Some Basic Facts about Gold

THE CHEMICAL SYMBOL of gold is AU from Aurum, the Latin word for gold. Chemically gold is an element, which means it cannot be broken down further. Interestingly, in the Periodic Table of Elements (below) gold occupies the same group, i.e. Group 11, as copper (Cu) and silver (Ag) that also played the role of money in the history of mankind.

Pure gold is yellow in colour. Nevertheless, the colour changes depending on the added alloy metals, as illustrated below:

Karat grade is used to express the purity of gold. It basically refers to the proportion of gold in an alloy. Pure gold (100 per cent) is 24 karat. The proportions in other karat are as in the table below.

Example: 22K means that 22 out of 24 portions are gold. This equals 91.66 per cent of gold, hence it is also known as 916 gold. Similarly 18K contains 75 per cent gold.

  • As an element, gold cannot be further broken down by chemical means. Hence it is indestructible and permanent.
  • Gold is also such an inactive metal that it is not affected by air and water, i.e. does not oxidize (tarnish, rust or corrode). Gold artefacts unearthed in the Egyptian pyramids still look new and bright.
  • Gold is highly malleable (i.e. the ability to be pound into thin sheets) such that a single ounce of gold can be hammered into a 100 squarefoot sheet.
  • Gold can be hammered so thin that sunlight can shine through it. A pile an inch high can contain more than 200,000 sheets!
  • Gold reflects infrared rays while allowing sunlight to pass through, hence its use in astronaut helmets and window glass.
  • Gold is most ductile (ability to draw out into wire) that a single ounce of it can be drawn out into a 50-mile long wire!
  • Gold is so rare that only about 90,000 tons of it have been taken from the earth in recorded history
  • South Africa is the largest gold producing country in the world. Other leading producers include Russia, Canada, and the United States.
  • Gold is so heavy that one cubic foot of it weighs half a ton.
  • All the gold in the world could be compressed into an 18-yard cube.
  • Gold has been used by man for more than 6000 years.
  • In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt banned the private ownership of gold, which was then lifted on December 31, 1974.
  • Gold is said to be a cure for rheumatoid arthritis. It is chemically liquefied and injected into the muscles of arthritic patients. It is said that the treatment is successful in seven out of ten cases.

Nest of GoldReference:


  1. Assalamualaikum. Prof, hope you are doing fine. I am very happy to see that your website is again active. Please continue to post new topic/your views. Thanks!

  2. ain porcelain says:

    what a nice facts ab GOLD! 🙂

  3. Anwar Allah Pitchay ( PhD, IIUM) says:

    Watch the above CNBC interview with George Soros

    Mr Soros, arguably the most famous hedge fund manager in history, warned that with interest rates low around the world, policymakers were risking generating new bubbles which could cause crashes in the future. In comments delivered on the fringe of the World Economic Forum, Mr Soros said: “When interest rates are low we have conditions for asset bubbles to develop, and they are developing at the moment. The ultimate asset bubble is gold.”
    Gold prices last month reached a record level of just over $1,225 per ounce, having risen around 40pc last year. Investors are piling into the metal amid fears both of potential inflation and fading faith about the stability of previously-assumed safe assets such as government debt. However, the chairman of Barrick Gold, the world’s biggest producer, Peter Munk, said he expected the metal’s upward march to continue.
    Mr Soros added that by proposing imminent “exit strategies” from the unprecedented support handed out to troubled banks and consumers, governments around the world could be in danger of triggering a double-dip in the global economy. In comments which will reinforce Labour’s plan to fight the next election on promises not to start raising taxes or cutting spending too soon, he said that it was still too early to slash budget deficits.
    He said: “I think that since the adjustment process to the recession is incomplete, there is a need for additional stimulus. Some countries, like the US and European countries, have plenty of room to increase their deficits. The political resistance to doing so increases the chances of a double dip in the economy in 2011 and after that.”

    Something will Happen to the world because of the interest rate..

  4. Great facts about gold!

  5. Assalamua’alaikum.

    Prof, since attending your class in 2007 I have started to invest in gold. Alhamdulillah the price is going up steadily in general… and means healthily to my pocket… I now see the potential and significance of gold… and really appreciate your existing and forthcoming postings on gold. All theb best to you sir! Tx

  6. Quin Marton says:

    this website was very informational and very educational but you couldve added a little more “pizazz” to it to make it more interesting

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