Gold

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Gold (play /ˈɡoʊld/) is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum, "shining dawn", hence adjective, aureate) and an atomic number of 79. It has been a highly sought-after preciousmetal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since the beginning of recorded history. The metal occurs as nuggets or grains in rocks, in veins and in alluvial deposits. Gold is dense, soft, shiny and themost malleable and ductile pure metal known. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Gold is one of thecoinage metals and has served as a symbol of wealth and a store of value throughout history. Gold standards have provided a basis for monetary policies. It also has been linked to a variety ofsymbolisms and ideologies.

A total of 165,000 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, as of 2009.[1] This is roughly equivalent to 5.3 billion troy ounces or, in terms of volume, about 8,500cubic meters, or a 20.4m cube.

Although primarily used as a store of value, gold has many modern industrial uses including dentistry and electronics. Gold has traditionally found use because of itsgood resistance to oxidative corrosion and excellent quality as a conductor of electricity.

Chemically, gold is a transition metal and can form trivalent and univalent cations in solutions. Comparedwith other metals, pure gold is chemically least reactive, but it is attacked by aqua regia (a mixture of acids), forming chloroauric acid, but not by the individual acids, and by alkaline solutionsof cyanide. Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys, but does not react with it. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals. This property is exploited in thegold refining technique known as "inquartation and parting". Nitric acid has long been used to confirm the presence of gold in items, and this is the origin of the colloquial term "acid test",...
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