Beautiful and expensive things will always surprise us no matter how eager we are to discover everything about them. Assuredly, gold is one of the most interesting metals we use, buy and get excited about. Gold represents power, beauty and, why not, love and life-bounding. It incorporates style and talks about fashion without saying a word. Gold is more than a jewellery material, is a self-contained attitude. A veritable personality. But, even if we are aware of all these things, there is always more to know about gold. Always something surprising.
IN ITS EARLY DAYS.
This metal has received the name “gold” for a good reason: the word comes from Old English and it means “ yellow” (and the Aztec word for gold, “teocuitatl” is translated by the Europeans as “excrement of the gods”; the Latin name is “aurum” which is “shining dawn” or “glow of sunrise”). Gold can be found on each of the 7 continents and 80% of it is still buried somewhere underground and 10 billion tons lays in the oceans. Until today, 161 000 tons of it has been mined, 73% of it has been extracted since 1910. And 2/3 of the world’s gold comes come from South Africa and India is the biggest consumer of gold today.
AS IT IS.
A standard gold bar is 7″ by 3 and 5/8″ by 1 and 3/4″ and the most expensive gold coin is the Double Eagle (1933) sold in New York in 2002 for $7.59 million. 2,063 degrees Fahrenheit is the melting point of gold and the absolutely pure one is so soft that it can be molded with bare hands (it is a known fact that gold is one of the most malleable and ductile metal). Until 1912, the Olympic medals were pure gold and even if it is buried for 1000 years, gold will still be shining. Gold is 19,3 times as heavy as water: for example, one cubic meter weights 19 300 kg. If we listen to the scientists, we might find gold on Mars, Mercury or Venus. Until then, enjoy our beautiful earthly gold.
It is gold’s strongest rival. And sometimes, back in the old days, in ancient Egypt and Medieval Europe, it was often more valuable than gold. Yes, we are talking about silver – a metal that comes with its own power and elegance taking away gold’s admirers in a blink of an eye.
IN ITS EARLY DAYS.
“Silver” refers to the .925 silver grade emerged in England, in the 13th century, but words for silver and money are the same in at least 14 languages. Silver was even mentioned in the Bible, its name comes from the Old English “seolfor”. Before 2007, there was 1 740 000 metric tons of silver discovered in the world. Geologists say that there are 17 ounces of silver for every ounce of gold on the planet. Since 700 BC., silver has been coined over and over again: in 2003, in the United Kingdom, there were minted into coins and medals half a million ounces of silver. The largest producers of silver are Mexico, Chile and Peru.
AS IT IS.
Over the years, silver jewellery has been associated with magical powers and people believed that silver can heal, bring good luck and ward the evil spirits away. 1761 degrees Fahrenheit (960 degrees Celsius) is the silver’s melting point. It is used in medical purposes because of its antibiotic characteristics, silver is also a dental alloy (used in cavity fillings). Silver can be eaten (not advised) and it’s harder than gold. 1 out of 7 pair of eyeglasses that are sold nowadays in the United States of America has silver in it. And almost 95% of silver is used for silverware, jewellery and photography. 95% – every year.