In keeping with the “Did You Know” theme, I thought I would delve deeper into the interesting and mysterious topic of gold.
Did you know one ounce of gold can be stretched to a length of 50 miles and the wire would be 5 microns wide. The human eye cannot see anything smaller than 40 microns in size! Or that same one ounce of gold could be hammered into a single sheet measuring nearly 100 square feet. But what might be most curious is…where did gold come from? Is gold a naturally existing element found only here on Earth?
What makes a metal a precious metal is its rarity. Rarer than silver or copper, two other metals mined since antiquity, gold’s value has always been proportionately larger. Gold has fantastic properties. It does not tarnish, it’s very easy to work, can be drawn into wire, hammered into thin sheets, made into dental prosthetics, it alloys well with many other metals, can be melted and cast into highly detailed shapes, and has a wonderful color and a brilliant luster. All of these properties could be harnessed since ancient times, like today, just by heating gold nuggets at high temperatures and using simple tools like hammers or molds.
Not surprisingly, gold has been used to make jewelry for millennia. Gold has been designed into some of the world’s most exquisite jewelry—fit for kings and queens the world over. Today, nearly 80% of the world’s mined or recycled gold is used in the manufacturing of jewelry. 80%! This doesn’t even account for stored gold bullion.