Precious Metals

Information

Origin:

Its chemical symbol, Au, comes from aurum, the Latin word for shining dawn.

Color:

Yellow color and metallic glow

Atomic Number:

79

Atomic Mass:

196.966

Gold

Gold is one of the most lustrous (shiny) metals. It was one of the first metals discovered. Gold is one of the easiest metals to shape. It can be beaten into thinner sheets than any other metal. It is one of the densest metals: Gold weighs about 19 times as much as an equal volume of water at 20 degrees C (68 degrees F).

Gold conducts electric current better than all other metals except silver and copper. Gold also conducts heat well. In addition, it reflects infrared (heat) rays better than any other metal. People have used gold for jewelry and money for thousands of years.

Gold is a stable metal. It does not dissolve or corrode (wear away due to chemical action) in simple acids, such as sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid, or in simple bases, such as sodium hydroxide or lime. Gold occurs as yellow nuggets, grains, and flakes. It does not tarnish. Gold has a hardness of 2 1/2 to 3 and does not cleave.

Gold is a metal prized for its beauty, usefulness, and scarcity. Throughout history, people have sought gold more eagerly than any other metal.

Topics

Platinum
Palladium
Rhodium
Gold
Silver

Since the mid-seventies, the automotive industry has emerged as the principal consumer of PGMs. Platinum, palladium and rhodium are used as oxidation catalyst in catalytic converters to treat automobile exhaust emissions. In recent years, jewelry demand for platinum has suffered with the record high prices for the metal, while offtake of palladium jewelry has begun to develop.

Offtake of gold for the global jewelry market continues to grow. Additional demand in electronics and from investors has also expanded. Declining primary mine production and producer de-hedging have supported the metal's price.

Despite lower jewelry sales and dwindling demand in the photographic industry, overall consumption of silver has remained stable, principally due to increased speculative investments and improved interest in electronics.