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 Gold

 

Gemstone :
Gold

Birthstone Month :
Gold is not associated with any particular birthstone month.

Zodiac :
Gold is not associated with any particular zodiac sign.

Chemical Symbol :
Au

Chemical Make-up :
Gold itself is an element with the atomic number of 79.

History & Lore :
The chemical symbol for gold (Au) derives from the latin word 'aurum', meaning “shining dawn”.

Ancient artisans lavishly used gold in decorating temples and tombs, and gold objects that have been discovered in Egypt date back to over 5,000 years ago. A particular noteworthy discovery was made by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvorn in 1922 in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, a 14th century B.C Egyptian ruler. The “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibit in 1977-79 attracted more than 6 million visitors during its United States tour.

Another great discovery was made in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann. He had
excavated the graves of nobles at the ancient Citadel of Mycenae near Nauplion, Greece. During the excavation process he had discovered a great variety of gold sculptures, masks, cups, crowns, jewelry, and hundred of decorated beads and buttons that were created by skilled artisans over 3,500 years ago.

 

Availability :
Gold is readily available commercially and it's price is tracked daily. Gold is widely distributed and available on the earth, although large amounts are present in seawater. Unfortunatley costs for the current methods of retrieving gold far exceeds its value.

Sources :
Although Gold occurances can be found worldwide, it is estimated that two third's of the world's supply comes from South Africa. The United States is the second largest supplier, with two third's of their supply coming from Nevada alone. Other major deposits can be found in Africa, Australia, Canada, Russia, and South America.

Evaluation :
Gold is rated at 2.5 on Moh's scale of hardness and because it is naturally soft, it is often combined with other metals in order to strengthen it. Gold has been highly valued to humans for at least the past 5,500 years and is used as the standard monetary system in many countries. It has a metallic luster and a golden-yellow color but depending on impurities it can display colors of pink, blue, green, or even white. Gold is the most ductile and malleable of any other element and is a good conductor of both heat and electricity.

As mentioned before, Gold is generally too soft for jewelry purposes so it's alloyed with other metals to strengthen it. Gold purity is expressed in terms of Karats and is calculated in a fraction of 24ths.

-10 Karat: 41.77% gold

-14 Karat: 58.33% gold

-18 Karat: 75.00% gold

-24 Karat: 99.99% gold (pure)

Numerous factors must be taken into accont when understanding the value of gold jewelry. Karatage naturally must first be taken into account. The purer the gold content in the jewelry, the more valuable it is. Secondly, the weight of the gold item. Heavier pieces will naturally contain more gold. Handmade jewelry items as well as the complexity of the design and details are also both important factors. Gold's history, priceless beauty, desirability, and enduring value not only make it the perfect gift, but the perfect investment as well.

Common Cuts :
Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals known to man. To give an example of how malleable gold is, one ounce (28 grams) can be beaten to a thin sheet measuring 300 square feet. Virtually any desired style, shape, or cut can be formed from gold.

Routine Enhancements :
Gold is often melted down then alloyed with other metals to strengthen it for jewelry purposes.

Care & Cleaning :
Gold is relatively easy to care for. If your gold jewelry does lose its luster, simply revive it by scrubbing it with a soft brush and warm soapy water. Finish off by polishing it with a soft, lint-free cloth. Gold jewelry should be stored seperate from other jewelry items in a soft cloth pouch or in a seperate fabric-lined jewelry box to avoid scratching.

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