Gold and Silver Facts

Gold and Silver have been useful to mankind since ancient civilization. Even today, we use gold and silver in our everyday lives. But most of the people nowadays don’t know the purpose and the importance of both metals.  Let’s talk further about two of the most important metals ever discovered by mankind.  Here are some amazing facts about Gold and Silver.

Gold characteristics

  • Color                           golden yellow
  • Atomic Weight         9665
  • Normal State            solid
  • Melting Point           18 deg C, 1337.33 K
  • Boiling Point            2850 deg C, 3123 K
  • Electrons                  79
  • Protons                     79

Gold is one of the oldest metals continually used since ancient civilizations. Its bright yellow color has been valued for thousands of years. The oldest gold treasure ever found was in a burial site in Varna, Bulgaria from around 4000 BC ( from the ancient Thracian civilization).

By 3100 BC man has evidence of gold and silver used by the Early Dynastic  Period of ancient Egypt. Egyptians used gold plates to decorate shrines, ornaments, weapons, ceramics, statues, glassware and jewelry. Gold has also been used as a standard for currencies all over the world.

The world’s largest gold bar was manufactured by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi. The gold bar stands at 250 kg (551 lb), measuring at the base   45.5 cm x 22.5 cm and 17 cm high with a 5-degree draft angle (equal to 15,730  cm³, or 17.9 in × 8.9 in × 6.7 in ≈ 1062.04 in³).

Gold is found on every continent on Earth, except for Antartica. The largest amount of gold can be found in the oceans.

Gold is edible, pure gold is chemically inert and passes through the human digestive system without being absorbed into the body. Since 24-karat gold is very soft and fragile, most edible gold – whether leaf, flakes or dust – also contains a little bit of silver which is also inert ( so it means we can eat a whole 24-karat gold without falling ill).

Earthquakes can turn water into gold (sounds like a shake rattle and gold!). During an earthquake, the fault jog suddenly opens wider. It’s like pulling the lid off a pressure cooker. The water inside the void vaporizes instantly, flashing to steam and forcing silica, which forms the mineral quartz and gold out of the fluids and onto nearby surfaces.

There’s gold in Eucalyptus trees ( sounds fun to plant eucalyptus trees ). Australian researchers have found that microscopic gold particles from underground ore deposits are present in the leaves of this tree!.


Silver characteristics

  • Color                         Silver
  • Atomic Weight       868
  • Normal State           solid
  • Melting Point          95 deg C, 1235.1 K
  • Boiling Point           2155 deg C, 2428 K
  • Electrons                 47
  • Protons                    47

Silver has been used since prehistoric times. We do not know who discovered it, although the discovery would almost have been native silver. Silver objects dating from around 4000 BC have been found in Greece and in Anatolia (in modern Turkey).

For thousands of years, silver has been used as a medicine and anti-bacterial agent by ancient civilization throughout the world. Its medical purpose can be tracked since the ancient Greek and Roman Empires. The word silver comes from the Greek word “Argos”, meaning shiny or white.

Silver is the best electric conductor of all the elements. It is used as the standard by which other conductors are measured. On a scale of 0-100, silver ranks 100 in terms of electrical conductivity, followed by copper that ranks in 97 and gold ranks in 76.

Silver metal is not toxic to humans. In fact, like gold, it can be used as a food decoration. However, most silver salts are toxic to humans.  Silver is considered as germicidal meaning it kills bacteria and other lower organisms. Silver compounds can be absorbed into the circulatory system and reduced silver can be deposited into various bodily tissues.

Silver is so shiny that when polished it can reflect 95% of the light, taking a photograph also requires using a silver nitrate compound to make celluloid film sensitive to light. Around 30% of industrial silver consumption in the US is used for this.

The most common form of silver is sterling silver. This is actually a 92.5% pure silver, with the other 7.5% made up of other precious metal including copper. Britannia silver is an alloy of 95.8% silver and 4.2% copper, also used for jewelry and silverware. Fine silver is at least 99.9% pure and commercially available, but too soft for general use

The primary source of silver today is the New World. Mexico is the leading producer, followed by Peru. The United States, Canada, Russia, and Australia also produce silver. Around two-thirds of the silver obtained today is a byproduct of copper, lead, and zinc mining.

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