Gold is a chemical element, denoted by the symbol Au from the Latin word aurum. A simple substance is a yellow noble metal that is an exchange commodity.

Gold to humanity since the Bronze Age. It was mined in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. In ancient times, people believed that it was created by a unique combination of water and sun. Since then, it has been considered a symbol of wealth and has been used to make jewelry and luxury.

The yellow metal has become a war several times in history. So, the campaigns of Alexander the Great in 344 BC. e. had one of the goals of capturing the gold reserves of Persia. Second Punic War against Carthage in 202 BC e. gave Rome, in particular, access to the gold-mining regions of Spain.

History knows such a phenomenon as the gold rush, when the discovery of new gold-bearing deposits led to dramatic changes in the economy of entire regions and the whole world. For example, in 1700, gold mining began in Brazil. In a matter of seconds, the country has become the main world supplier of precious metal, mining it up to 15 thousand tons per year. Gold miners flooded into Brazil, and this influenced the development of a new continent. In 1848, gold was discovered in California. This was one of the factors that contributed to the creation of countries such as the United States of America. In 1850, the discovery of gold deposits caused a flow of settlers to new territories. The most famous gold rush began in 1896 when two Canadian geologists unveiled metal reserves from the Yukon River. The name of this deposit – Klondike – has become a household name. A similar story for a decade in South Africa, with only one difference: there, gold was already mined by corporations and industrially.

Today, several technologies for gold mining are known: washing, amalgamation using mercury, cyanidation and regeneration. In total, the world produced an average of about 2,500 tons of gold per year. The largest amount of gold in the world is mined in South Africa. This is followed by China, Australia, USA, Peru, Russia (ranked sixth), Canada, Mali, Uzbekistan, Ghana.

In 2010, over 450 tons of gold was used for technical purposes in the world.

In electronics it is used as a coating for contacts, in particular in microcircuits. Gold representatives Awards for the installation of printed circuit boards, connectors.
Gold solders are needed when soldering metals. Even when special precision of connections is required, for example in vacuum technology.
Gilding of metals. The cost of gold rarely justifies its use as a coating to protect against corrosion, but the finished product is given a special expensive look.
Dentistry consumes significant amounts, and it is also included in some pharmacological preparations. It is registered as a food additive E175.
Nevertheless, gold is found today in the jewelry industry. Moreover, for the manufacture of jewelry there cannot be pure metal, since it is too soft for this purpose. Therefore, its alloys with zinc, nickel, palladium, cobalt are used. And the color of the finished product is the presence of copper and silver in it. In 2010 more than 2,000 tons of gold were used in the jewelry industry. India traditionally takes the first place among the main consumers of gold jewelry, where up to 27% of world jewelry is sold. It is followed by China and the United States.

It has come to be considered a precious metal due to its chemical inertness and aesthetic qualities. Therefore, since ancient times, gold has been used as an object of investment and creation of reserves. In total, for 2010, the demand for gold in the investment order is about 1,500 tons. Gold reserves exist for many countries. In addition, as an economy, this precious metal is nominated in the gold standard – guaranteed by national currencies. This system was first introduced to Great Britain in 1816, after the Napoleonic Wars, and lasted until the abolition of the Bretton Woods monetary system.

A series of economic crises of the 21st century, the huge most developed countries that cause excessive emission of paper money – all this makes a number of modern economists raise the topic to some form of gold standard in the future.

Gold is an exchange commodity. It has its own standard code, similar to currencies: as a rule, it is designated XAU. Main exchanges – London Metal Exchange (LME, London Metal Exchange) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, New York Funds).

Gold futures contracts are in wide circulation. Prices are quoted in troy ounces. In the fall of 2011, gold costs in the range of 1,600-1,800 US dollars per ounce. The main factor affecting pricing, in addition to the ratio of supply and demand in jewelry and other industries, is the state of the world economy – for example, investors consider gold to be an alternative to foreign exchange investments.

In addition to the standard bullion traded on exchanges, there are also gold coins in circulation, which are issued from time to time by central banks. For example, this 999-carat metal is used for the “George the Victorious” of the Bank of Russia (denomination of 50 rubles, 2006), the series “Golden Eagle”, issued in the USA (coins weighing 1, 1/2 and 1/4 troy ounces) , series “Britain”, issued by the Bank of England (coins weighing 1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 troy ounce).

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