13- Elements of Money

By: Danielle Coffey

The Basics of Chapter 13:

Money was the idea of chapter 13. It wasn't how money is made or anything like that, it's about its history. The first element to be discussed was Gold. It talks about the Prince Midas and how in those times there was no distinction between gold and materials that could be mistaken as gold. Therefore the idea of counterfeiting came about. That led to the other story of gold that took place in Australia. The story is about how there was this town and everywhere you went you could pick up "gold" even though it wasn't really gold. Although gold was the main element in this chapter, other elements have history related to it as well. These elements include Zinc, Tellurium, and Europium. The last element to be discussed was Aluminum. Aluminum use to be a very precious metal, but has since lost its value.


Atomic Number- 30

Atomic Mass- 65.37

Period- 4

Group- 12

Electron Configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10

Element Classification- Transition Metal

Zinc is naturally found in our bodies, earth, and air. Zinc is important in our bodies because it boost the immune system, helps cells grow, and is a natural insect repellent/sunscreen. Andreas Marggraf first found the element in Europe in 1746. Zinc got its name from the German word "zinke" meaning pointed because when the sharp-pointed crystals formed after being smelted.

Bluish-white in color. It is brittle and crystaline at room temperature but becomes malleable when heated to 110 degrees Celsius to 150 degrees Celsius.


Atomic Number- 79

Atomic Mass- 196.967

Period- 6

Group- 11

Electron Configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6 4f14 5d10 6s1

Element Classification- Transition Metal

Gold is found pretty much everywhere but the richest gold field is Witwatersrand Basin in South America. The main use of gold was for economic purposes and most of the worlds economy is backed up with it. Another benefit of gold is that it is also used to help cure rheumatoid arthritis. The use of gold dates back to 3000 B.C. and the word gold comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for metal.

Jewelry consumes around 75% of gold production. Gold is metallic/yellow in color.


Atomic Number- 63

Atomic Mass- 151.964

Period- 6

Group- Lanthanides

Electron Configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p6 4f7 5d0 6s2

Element Classification- Lanthanide

Since Europium isn't a common element, it was only spectroscopically found in the sun and in certain stars. Europiums was once used as a laser metal, but that usage has since died down. Eugene-Anatole Demarcay found the element in 1901 in Europe. He discovered it by seperating crystallisations of samarium magnesium nitrate. Europium was just named after Europe, since it was created there.

Europium is a metal that is silvery-white in color.


Atomic Number- 52

Atomic Mass- 127.603

Period- 5

Group- 16

Electron Configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d10 4s2 4p6 4d10 5s2 5p4

Element Classification- Metalloid

Tellurium is found in its natural state, but it is most commonly found as the telluride of gold, calaverite. You can find it in the United States, Peru, Japan, and Canada. Tellurium is used to decrease lead corrosion, is the main material in blasting caps, and is used in ceramics. It was first found in 1783 in Sibiu, Romania by Franz-Joseph Muller Von Reichenstein. The word 'Tellurium' came from "tellus" which is the Latin word for Earth.

Tellurium is a silverish color, is brittle, and easily pulverized.


Atomic Number- 13

Atomic Mass- 26.982

Period- 3

Group- 13

Electron Configuration- 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p1

Element Classification- Other Metal

Most of Aluminum is found in the Earth's crust and it is the number one element found in the Earth's crust. Aluminum can also be produced from clay, and can be found in granite or other common minerals, just not in nature alone. The many uses aluminum has speaks for its importance. It is used in kitchen utensils, power lines, soda cans, and to coat toys, packages, etc. Hans Oersted was the first to discover it in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1825. The element name came from a Latin word "alumen" meaning bitter salt.

Aluminum is a silvery white metal that is light, nonmagnetic, and nonsparking.


Chapter 13- Elements of Money is useful because it describes the use of money in our world and how these elements have changed the world. Without Gold, Zinc, Tellurium, Europium, and Aluminum, we wouldn't have the money system we do today. We would still be using coins more than paper money. But since the coins could be easily counterfeited, we switched and that is what chapter 13 describes.


Lenntech. (2016). Elements. Retrieved from http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/index.htm

Straka, J. (2016). Periodic Table. Retrieved from http://www.tabulka.cz/english/

Los Alamos National Security. (2016). Periodic Table of Elements. Retrieved from http://periodic.lanl.gov/list.shtml

Royal Society of Chemistry. (2016). Periodic Table. Retrieved from http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table