20 Amazing Facts About Gold You Should Know

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Gold, the precious metal which finds its use from industrial and manufacturing sectors to being a coveted metal used in jewelry as well as in healthcare, has always fascinated humans and is highly prized. As a trader, you might be well aware of the tick values, swaps and everything else there is to know about gold. But here are 20 amazing facts about gold which might (or maybe not) surprise you.

  1. Au: Au is the symbol of gold represented on the periodic table and is derived from the Latin word Aurum (Shining Dawn) and has the atomic number 79.
  2. Gold: The word gold as we know it today comes from the old English word geolo meaning ‘Yellow’ and is related to the Dutch goud and the German gold.
  3. Gold is the 58th rarest element found in the Earth from the commonly accepted notion that there are 92 naturally occurring elements. Hydrogen leads the list while some isotopes make for the rarest such as Astatine, said to be less than 30 grams at any time in the earth.
  4. Gold is a transition metal, meaning the metal is ductile, malleable and can conduct electricity and heat.
  5. China, Russia, United States, South Africa and Australia are the biggest producers of gold in the world.
  6. As of Q2 2016, demand for gold as an investment increased 141% while demand for gold as jewelry and technology fell 14% and 3% from a year ago.
  7. Consumer demand for gold was the highest in Japan as of Q2 2016, rising 163% from a year ago.
  8. As of June 2016, United States, Germany and Italy had officially reported gold holdings of 76%, 70% and 69% of reserves.

    Gold Reserves
    Official Gold Reserves (Source: World Gold Council)
  9. 2700 Celsius: The boiling point of gold (changes from liquid to gas), 1064 Celsius: The melting point of gold (changes from solid to liquid).
  10. South Africa Gold Rush started in 1885 when Australian miner George Harrison discovered gold ore near Johannesburg. The California Gold Rush started in 1849. (Source)
  11. One ounce of pure gold can be hammered into a single 10.7 square yard sheet.
  12. 999.9, 999.999 are the fineness of the precious metal referring to the ratio by weight to the primary metal added to a base metal. It is expressed as parts per 1,000. A 999 or three nines fine is equal to a 24 karat gold. 999.999 or six nines fine is the purest form of gold, having 999.999 parts of gold per 1000.
  13. Karat: It is a unit of purity of gold with 24-karat being the purest form of gold. In Jewelry, gold is often mixed with other metals to change the color and strength. 18-karat gold indicates 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals. (For more information, read here.)
  14. Goldwasser (gold water) is a root and herbal liqueur produced in Poland. What is it unique about this liqueur is the small flakes of 22 or 23 karat gold suspended in it. (This story gives more interesting insights into Goldwasser)
  15. The Dow/Gold ratio chart which shows how much of gold it takes to buy one share of the Dow is considered to be a recession indicator.

    Dow Gold Ratio Chart
    Dow Gold Ratio Chart (1976 – 2016)
  16. The largest gold nugget, called ‘The Welcome Stranger’ was found in Australia in 1869 which weighed 2316 troy ounces.
  17. Troy ounce (oz t) is a unit of measure to measure the mass or weight. One troy ounce is equal to 31.1034768 grams. Gold (XAU) is denoted in one troy ounce. The most widely prevailing mystery behind the name is expected to have come from the French town of Troyes which is said to have created the system of weights in the Middle Ages.
  18. 0.034 grams: That is the approximate amount of gold in an iPhone according to the US Geological Survey.
  19. Swiss Franc was the last country to break the gold standard in 1999, following a referendum on New Constitution reforms in April that year, making the currency a fiat currency. (Source)
  20. Until 1912 (Stockholm Olympics), the Olympic gold medal was made of solid gold. The modern day Olympic gold medal is actually made of sterling silver, plated with real gold. (Source)


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