Gold got its name from the Anglo-Saxon word for the element, which is simply "gold." The word might have been influenced by the Sanskrit word for gold, which is "jval." The chemical symbol for gold is "Au." This is an abbreviation of "aurum," which is the Latin word for gold.
Gold is an element that's been known for thousands of years, and no one knows who was first to discover it. It's a metal that is exceptionally ductile and malleable. This means it can be pulled into the thinnest of wires and beaten into the thinnest of sheets without breaking. It's one of the few elements that is a natural gold color. Most metals are gray, white or silver.
Gold doesn't tarnish. A gold doubloon retrieved from the wreck of a Spanish galleon is as brilliant in 2014 as it was when it was put on the ship in the 16th century.
Gold is also resistant to most acids. A solution called aqua regia is used to dissolve gold. Gold is also very dense; 24-karat gold is pure gold. The drawback with pure gold is that it's too soft for everyday wear; because of this, it's always alloyed with another metal to create jewelry.Learn More
The English word "gold" comes from an Anglo-Saxon word "gohl," thought to mean "yellow, green or shiny." The chemical symbol for gold is Au, comes from its Latin name "aurum." Human discovery and use of gold dates to prehistoric times. It is one of the few elements occurring in nature in its pure state.Full Answer >
Gold is expensive because there are limited quantities available. In addition, it is expensive to produce, which also drives up the overall cost.Full Answer >
Hard to find in nature and durable enough to remain in perfect condition for centuries, gold is unlike any other metal in the periodic table. It has been used as currency and as a means to display wealth and power for centuries, particularly among royalty historically.Full Answer >
The high value of gold is driven by three factors: its practical applications, the largely aesthetic desire people have for it and the perceived protection it grants investors as a hedge against currency fluctuations. According to Jerry Bowyer for Forbes magazine, the cash value of all the gold that has so far been extracted amounts to roughly $10 trillion.Full Answer >