Gold is one of the world’s most popular precious metals. However, some might not know that much about it. We’re here to fix that. In this post, we’ll go over 7 things you didn’t know about gold.
The earliest record of gold found is in 40,000 BC, where the asset was found in caves in Spain. Then, come the 4th millennium, humans started making goblets and other rarities with gold. To this day, people still invest heavily in gold jewelry, items, and more.
If you never knew where gold comes from, you’re about to know now. All of this precious metal found in the ground actually isn’t native to earth. Instead, gold came from meteors crashing into Earth millions of years ago. For this same reason, it is also believed that most of Earth’s gold is close to its core. However, random amounts of it are high enough that we can find it by digging.
Not only did gold come from space, but we also use it in space. As you may know, most of the electronics we use in space are exposed to constant radiation. This exposure can damage or even destroy the instruments. As a safeguard, we used gold to reflect that radiation away from the materials.
In fact, astronaut visors in their helmets are made with a layer of gold as well. It’s so thin that they can see through it, but it protects their eyes from dissolving from the extreme temperatures.
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Of all the precious metals on Earth, gold is the most malleable. This means it can be pounded or reformed into various shapes without compromising the metal. This is why it can be made so thin that it’s even transparent, like in the aforementioned astronaut’s visors.
Generally, gold is pounded into very thin sheets. These can be so thin that an inch’s worth could be over 200,000 layers of gold sheets. In that same vein, one sheet of gold can be thinner than just one of your hair follicles.
While you might think an Olympic gold medal is made entirely of gold, that’s simply not the case. In fact, gold medals are made with over 92% silver. This is largely due to the fact that silver is much more common than gold.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t gold in a gold medal, however. The minimum amount of gold a medal must have is 6 grams.
In very rare cases, medals like the Nobel Prize are made entirely of gold. However, this is slowly falling out of vogue as time goes on.
Most of the world’s gold is found in the Eastern country of India and the continent of Africa. Citizens in India use and purchase gold more than anywhere in the world. This is partly due to a massive gold mine found in southern India.
As for Africa, South Africa contains most of the continent’s gold. For example, the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa is said to have held almost 40% of all gold ever mined.
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While most of the gold is in Africa and India, the largest single nugget of gold was actually found in Australia.
This nugget is called Welcome Stranger and was found in goldfields housed in Victoria, Australia, in 1869. When found, the nugget was 158 pounds and 24 inches.
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