One of The First Known Metals

By: Isaac Baccam pd.7

Background Information and description

Gold is one of the first known metals to be found. It has a symbol of (AU) on the periodic table, and it has an Atomic Number of 79. Gold also has an Atomic Weight of approximately 196.97. It is located in group eleven and period 6 of the periodic table. It is classified as a metal, and has a the color of gold. Pure gold is extremely soft. So, as a result it is very malleable. Gold is also reflective and non-reactive.

History and uses


  • Gold, unlike other elements has not specific date of discovery.
  • However, there is evidence that gold has been a part of human life since the time of the Egyptians (3600 B.C). The Egyptians were also the earliest cultures to smelt gold. They would even heat the smelter using blowpipes.
  • The Mesopotamians however, used gold to make jewelry and decorative ornaments.
  • Gold was also used by the Etruscans for dentistry.
  • Also, throughout history gold was highly valued (due to it's shiny luster) and used for many money systems.
  • In the past gold has served many purposes.
  • For example, gold has been used to make jewelry (rings, necklaces, and earrings) for a long time.
  • Gold is also called a coinage metal. This means that gold can be made into money and has been used as money in many civilizations.
  • Gold is also useful in many electronics due to it's inertness.
  • It is used in electrical components such as electrical contacts, bonding wire, and as a coating for space satellites.
  • Gold is also used in many medical treatments.
  • The gold isotope ^198 AU is even used to treat cancer.

Biology (in humans), Geology (in the universe), and properties

Biology (in humans)

  • Gold is not a necessary thing for any living thing. It serves no vital purpose.
  • However, the only way that gold could be useful in the body would be if it were in medicine.
  • For example, gold is sometimes used in medicines to treat arthritis.
Geology (in the universe)
  • In the universe, there exists about 0.6 parts per billion of gold by weight, but there is only 0.004 parts per billion by atoms. This is an extremely low level of gold in the universe.
  • Gold can also be found in the sun, meteorites, crustal rocks, sea water, and in stream water.

  • Gold is extremely soft, and is therefor malleable and ductile.
  • It is also extremely heavy (It has a density of 19.3 g/cm^3).
  • The melting point of gold is 1064.18 degrees Celsius, and it has a boiling point of 2856 degrees Celsius.
  • Gold is also inert and cannot react with any other elements.

Interesting Facts

Gold has not always been used the way that we used it today. It was used in many interesting and unique ways. For example, 8th century alchemists used gold as an ingredient in their elixirs that were supposed to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Also, gold was put into other medicinal items to cure leprosy. Gold was also proven to kill the microorganism responsible for tuberculosis, and can be extracted from seawater.