Gold Facts

  • Gold is a chemical element. Its chemical symbol is Au and its atomic number is 79.
  • Compared to other metals, gold is less chemically reactive.
  • Gold is a good conductor of electricity and heat.
  • Gold is shiny, soft and dense. It is also malleable, which means it can easily be beaten into thin sheets or other shapes.
  • Gold is malleable enough for just 1 gram to be hammered into a sheet 1 square meter in size. It can also be made so thin that it appears transparent.
  • Due to a similar appearance to gold, the mineral pyrite has the nickname fool’s gold.
  • The amount of gold in various alloys (a combination of gold and another metal such as silver) is measured in carats (k). Pure gold is 24k.
  • As of 2009, it has been estimated that humans have mined around 160000 tonnes of gold.