Gold or aurum, its Latin name, is the one of the most expensive elements available on the surface of earth, to be more precise, under the surface of earth. It has been placed on the 79th position in the periodic table. Gold is known to be a soft, dense, shinny metal which is most malleable in its purest form.
Gold generally occurs as small grains in big boulders or in alluvial deposits. Almost around two and a half to three tons of ore are needed to extract one ounce of gold. So these stats do make it clear that how difficult it is to find gold. There are other comparatively less known options of finding gold. It also occurs in minerals as gold compounds. Usually gold forms compounds with tellurium.
According to its position in the periodic table it can be understood that gold is a transition element. When put in comparison with other metals, pure gold is chemically least reactive. It is capable of resisting individual acids but when it is put into the acid mixture, aqua regia. Aqua regia is a mixture of hydrochloric acid as well as nitric acid. It is capable of dissolving Gold and hence got its name. Gold also dissolves in alkaline solutions of cyanide, this has been exploited for mining purposes. Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys.
If the statistical records are checked then it would be evident that nearly 50% of gold that is mined is used for making jewelry, 40% for investment purpose and the remaining 10% for the industry. From this it is very much clear that the most prominent use of gold is in the jewelry industry. It is the biggest market around the globe. This over shadows most of the other areas where gold can find optimum use.
The gold used for making jewelry is not in its purest form. It contains certain alloys. The reason of adding alloys in gold is that the pure gold is a very soft in texture. It is not possible to give it the desired shape and retain it for long. Keeping this in mind certain alloys are added to it so as to strengthen it and make it withstand the toughness of craftsmanship.
It is known for a fact that gold is basically used as a store of value, it has many modern industrial uses as well. Dentistry and electronics rank high among these. The good resistance compared to other elements against oxidative corrosion and excellent quality as a conductor of electricity offered by gold has made it the first choice.