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Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum) and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In a pure form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver (as electrum), naturally alloyed with other metals like copper and palladium and also as mineral inclusions such as within pyrite. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium (gold tellurides).

Gold is resistant to most acids, though it does dissolve in aqua regia (a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid), which forms a soluble tetrachloroaurate anion. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals, a property that has long been used to refine gold and to confirm the presence of gold in metallic objects, giving rise to the term acid test. Gold also dissolves in alkaline solutions of cyanide, which are used in mining and electroplating. Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys, but this is not a chemical reaction.

A relatively rare element, gold is a precious metal that has been used for coinage, jewelry, and other arts throughout recorded history. In the past, a gold standard was often implemented as a monetary policy, but gold coins ceased to be minted as a circulating currency in the 1930s, and the world gold standard was abandoned for a fiat currency system after 1971.

A total of 197,576 tonnes of gold exists above ground, as of 2019. This is equal to a cube with each side measuring roughly 21.7 metres. The world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, and 10% in industry. Gold's high malleability, ductility, resistance to corrosion and most other chemical reactions, and conductivity of electricity have led to its continued use in corrosion resistant electrical connectors in all types of computerized devices (its chief industrial use). Gold is also used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, and tooth restoration. Certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine. As of 2017, the world's largest gold producer by far was China with 440 tonnes per year.

Gold Media

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Hamzah, an uncle of the Prophet although of about the same age, dressed in gold armor and holding a sword, threatens to punish those of the Quraysh who are not faithful to Muhammad after Abû Tâlib's death.

Hamzah, an uncle of the Prophet although of about the same age, dresse...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

The young Siyâvush, son of Kay Kâ'ûs, on his way from Zâbulistân to his father's court with his army is showered with gold and ambergris by the people.

The young Siyâvush, son of Kay Kâ'ûs, on his way from Zâbulistân to hi...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

'Alî, surrounded by evil spirits, is enveloped by a gold nimbus and protected by Jibrîl.

'Alî, surrounded by evil spirits, is enveloped by a gold nimbus and pr...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

The daughter of Muhammad, who is seated in a litter, takes leave of four female members of the Prophet's family; all the women have flaming gold halos.

The daughter of Muhammad, who is seated in a litter, takes leave of fo...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

Dârâ, the son of Dârâb, sits on the throne with supports in the form of gold lions.

Dârâ, the son of Dârâb, sits on the throne with supports in the form o...

Life of the Prophet Muhammad written at the order of the Mamluk sultan al-Mansûr 'Alâ' al-Dîn 'Alî (d. 778/1376). The work was first illustrated during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Murâd III.

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