Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au (from ) and atomic number 79. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements, and is solid under standard conditions. The metal therefore occurs often in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver (as electrum) and also naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium (gold tellurides). Gold’s atomic number of 79 makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally in the universe, and is traditionally thought to have been produced in supernova nucleosynthesis to seed the dust from which the Solar System formed. Because the Earth was molten when it was just formed, almost all of the gold present in the Earth sank into the planetary core. Therefore most of the gold that is present today in the Earth’s crust and mantle is thought to have been delivered to Earth later, by asteroid impacts during the late heavy bombardment, about 4 billion years ago. Gold resists attacks by individual acids, but it can be dissolved by aqua regia (“royal water” [nitro-hydrochloric acid], so named because it dissolves “the king of metals”). The acid mixture causes the formation of a soluble gold tetrachloride anion. Gold compounds also dissolve in alkaline solutions of cyanide, which have been used in mining. It dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys; it is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals, a property that has long been used to confirm the presence of gold in items, giving rise to the term acid test. This metal has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history. In the past, a gold standard was often implemented as a monetary policy within and between nations, but gold coins ceased to be minted as a circulating currency in the 1930s, and the worldgold standard was finally abandoned for a fiat currency system after 1976. The historical value of gold was rooted in its medium rarity, easy handling and minting, easy smelting, non-corrodability, distinct color, and non-reactivity to other elements. A total of 174,100 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, according to GFMS as of 2012. This is roughly equivalent to 5.6 billion troy ounces or, in terms of volume, about 9020 m3, or a cube 21 m on a side. The world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, and 10% in industry. Gold’s high malleability, ductility, resistance to corrosion and most other chemical reactions, and conductivity of electricity have led to its continued use in corrosion resistant electrical connectors in all types of computerized devices (its chief industrial use). Gold is also used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, and gold leafing. Certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine.
Gold as an Investment
Gold is a popular investment for a variety of reasons. It is a tangible asset that has historically maintained its value, even during periods of economic turmoil. Gold is also relatively easy to buy and sell, making it a liquid asset. And, unlike other investments such as stocks and real estate, gold is not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market or the vagaries of the real estate market.
While there are no guarantees in any investment, many investors view gold as a safe haven asset that can provide stability and peace of mind in uncertain times. If you’re thinking about investing in gold, here are a few things you should know.
How to invest in gold
There are several ways to invest in gold. The most common are:
Physical gold: You can buy physical gold in the form of coins, bars, or jewelry. This is the most direct way to invest in gold, but it’s also the most expensive.
You can buy physical gold in the form of coins, bars, or jewelry. This is the most direct way to invest in gold, but it’s also the most expensive. Gold ETFs: A gold exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a type of investment that tracks the price of gold. Gold ETFs are traded on stock exchanges and can be bought and sold like stocks. They are a more affordable way to invest in gold than buying physical gold.
A gold exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a type of investment that tracks the price of gold. Gold ETFs are traded on stock exchanges and can be bought and sold like stocks. They are a more affordable way to invest in gold than buying physical gold. Gold mutual funds: A gold mutual fund is an investment that invests in companies involved in the gold industry, such as gold mining companies. Gold mutual funds offer exposure to gold without the hassle of buying and storing physical gold.
A gold mutual fund is an investment that invests in companies involved in the gold industry, such as gold mining companies. Gold mutual funds offer exposure to gold without the hassle of buying and storing physical gold. Gold futures: A gold future is a contract to buy or sell a certain amount of gold at a set price on a specific date in the future. Gold futures are traded on commodity exchanges and can be used to speculate on the future price of gold.
Gold IRA : A gold IRA is a type of retirement account that allows you to invest in physical gold. Gold IRAs are self-directed, which means you have a wider range of investment choices than with other types of IRAs. There are various gold ira companies that can help you with this type of investing.