There are many interesting facts about the element gold, which is   listed on the periodic table as Au. This is the only truly yellow metal      on Earth, but there’s a lot more to learn about gold.                           

  • Nearly all the gold on Earth came from meteorites that bombarded the planet over 200 million years after it formed.
  • The element symbol for gold—Au—comes from the old Latin name for gold, aurum, which means “shining dawn” or “glow of sunrise.” The word gold comes from the Germanic languages, originating from the Proto-Germanic gulþ and Proto-Indo-European ghel, meaning “yellow/green.” The pure element has been known since ancient times.
  • Gold is extremely ductile. A single ounce of gold (about 28 grams) can be stretched into a gold thread 5 miles (8 kilometers) long. Gold threads can even be used in embroidery.
  • Malleability is a measure of how easily a material can be hammered into thin sheets. Gold is the most malleable element. A single ounce of gold can be beaten into a 300-square-foot sheet. A sheet of gold can be made thin enough to be transparent. Very thin sheets of gold may appear greenish blue because gold strongly reflects red and yellow.Mercury Pollution from Gold Rush Might Linger 10,000 Years
  • Although gold is a heavy, dense metal, it is generally considered nontoxic. Gold metal flakes may be eaten in foods or drinks, although it is a common allergen for some.1
  • Pure elemental gold is 24 karats, while 18-karat gold is 75 percent pure gold, 14-karat gold is 58.5 percent pure gold, and 10-karat gold is 41.7 percent pure gold. The remaining portion of the metal usually used in gold jewelry and other items is silver, but items can also consist of other metals or a combination of metals, such as platinum, copper, palladium, zinc, nickel, iron, and cadmium.

Gold is a noble metal. It is relatively unreactive and resists degradation by air, moisture, or acidic conditions. While acids dissolve most metals, a special mixture of acids called aqua regia is used to dissolve gold.

  • Gold has many uses aside from its monetary and symbolic value. Among other applications, it is used in electronics, electrical wiring, dentistry, medicine, radiation shielding, and in coloring glass.
  • High-purity metallic gold is odorless and tasteless. This makes sense since the metal is unreactive. Metal ions confer flavor and odor to metallic elements and compounds.

By  Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

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How to Tell if My Jewelry is Silver

Most silver jewelry is sterling silver and should be stamped with a hallmark of either “.925” or “sterling.” Sterling is 92.5% silver. The other 7.5% metal generally is copper.

If your jewelry is stamped “German Silver”, “E.P.N.S.(Electro Plated Nickel Silver), “Alpaca”, or “Nickel Silver” you don’t have sterling silver but rather you have an alloy of Nickel and copper with no silver. Unfortunately we don’t buy these items. If you can’t find the hallmarks on your jewelry, don’t worry. Bring it in and we will gladly test it for you at no cost.

How to Tell if Gold is Valuable

How can I tell if my items are Gold and is Valuable?

On gold pieces, look for Karat markings. Any one of these indicates that your jewelry is gold:

For 8 Karat you will see 375 – this is used primarily in items
For 10 karat you will see: , 10kt, or 417
For 14 karat you will see: , 14kt, or 585
For 18 karat you will see:  18kt, or 750
For 22 karat you will see .917