Wednesday, November 10, 2010



Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum, "shining dawn", hence adjective, aureate) and an atomic number of 79. It has been a highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since the beginning of recorded history.

Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water.

It also has been linked to a variety of symbolisms and ideologies.

High quality pure metallic gold is tasteless and scentless.

Whereas most other pure metals are gray or silvery white, gold is yellow. This color is determined by the density of loosely bound (valence) electrons; those electrons oscillate as a collective "plasma" medium described in terms of a quasiparticle called plasmon. The frequency of these oscillations lies in the ultraviolet range for most metals, but it falls into the visible range for gold due to subtle relativistic effects that affect the orbitals around gold atoms.

In medieval times, gold was often seen as beneficial for the health, in the belief that something that rare and beautiful could not be anything but healthy. Even some modern esotericists and forms of alternative medicine assign metallic gold a healing power. 

Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals; a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter.

Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become translucent. The transmitted light appears greenish blue, because gold strongly reflects yellow and red. Such semi-transparent sheets also strongly reflect infrared light, making them useful as infrared (radiant heat) shields in visors of heat-resistant suits, and in sun-visors for spacesuits.
Gold can be used in food and has the E number 175.

Danziger Goldwasser (German: Gold water of Danzig) or Goldwasser is a traditional German herbal liqueur produced in what is today Gdańsk, Poland, and Schwabach, Germany, and contains flakes of gold leaf. There are also some expensive (~$1000) cocktails which contain flakes of gold leaf. However, since metallic gold is inert to all body chemistry, it adds no taste nor has it any other nutritional effect and leaves the body unaltered.

Aristotle in his ethics used gold symbolism when referring to what is now commonly known as the "golden mean". Similarly, gold is associated with perfect or divine principles, such as in the case of Phi, which is sometimes called the "golden ratio".


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