Learn more about GOLD
Expensive - Property - Karatage
Gold is a comparatively dense, shiny, yellow metal. As an element, gold is quite resistant to corrosion (by oxygen, but also many other chemicals). There are medical (dentistry), chemical and industrial applications of gold. However, aside these rather limited applications (for which, in fact, gold often can be substituted with other materials like copper, ceramics etc.)
Symbol Au: A soft, yellow, corrosion-resistant element, the most malleable and ductile metal, occurring in veins and alluvial deposits and recovered by mining or by panning or sluicing. A good thermal and electrical conductor, gold is generally alloyed to increase its strength, and it is used as an international monetary standard, in jewelry, for decoration, and as a plated coating on a wide variety of electrical and mechanical components.
It is well known that gold is comparatively expensive (e.g. when compared with the same amount of iron or copper). So, why (at least over the last couple of thousand years) has humanity perceived gold as one of the most expensive materials on the planet? The reasons are in fact very simple: gold is rare, gold cannot be created (synthesized under economic costs) and, as mentioned before, it is shiny and does not oxidize. The latter property made gold an ideal material for jewelry and other representative uses. The ever growing demand for jewelry and the rareness of gold hence determined its price. In return, the high price made gold an ideal store of wealth. One kilogram of gold would have the volume of a small bar of chocolate and could easily be stored under your pillow or on the ground of the fish pond in your garden (no packaging required).
As gold was perceived as an ideal store of wealth, its importance as a medium of exchange in trade grew. Finally, this lead to the invention of gold currencies. However, instead of exchanging real gold coins, it would be enough to only exchange the right on or the promise of a certain amount of gold. Paper money was born. As a result of the times when currencies were backed by gold, many financial institutions (central banks, the IMF etc.) hoard large quantities (several thousands of metric tons) of gold until today. Up until 1971, the US-Dollar was one of these gold backed currencies. Since many other countries linked their own currencies to the Dollar by more or less fix exchange rates, gold was de-facto the world currency.
The amount of gold that has been found or dug out in human history is estimated at 120,000 to 140,000 metric tons (1 metric ton = 1000 kilogram). This amount of gold would fit into one massive cube with edges of a length of 19 meters (imagine a cubic 6-storey house made of massive gold). Around 20-25% (30,000 metric tons) of this gold is hoarded by central banks. The rest is privately owned jewelry (70,000-80,000 metric tons) and bullion (20,000 metric tons). In other words, most of the world's gold is in private hands. The amount of gold that is mined per year is comparatively stable at just above 2% of the worlds above ground gold (around 2,600 metric tons per year)
Gold, recognizable by its yellowish cast, is one of the oldest metals used by humans. As far back as the Neolithic period, humans have collected gold from stream beds, and the actual mining of gold can be traced as far back as 3500 B.C., when early Egyptians (the Sumerian culture of Mesopotamia) used mined gold to craft elaborate jewelry, religious artifacts, and utensils such as goblets.
|Karat Gold||Parts Gold||Percentage Gold||Normal Stamping|
|10 kt||10 in 24||41.67%||416|
|12 kt||12 in 24||50%||500|
|14 kt||14 in 24||58.33%||585|
|18 kt||18 in 24||75%||750|
|21 kt||21 in 24||87%||875|
|22 kt||22 in 24||91%||917|
|24 kt||24 in 24||99.99%||999 or 0.9999|