Gold, element Au, was one of the first known metals. The gold standard defines the world’s currency system, whereby money represents a value in gold.
Gold is an extraordinary and rare precious metal, with an unmatched combination of chemical and physical properties. It is the only yellow metal and the name gold derives from the Old English word for yellow, ‘Geolu’.
Gold is the most non-reactive of all metals and it does not oxidize under ordinary conditions, meaning that it will never rust and never tarnish. Gold’s physical properties of high electrical conductivity and chemical inertness make it an excellent and reliable conductor, particularly in harsh environments, where temperatures can range from -55°C to 200°C. No other metal is as malleable as gold. A single ounce of the metal can be drawn into a wire five miles long. Gold is also an excellent conductor of thermal energy. Due to all these specialties, gold is used in various other industrial applications along with jewelry manufacturing.