Apart from being a perfect hedge against inflationary times and natural human appeal to shiny metal, gold is one of the rarest metals on Earth. People also tend to crave gold because of its perfect physical and chemical characteristics. So, today, we are going to recollect gold properties as a mineral.
Gold’s chemical element is the Au symbol, and the atomic number is 79. In its pure form, it is a yellow, dense, malleable, soft, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and it is an element of group 11. In addition, it belongs to the group of least reactive chemical elements and remains solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs as grains or nuggets in veins, rocks, and in alluvial deposits. It often occurs in a solution with silver, copper, and palladium. It also occurs in minerals as gold compounds especially with tellurium, but not so often. Here is an infographic with all gold properties as a mineral:
This precious metal does not deteriorate over time or age as it is resistant to most acids. Though 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. Meanwhile, people used this property to refine gold and to confirm the presence of gold in metallic objects. It gave rise to the concept of the acid test. Having some special properties as a mineral, gold can dissolve in alkaline solutions of cyanide. Mining and electroplating are the industries using this method. Apart from that, gold dissolves in mercury, creating amalgam alloys, but this isn’t a chemical reaction.
Gold is a rare precious element. People have long been using it for coinage, jewelry, and other types of arts throughout history. In the past, a lot of 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. Gold has your back when all other asset classes leave you high and dry. Therefore, every investor’s portfolio should have a certain amount of allocation to gold.