Apart from being a perfect hedge against inflationary times as well as having a natural human appeal, gold is one of the rarest metals on Earth. People also tend to crave gold because of its perfect physical and chemical characteristics. In this post, we’ll discuss the properties of gold as a mineral.
Gold’s chemical element is the Au symbol, and its atomic number is 79. In its purest form, it is a yellow, dense, malleable, soft, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and an element of group 11. In addition, it belongs to the group of least reactive chemical elements and remains solid under standard conditions.
Gold is often found as grains or nuggets in veins, rocks, and in alluvial deposits. It often occurs in combination with silver, copper, and palladium. It also occurs in minerals as gold compounds, especially with tellurium, although this is a rare occurrence. The following infographic demonstrates all the properties of gold as a mineral:
This precious metal does not deteriorate over time or age since it is resistant to most acids. Although it dissolves in aqua regia (a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid), it is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals.
This property has been used to refine gold and to confirm the presence of gold in metallic objects. It even gave rise to the concept of the acid test. Having special properties as a mineral, gold can dissolve in alkaline solutions like cyanide. Industries such as mining and electroplating use this method. In addition, gold dissolves in mercury, creating an amalgam of alloys. However, this isn’t a chemical reaction.
Gold is a rare precious element and throughout history, people have been using it for coinage, jewelry, and other types of art and decoration.
In the past, many countries implemented a gold standard as a monetary policy. Nowadays, gold is a global standard and can be bought and sold anywhere across the world. And when all other asset classes leave you high and dry, gold is the one that has your back. Therefore, every investor’s portfolio should have a certain amount allocated to gold.