Gold is the most malleable and ductile pure metal in existence. Pure gold (24k) has a bright yellow colour and lustre which has been considered attractive for generations. It is said that a single gram of Gold can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, or an ounce into 300 square feet and it is known that Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become translucent.
The symbol for gold is Au which is derived from the Latin word "aurum" meaning shining dawn.
Gold readily creates alloys with many other metals. Gold is known as a good conductor of heat and electricity and reflects infrared radiation strongly. Chemically, it is unaffected by air, moisture and most corrosive reagents, and is therefore well-suited for use in coins and jewellery and as a protective coating on other more reactive metals.
The colour of pure gold is metallic yellow. Common coloured gold alloys such as rose gold can be created by the addition of various amounts of copper and silver. White Gold is produced by combining palladium or nickel with pure Gold.
Fool’s Gold is a term for non-gold ore similar in colour to gold and usually mistaken by novice prospectors because of its appearance. Fool's Gold can be one of three minerals; the most common mineral mistaken for gold is pyrite. Chalcopyrite may also appear gold-like, and weathered biotite mica can mimic flake gold. The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulphide with the formula FeS2.
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