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5 Interesting Facts About Gold

Gold Jewelry
Chances are, you own some jewelry made from gold. Gold is a classic metal that looks lovely in rings, necklaces, earrings, and other adornments. Beyond the fact that gold is beautiful and valuable, how much do you really know about this staple jewelry material? Read on to discover five interesting facts about gold that will make your rings, watches, and necklaces seem even more valuable to you.

1. Where Does the Word Gold Come From?

In the early Germanic and English-speaking world, this glowing, yellowy metal was named for its color. Gold was called gulpa, and later geolu. Eventually, the word gold evolved, and this has remained the element's name to this day.

People often wonder why the chemical symbol for gold is Au, despite these letters not appearing in the world gold. The reason gold is Au is that the ancient Romans called the metal aurum, which means "glowing dawn." The Romans made vast improvements in the way gold was mined and purified, and gold played an important role in their culture.

2. Which Country Produces the Most Gold?

According to Mining Technology, in 2012, China produced approximately 403 tonnes of gold, which equates to 13.7 percent of global gold production. The second-largest producer of gold is Australia, which contributes about 9.3 percent of global output.

Other major producers include the United States, Russia, South Africa, and Peru. Most gold produced in the U.S. comes from Nevada, with some also coming from South Dakota, Alaska, California, and Colorado.

3. What Is Does Karat Mean?

People often confuse the words carat and karat. The carat is a measure of weight and is used in reference to diamonds. The karat, which is pronounced the same as carat, is not a measure of size or weight, but rather an indication of how pure a gold item is.

Pure gold is 24 karats, and it is quite soft. Therefore, most jewelry is made of a gold alloy that is a bit harder but has a lower karat number. For example, 18 karat gold is 75 percent gold, as 18 is 75 percent of 24 karats (pure gold). For this reason, most jewelry uses 18- karat gold because it is much harder and more durable than 24-karat gold. 

4. Are Olympic Medals Made From Pure Gold?

When you see an Olympian with a gold medal, you probably assume that medal is made from pure gold. However, Olympic medals were only made from solid gold until 1912. Now, the medals given out are mostly gold-plated sterling silver.

The National Olympic Committee has strict rules that govern the way the gold medals are designed and created. At least 6 grams of pure gold must be used to coat each medal, and the medal must measure at least 60 mm across. The design of the medals changes each Olympics since the host city is responsible for designing its own medals.

5. Gold Gave Rise to the Concept of Money

You have probably seen historic shows in which gold coins are used as money, but did you know that gold actually gave rise to the entire concept of money? In ancient civilizations, people measured out gold to use as a currency for trade. Eventually, traders began to make gold coins as a way of standardizing the amount being traded. This created the concept of money.

Now that you know a little more about gold, you may have an increased sense of awe when admiring gold jewelry and other gold items. If you are looking for beautiful gold jewelry in the Waterford area, the come visit us at Lang's C & L Jewelry, Inc.