dust is often used as decoration in some foods, sweets or drinks.
One of the main plated dishes is the "vark", which is a bar made of pure gold metal. It is often used to decorate sweets in South Asian countries.
However, since metallic gold does not activate all of the body's chemistry, these leaves have no taste and do not supply any nutrition to the human body. So, it is not a problem because it does not affect the body. But the food with this leaf is costly, so in many cases, people get these foods to show their status.
It can use to reflect our social status.
This is a metal that was discovered billions of years ago. And from the evidence we have, we know that jewellery made from it is something people have used since ancient times. Much evidence has been found that essential people in almost all countries, starting from royal families, wore gold ornaments. So it can be seen that it is an asset that people have used throughout history to show their wealth.
If you have jewellery, it is essential for your social position. That is, an opinion is often formed in society that those with gold items are of higher social status. Many people prefer to wear jewellery to travel and participate in festivals. Also, people prefer to wear and use not only jewellery but various other gold items.
Gold as an Investment.
Gold is very important for investment when compared to all other essential metals. Investors often buy this kind of metal for their future use and especially to use it in case of any calamity.
There is evidence that it has been used as money since ancient times. That is, there is evidence of transactions using it. For example, many European countries practised gold standards until they were temporarily suspended during the financial crises associated with World War I in the late nineteenth century.
The cultural value of gold.
We can consider many examples of the use of gold at the cultural level. Often it is used to display something like an achievement. For example, if we win a certain competition, we are given something made of gold to reflect that victory. It can be a gold medal, trophy or some kind of statue. Also, any competitor who wins in something like athletics is given a gold medal. When it is impossible to give one made of gold itself, people arrange to give one coated with it. This is because society accepts that giving something made of gold is more valuable than providing something made of common metal.
People consume gold produced in the world for various things. It is considered that approximately 50% of the consumption is used for jewellery production, 40% for investment purposes, and the remaining 10% for the industry.
Toxicity of gold.
In general form, pure metallic gold is not toxic; it also has no adverse effects on the human body. Therefore some people use it as a gold leaf in some foods.
Interesting facts about gold.
- This is the only yellow colour metal among all the other metals. All other metals are dark in colour and must react with other metals to get that golden colour. But only this can achieve such a brilliant colour without any chemical reaction.
- The purity of gold is very high when compared to all other metals. Therefore, gold does not contain any odour or taste.
- Since gold does not contain any special ingredients, many people use gold-enriched foods for their food.
Gold is different from all other metals and very valuable, and there is no doubt that its value increases due to its various properties. Due to its high elasticity, it is the most important among all other metals, mainly due to its properties, such as not getting tarnished quickly and being very easy to deal with.
Due to the increase in the use of it due to these properties, we must work to prevent the destruction of the world of gold, which is in limited supply today. This should be used sparingly for the rest of the time, and the existing gold in the world should be taken care of using strategies such as recycling where necessary.