The coveted precious metal, which has fascinated and accompanied us humans since the beginning of civilization, is currently breaking all records again and is more valuable than ever before. Although it is indispensable for numerous everyday objects, the majority of gold is still made into jewelry and has always delighted its happy owners in this form.
Reason enough to dedicate yourself to this unique element and give it your well-deserved recognition, appreciation and admiration.
These are 7 amazing facts about gold that you probably didn't know:
- From distant galaxies
Almost all of the gold that exists in our world does not actually come from Earth. Instead, the gold we know today comes from countless meteorites. Over 200 million years ago, when our planet was still forming, these pieces of rock bombarded the earth, bringing their valuable cargo into our soil.
- True rarity
To date, around 187,000 tonnes of gold have been mined around the world. That might sound like a lot to some ears. However, melting down this entire deposit would result in a cube with a side of just 21 meters, which is roughly the size of an apartment building. Gold is one of the rarest metals on earth.
Gold is characterized by its unrivaled formability, the so-called ductility. This property, which is also essential for our goldsmith craft, enables this precious metal to be stretched and rolled. From a single gram of gold, a 24 kilometer long, wafer-thin thread can be drawn - from Zurich to Winterthur.
- Gold ≠ Gold plated
Gold-plated pieces of jewelry are increasingly being offered in the jewelry trade. In contrast to solid gold jewelry, these pieces are only superficially covered with a thin layer of gold. The base material is usually silver or, as is sometimes the case with fashion jewelry, fake metals. Gold-plated silver jewelry is an affordable alternative to traditional gold jewelry. However, the thin gold layer can wear away over time through wear, so that the underlying material becomes visible again.
- From times gone by
An important special feature of gold is its chemical stability, so to speak its “indestructibility”. This property makes it possible to recycle the material again and again. The majority of jewelry made today is made from melted and recycled old gold. It may even be that your gold finger ring contains tiny particles of a ducat from ancient Greece.
Since the age of ancient Egypt, alchemists have unsuccessfully attempted to convert base metals such as lead into gold through complex chemical and physical processes. The technical term for this teaching is “Chrysopoeia,” which means “making gold.” Later advances in nuclear science even made it possible to realize this ambitious project. However, the gold created could only be produced in very small quantities and was even radioactive.
- Golden boy
For healthy function, our body depends on trace elements such as iron, copper or zinc. They are essential to our existence and fulfill very specific functions. But it's not just these base metals that flow through our blood. Gold is also present in every person in an amount of around 0.2 milligrams.
Author : Marco Mauchle, goldsmith