GOLD ----- GOLD ----- GOLD
Typical gold nugget weighing 9.8oz. from the Central Victorian Goldfields
In the Beginning
Since the beginning of civilisation man has placed great value on gold, and as unlike other metals it exists and is found virtually in its pure form, it was probably the first metal to be used by mankind. As far back as 4000 B.C. the ancient Egyptians fashioned beautiful artifacts from gold. Universally considered to be the symbol of everything precious and of lasting value.
ABC News Item
Archeologists have unearthed a nearly 4,000-year-old necklace which shows that gold was being used as a status symbol in the Americas much earlier than previously thought, according to a study. - MORE
Gold has taken many forms over the centuries: from nuggets, coins, ingots, idols and in more recent times modern technology has expanded it's horizons even further into the fields of electronics, space travel and medical science to name a just few. Considered valuable not only because of it's rarity but also because of natures reluctance to give it up gold is the first element mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 2: 10-12), and gold has fascinated and seduced man since the very beginning.....
the greatest economic importance. Many nations base the value of their currency on the amount of gold in their reserves. Gold is the only universally accepted medium of exchange.
Pure gold is soft, only about 2.5 to 3 in the mohs scale, almost too soft to be used in jewellery without being alloyed with another metal. It is the most ductile and malleable of all metals and can be beaten into a sheet or leaf so thin that one ounce will cover an area of 160 square feet. Gold is almost completely insoluble in nature and in ordinary acids, only a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids called "aqua regia" and some cyanide solutions will dissolve it.
What makes it unique?
GOLD is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. It is said that a single ounce of GOLD can be drawn to form a wire more than 60 kilometres long without breaking. With a specific gravity 19 times that of water, virtually immune to the effects of oxygen it will not corrode or rust and is an excellent conductor of electricity. GOLD cannot be broken down into any more elementary substances, nor can any other substance be made from it. Its colour and lustre have lured men and women with an irrational attraction since it was first discovered. Many have succumbed to "GOLD FEVER". It has been said by many an astute observer, that once a person has been afflicted with GOLD FEVER one is then afflicted for the rest of their lifetime, an illusive love affair that never truly fades.
What form does GOLD take?
From fine particles, almost invisible to the naked eye, through to nuggets many kilograms in weight. The largest GOLD nugget ever found in the world was found on 5th. February 1869 at Moliagul, just 14 kms northwest of Dunolly, in the heart of the Victorian Goldfields, Australia. It weighed a massive 2322 troy ounces. That's more than 70 kilograms. The Hand of Faith Nugget found at Kingower approx. 30 kms north of Dunolly in October 1980 is the largest GOLD nugget known to remain in existence today. It is also the largest GOLD nugget ever found with a metal detector weighing 876 troy ounces, more than 27 kilograms. Sold in1982 for a reputed sum of around AUD$1,000,000.00 it is now on display in the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. Rarely ever, is GOLD found in it's crystalline form.
The Welcome Stranger Nugget - weight 2322 Troy ounces
These are worth far more than crushed or smelted gold as each nugget is truly unique. Created by nature, no two nuggets are ever the same, each has it's own special beauty. Most of the worlds gold production is produced by extracting fine gold from mineral ore by various methods such as crushing, leaching, cyaniding etc. and is finally smelted into ingots. Gold nuggets are relatively rare and not distributed evenly through the worlds gold resources and as such have been eagerly sought after by collectors from all over the world. In Australia gold nuggets are found in many districts however the area famous as the Golden Triangle, a section of the Central Victorian Goldfields region has produced some of the largest and most beautiful nuggets of all, including the Welcome Stranger (the largest gold nugget ever discovered in whole world) and the Hand of Faith the largest gold nugget still in existence today, and which is also the largest gold nugget ever found with an electronic metal detector.
The Hand of Faith - found 26/09/1980 - weight 876 Troy ounces (27.2Kg)
Further Facts about more Information About Gold
Due to the amount of information that was originally contained on this page and it's unweildy length, this page it has been broken up into several sections which may be accessed from the links below.
Follow the links below for further information about:-
About Gold Nuggets
Specimen Gold Nuggets
Some interesting facts about GOLD
As with other precious metals,GOLD is weighed in Troy Ounces.
World GOLD price is quoted in $US per Troy oz.
- 12 Troy ounces (oz.) = 1 Troy pound (lb.)
- 20 pennyweights (dwt.) = 1 Troy ounce (oz.)
- 24grains (gr.) = 1 pennyweight (dwt.)
- 480 grains (gr.) = 1 Troy ounce (oz.)
- 1 Troy Ounce = 31.1 grams
- 1 Pennyweight = 1.5552 grams
- 1 Grain = 0.0648 grams
FINE GOLD (Bullion) = 99.99% pure also known as Four Nines gold.
- Chemical Symbol = Au
- Crystal Structure = cubic
- Atomic Number = 79
- Atomic Weight = 196.967
- Specific Gravity = 19.32
- Melting Point = 1063 deg. C
- Boiling Point = 2966 deg. C
GOLD has been highly treasured and used to make fine Jewellery for countless centuries, firstly using natural gold, and then as mankind discovered how to smelt and mix (alloy) various metals together, gold has been alloyed with various other metals such as nickel, silver, palladium, platinum, copper etc., to change its properties. Gold being one of the softest metals, the greater the amount of another harder metal that is alloyed with it so it's hardness is increased, thus improving the wearing properties of jewellery items such as rings and chains etc. Alloying gold with other metals can also change the colour enabling the production of White Gold, Rose Gold, etc. The method used today to show the purity and usually the hardness of a piece of GOLD jewellery is to quote the gold content in Carats (or Karats).
Carat/Gold Content Percentages:
- 24 Carat = 100.0% gold content
- 18 Carat = 75.00% gold content
- 14 Carat = 58.33% gold content
- 12 Carat = 50.00% gold content
- 10 Carat = 41.67% gold content
- 9 Carat = 37.50% gold content
Is it fool's gold -- How can you tell?
The most common materials commonly mistaken for gold are Pyrite (sg = 5.0) and Mica (sg = 2.7 - 3.4) while many tests can be done (depending on the size and/or mass of a given material) to determine wether it is gold or not, the most common are;
Scratch testing ........ When GOLD is scratched it leaves a mark of the same colour. Copper Pyrites, commonly mistaken for GOLD leaves a greenish / black powder & Iron Pyrites is very hard to scratch.
When struck with a hammer GOLD will simply flatten but both copper & iron pyrites will be reduced to powder while mica will tend to dis-intergrate.
The brightness of gold does not change much between sun and shade, by examining the material in the sun and then in the shade, should a significant change in brightness be observed the material of intererst is probably not gold. When observerd in open shade gold will retain it's sheen regardless of which ever way it is turned while fool's gold will vary considerably.
Chemical testing ........ GOLD will not be affected by a drop of nitric or hydrochloric acid. Pyrites will foam slightly & eventually dissolve.