Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Author Jared Kintz wrote, “My two favourite colours of the rainbow are gold and leprechaun”. This proverbial pot at the end of the rainbow has inspired the best and invoked the worst in humanity since Paleolithic man first clapped eyes on it. What is it about this most precious of metals that since, well forever, people have lusted after it, adorned themselves with it, coveted it and fought wars over it?
  1. Pure gold is so pliable it can be moulded by hand like dough.
  2. In the 14th century molten gold was used as a treatment for the bubonic plague.
  3. Elvis Presley owned a gold-plated Cadillac.
  4. It is said that an ounce of gold can be spun to fine thread of up to 80km.
  5. Gold never rusts.
  6. Apparently there is enough gold beneath the earth’s crust to cover the world’s land surface.
  7. The Olympic gold medals of 1912 were made entirely of gold whereas nowadays, their gold content is around 1.5%. 8.
  8. The largest gold nugget ever was found in 1869 in Australia and was a whopping 25 by 64cm. It was found a finger length below the earth’s surface.
  9. Gold is edible.
  10. In reality, the gold-painted lady in the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, could not have died from gold paint suffocation. Yet, for a time the film crew and even members of the public believed it was possible.
  11. Almost half the gold mined in the world to date, perhaps more, comes from South Africa.
  12. More steel is poured in an hour worldwide than all the mined gold since the beginning of recorded history.
  13. The human body contains about 0.2 milligrams of gold, mostly in the blood, but you would need at least 40 000 people to produce enough gold to make a coin.
  14. “Carat” is the accepted term of purity measurement. However, the original ancient measurement was “carob” when the carob seed was used.
  15. As gold conducts both heat and electricity it is used in computer circuitry. In fact, it is claimed that more gold is contained in a tonne of personal computers than in 17 tonnes of pure gold ore. 
For more on gold and its uses see:
The Infinite Art of Gold Leafing
Why The World’s Obsessed with Gold
Dining on Carats at Gold Restaurant

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