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Top Ten Interesting and Fun Facts About Gold

Updated on June 23, 2017
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Amanda is a retired educator with many years of experience teaching children of all ages and abilities in a wide range of contexts.

Gold

Gold is one of the most fascinating, rare, beautiful and dangerous metals ever discovered.
Gold is one of the most fascinating, rare, beautiful and dangerous metals ever discovered. | Source

What is Gold?

Gold is defined as a precious metal. Its unique status among the other metals comes from its intrinsic beauty, its rarity and its physical properties.

It is one of the basic elements with an atomic number of 79. If you are keen on chemistry, you can look it up on the periodic table. Its chemical symbol is Au.

In its pure form, it has a deep yellow color and is incredibly soft, malleable and ductile. These properties have led to its widespread use in the making of jewellery and art.

Another of the many reasons why gold is so highly prized is because it is incredibly resistant to corrosion, rust and decay. Because of this quality of resistance it is a reliable 'yardstick' of value.

For that reason, coupled with its rarity, it is used as the standard against which we measure the value of money.

No single substance on Earth has had such a huge influence on the course of human history and the shaping of society, culture and science as has gold.

Let's discover some amazing facts about gold - its history, chemistry, mythology and more...

Gold Bars

Once it has been purified, gold is made into bars called ingots and carefully guarded. It is a very heavy metal. Each of the gold bars shown above weighs 1 kilogram, which is about 2.2 pounds.
Once it has been purified, gold is made into bars called ingots and carefully guarded. It is a very heavy metal. Each of the gold bars shown above weighs 1 kilogram, which is about 2.2 pounds. | Source

Gold: a Blessing or a Curse?

Since it was first discovered, gold has been valued for its uses in making jewellery, art and crafts, as well as money.

Culturally, it is often associated not only with wealth but also as a symbol of happiness, love, justice and divinity.

Gold Facts: One

The chemical symbol for gold, Au, comes from a Latin word, Aurum, which translates as 'shining dawn.'

Only about ten percent of the gold that we have extracted is actually used in manufacture.

The rest is carefully stored as it is used as the constant against which the value of the world’s financial markets is measured.

There is no doubt that human love for gold has brought great pleasure and beauty to many people.

At the same time, it has also been responsible for terrible wars, poverty and suffering.

Gold in Mythology and History

One of the most famous of the all the Ancient Greek myths tells of the journeys of Jason and the Argonauts and their quest to find The Golden Fleece.

Interestingly, this myth may have some basis in history.

Gold Facts: Two

Gold is used in glass making to produce a rich, red color in stained glass work.

Archaeologists and historians have discovered that the ancient Greeks used to collect flecks of gold that were being washed down their rivers by stretching sheep fleeces across the water.

The tiny particles of gold would become entangled in the wool and could be shaken out once the fleece was dry.

Mansa Musa

Mansa Musa, the Malian Emperor, holding an ingot of gold in his hand.
Mansa Musa, the Malian Emperor, holding an ingot of gold in his hand. | Source

While today we think of gold as a very rare metal, in Ancient Egypt it was considered relatively common. Certainly, the Egyptians were mining for gold from as early as 2,600 B.C. A hieroglyphic inscription has been discovered which states that Egyptian gold was 'more common than dirt.'

Gold Facts: Three

Right up until 1930, gold coins were still manufactured in the British Isles using 22 Carat gold. The carat is a measure of the purity of gold.

The Romans also mined gold, extracting vast quantities across the countries of their great empire.

In medieval times, an African Emperor called Mansa Musa travelled on a diplomatic visit to Egypt.

It is said that he distributed such a large quantity of gold during his stay that Egyptian money was significantly devalued for many years after he left!

Jason and the Golden Fleece

How Much Gold is There?

Extracted gold was certainly a lot rarer in ancient times than it is today.

Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution and refined methods for the location and mining of gold, more gold has been discovered.

Gold Facts: Four

Hallmarks, used to authenticate the origin and purity of gold, have been in use since the 14th Century.

About 75% of all the gold that there is in storage or circulation today has been mined since 1910.

Current estimates suggest that well over 170,000 metric tonnes of gold have been extracted.

Gold Facts: Five

Some of the cars used in Formula One racing have engine parts covered in gold foil to help with heat dispersal.

So what happens to all this gold?

Well, something like 50% of it is made into jewellery and art, about 10% is used in chemistry, science and food production. The remaining 40% is carefully controlled and stored in bank vaults to protect the value of currencies.

The value of gold increases with its age.

The gold held by the US Government is stored in a specially built repository at Fort Knox. Watch the video below to find out about the history, romance and truth of this famous stronghold.

Fort Knox Gold Stronghold Documentary

Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf is a sheet of gold that has been beaten so thin that it is practically translucent.

Gold is so soft and malleable that it can easily be formed and shaped in many ways.

Gold Facts: Six

In medieval times gold leaf was used to decorate food and drink at feasts to show off the wealth of the host. It was also thought to have magical properties that could aid health when eaten!

If you take a single gram of gold and beat it out flat, you can get a sheet one square meter in size and a fraction of a millimeter thick out of it!

Gold Leaf has been used in the decoration of medieval Bibles and other manuscripts, religious iconography and in the work of secular artists such as Gustav Klimt who incorporated it into many of his most famous paintings.

'The Kiss' by Gustav Klimt (1862 - 1918)

Gustav Klimt's most famous painting - The Kiss - incorporates the use of gold leaf in its design. It is currently on display in the Belvedere Art Gallery in Austria.
Gustav Klimt's most famous painting - The Kiss - incorporates the use of gold leaf in its design. It is currently on display in the Belvedere Art Gallery in Austria. | Source

Inside a Gold Leaf Workshop

There are still a few fine craftspeople who work with gold leaf, using the old techniques perfected back in the days of Queen Victoria and the British Empire.

Gold Facts: Seven

Today, China produces more gold than any other country.

Watch the following video for a fascinating insight into the workshop of one of these artists, living and working today in a small workshop in the southwest of the UK.

The Lost Cities of Gold

From the time when Europeans first discovered the South Americas, there were tales told of lost cities built entirely of gold.

In fact, no such cities ever existed. However, as with many traveler's tales, there was truth behind the legends.

Gold Facts: Eight

Gold has many wonderful properties. One of those is that it is ductile - so it can be stretched out into very thin filaments to make golden threads which are then used in embroidery.

The Aztecs did mine gold and use it in personal decoration and religious rituals. To them, gold was a sacred metal. They believed that it was made by the gods and the way they thought the gods made it is indicated by their word for it, which translates as 'god poop.' Strange but true!

While the fabled Lost Cities of gold have yet to be found, many modern cities have been founded on gold in another sense.

During the Nineteenth Century new gold reserves were frequently uncovered across America, Canada and Australasia. The wealth arising from these reserves - and the settlement of prospectors in those areas - led to the foundation of towns that became cities and established centers of modern civilization.

Search for El Dorado - The Lost City of Gold

A Golden Treasure Trove

Many have dreamed of finding buried treasure.

The funny thing is - it does sometimes happen. And the modern technology of the metal detector has been responsible for some amazing finds of gold in recent times.

Gold Facts: Nine

Gold is used in photography to produce toners that have rich color and stability.

In 2009, one of the most extraordinary stashes of treasure was found by an enthusiastic metal detector user in the UK.

He was using his machine in a field near his home in the county of Staffordshire when it started bleeping like crazy. Beginning to dig, he uncovered a hoard of gold weaponry, helmets, decorations, jewellery, tableware, chalices, coins and crosses.

The gold treasure trove dated back to AD 700 and remains the largest find of its kind to this day.

Many people have found lesser but still very valuable treasures by the use of metal detectors.

Who knows who will be the next to uncover a hoard of ancient gold? It could even be you!

The Staffordshire Hoard

A few items from the Staffordshire Hoard of gold.
A few items from the Staffordshire Hoard of gold. | Source

Gold Medals

Every sports person dreams of winning a gold medal.

Gold medals are also awarded with the Nobel Prizes.

While the Nobel Prize medals are genuinely made of pure gold, the Olympic gold medals aren't: they are made of silver and then plated with a thin layer of gold.

Gold Facts: Ten

Gold is still used in some food manufacturing processes today. It is ascribed the 'E number' 175. Look out for it!

Fake gold medals and coins are also made to fool the unwary.

However, real gold will always have a hallmark stamped on it, which proves that it has been tested.

A hallmark shows:

  • the carat (how pure the gold is)
  • the maker of the gold
  • which authority tested the gold

With old gold especially, the hallmark can help to understand its history.


How Gold is Mined

A Golden End

I hope you've enjoyed finding out about gold.

Gold Poll

Did you learn something new here?

See results

Before you go, why not share your opinion in the 'gold poll' to the right? Your opinion is important.

And if you want to ask a question or share your thoughts, please don't be shy of the comments box below.

I love to read your comments and always reply.

And if you have no comments... silence, they say, is golden!

One Question Quiz


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© 2014 Amanda Littlejohn

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    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 4 months ago

      Hi Monika,

      You're welcome! I'm glad you found the information about gold you needed here.

      :)

    • profile image

      Monika bushan 4 months ago

      I was very eager to know about gold which was fulfilled after seeing this so thanks for your valuable information. ....

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 14 months ago

      Hi Alun,

      Thank you so much for your comments - as generous and thoughtful as ever. There will be more Top Tens eventually!

      Bless you. :)

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 16 months ago from Essex, UK

      Another good article in your series of top tens Amanda, on a subject which fascinates so many. And I see from some of the other comments that it was awarded Hub Of The Day, so very very belated congrats on that! (Shame that's no longer given out).

      Hope you write more in a similar vein in future. Alun x

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 19 months ago

      Hi Levon!

      Thank you so much for your comment. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, but I have only just received my notifications. Seems there was a glitch on some hubs.

      Thanks for doing that calculation - what a fascinating contribution to the hub!

      Bless you :)

    • profile image

      Levon 22 months ago

      Wonderful article! That figure of 170,000 metric tonnes have been mined is amazing in that it is so little. If gold truly were money we wouldn't have enough to go around. That comes out to less than 6 billion ounces which means there is LESS than 1 ounce of gold per person alive. It would be impossible for everyone to even possess 1 ounce. Amazing!

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 3 years ago from Australia

      a really interesting hub - and, as Heidi Vincent so rightly noted, not just for kids! Congratulations on HOTD, voted up, &I look forward to reading more of you articles.

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Thank you, Heidi!

      "stuff4kids - not just for kids" I like that. Has a good ring about it. Maybe I should make it my Hubpages slogan!

      Glad you enjoyed reading about gold and thanks again for the comment.

      Bless you!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Awesome and interesting Gold facts, stuff4kids! Not just for kids :) Thanks for sharing!

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi firstday!

      Thanks for coming back - and you're always welcome. One of the most enjoyable things about hub-writing is a lively and interesting comments section with such intelligent and thoughtful contributions as these.

      Bless you :)

    • firstday profile image

      R Beggs 3 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      stuff4kids I like your comment on your entire personal gold and I must say that gold is priceless.

      I gave his Hub pluses all the way across five days ago, and I enjoy coming back to the comments. Great Hub!

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi cheeluary!

      Many thanks for your interesting contribution. 8133.5 tonnes of gold is a lot, isn't it?

      My entire personal gold reserve wraps around a single ring finger!

      Bless you :)

    • cheeluarv profile image

      cheeluarv 3 years ago from INDIA

      Very interesting and informative hub on gold. Well deserving hub for HOTD. Congratulations. China is the major producer but you know, which country has the highest reserve of gold, United States, the world's largest economy, also has the world's highest gold reserves of 8133.5 tonnes.

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Thank you norma!

      :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Katya!

      Thank you for your very kind and generous words. I'm glad that you found out some new and interesting facts about gold from this.

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi nightcats!

      Thank you for your comment. Bless. :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Thank you, Marina7, I'm glad you found this article about gold informative and interesting. Yes, you are right about the banks.

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi viryabo!

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      Bless you :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 3 years ago

      Congrats on your achievement with this lovely lens. You certainly have done your research for this and it is an enjoyable read.

    • Katya Drake profile image

      Katya Drake 3 years ago from Wisconsin

      Hello Stuff4kids! I loved this Hub! Congratulations on getting Hub of the Day. You deserve it. This Hub was very different and interesting. I learned a lot about gold and why it is such a big deal!

      You obviously spent a lot of time researching and organizing this topic. Great job! You are a very talented writer too.

      This Hub is amazing all around!

    • nightcats profile image

      June Campbell 3 years ago from North Vancouver

      Great info on our favorite metal. Congrats on HOTD

    • Marina7 profile image

      Marina 3 years ago from Clarksville TN

      A great article about gold. Gold is important to people and without it there would be no value in banks (I think). Your article is an eye opener about gold.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 3 years ago

      Thank you for this well detailed article on gold.

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Marlene!

      I'm so glad that you enjoyed this article and learned a few new things. It is extraordinary that gold is still used in food. It has to be said, that in the US and Europe it is primarily given a decorative role in the luxury food industry, frequently being used to coat foods - although it is indeed edible.

      Gold is authorized for use in culinary products by the US Government (hence the attribution of an E number - basically the sign that a substance has been rigorously tested and deemed fit for human consumption).

      By far the largest consumer of culinary, edible gold, is India. As a nation, India eats an estimated 12 tons of gold per year!

      Swiss chocolatiers are also very keen on using it in their exquisite creations.

      Thanks again for your contribution and your generous congratulations.

      Bless you :)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I learned a LOT of new and interesting things about gold. I never, ever would have thought it would be put in food. One of the most fascinating things about gold is gold leaf. I am amazed at how thin gold can be pounded out and still we are able to handle it for projects in art and otherwise. By the way, congratulations on writing a fabulous hub and for receiving Hub of the Day.

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Cassandra!

      Thanks for that - I am amazed that no-one has mentioned that before! I think it is the best of all the facts about gold - *laughs* Glad you enjoyed it. You heard it first here!

      Bless you :)

    • Cassandra Knudsen profile image

      Cassandra M. Knudsen 3 years ago from Gulfport, MS

      I legitimately laughed out loud at "god poop." I'll be sure to dazzle my friends with this random fact next time we all go out to dinner!

      This is a really excellent read, and very informative! Thanks for sharing your knowledge on gold with us. :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Nancy!

      Thanks for your contribution. Yes, even with a history of thousands of years of gold mining , it wasn't until the 1900s that we had the technologies - and access to the massive reserves in the Americas - that such vast quantities of gold could be extracted.

      Thanks for the congrats, too - very kind. Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi RTalloni,

      Thanks for coming back. What you say, is so true. But even if it is, it is only half the truth, don't you think? Over time many advances have been made and much good is being done in the world every day - even if it isn't often given news time. And there's always hope. :)

      Thanks for the congratulations! Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Aw, thanks Shelley!

      You're very sweet. :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi saisarannaga!

      Thanks for reading and I'm glad you found out some new information about gold here today.

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Thanks, Swisstoons!

      Maybe you have contracted gold fever - you wouldn't be the first!

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Susan!

      Thanks for your comment - I'm delighted that you got plenty of 'Hmm' and 'Wow' out of it! Your comment is pure gold.

      Bless you :)

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 3 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day! It is interesting to know that most of the gold has been mined since the early 1900s.

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Thanks, MartieG!

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi DealForALiving!

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Shades-of-truth!

      That is really very interesting. Thanks for making such a great contribution to the subject of gold with the details you so kindly offer regarding the meaning of hallmarks and the actual figures associated with various degrees of purity in gold.

      Thanks again - great contribution! Bless you :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      The story is indeed familiar--our fallen nature is one reason the quote "there is nothing new under the sun" is true. If the human condition weren't so blind, we would gain from what we learn from history. As it is, each generation thinks that their advancements mean that they are different, better, improved…and it's sad business.

      Congrats on your Hub of the Day!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Back to say Congratulations on HOTD!

    • profile image

      saisarannaga 3 years ago

      Hats off to you for the beautiful hub which contains wealthy information. I have learned a lot about Gold today from your hub! May you continue to entertain the knowledge hungry people like me!

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 3 years ago from Michigan

      Learned a lot about this precious metal and was mesmerized by it's beauty in the accompanying photos and videos. I wonder if I've contracted gold fever.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      This is one of those articles that I read through and say "Hmm" about a dozen times, "Hmm" as in "Wow, I didn't know that!" I learned a lot here and definitely enjoyed the read, including the comments. Congratulations on the well-deserved HOTD honors!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Very interesting facts about gold (which I love BTW) enjoyed reading this.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      Congrats on HOTD!

    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 3 years ago from USA

      Great article! In my business, we are involved with gold every single day, and it never ceases to amaze me. There is simply no other metal that we find more versatile.

      Often, we have gold come in to our establishment, that bears no stamp, so we have to acid test it.

      While most of what we see is 14K, we have also dealt with many other purities. Once in a long while, we come across 8K gold, stamped 333, which is from Europe. Usually, we see 9K, stamped 375 - 9.5K, stamped 395, 10K, stamped 417 - and so on. Over the years, we have dealt with all of the following:

      8K

      9K

      9.5K

      10K

      12K

      14K

      16K - usually dental gold

      18K

      18.5K - one custom piece

      20K

      21K

      22K

      23K

      24K - pure gold.

      We would be most pleased if the price of gold was similar to what it was back in the 1990s, though, as its volatility makes for a "roller-coaster" ride!

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Nadine, thanks for your insightful and interesting contribution to the conversation.

      I doubt that any alchemist ever managed to turn base metal into gold, so I don't think that's an explanation for the large amounts boasted by the ancient Egyptians!

      However, you raise a fascinating point about the true value of gold as a measure of the value of currency. The situation is very complex and many countries have printed 'extra' money that actually has no real value . We have seen the consequences of that in terms of inflation and fiscal crashes, time and time again, going back hundreds of years.

      Nevertheless, gold remains the *official standard* for the protection of currencies and that 40% is still kept under lock and key, even if, as you suggest, the markets do not reflect that. Essentially, most of out money is worthless, and we all live under the shadow of a global debt crisis.

      Thanks again for a great comment. Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Chitrangada!

      That's really kind of you to come back to offer your congratulations. very much appreciated.

      Bless you :)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a delightful post on Gold. It did reminded me of the alchemists who claimed to turn metal into gold. That is maybe why there was so much of it in ancient Egypt? You wrote that the remaining 40% is carefully controlled and stored in bank vaults to protect the value of currencies. This maybe have been true in the past but today there is a lot of speculation that countries just print more money and its not backed up by gold, but by the birth certificates each country has on their data base. Look it up.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I came back to congratulate you for HOTD!

      Well deserved, loved this hub! Thanks!

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi mySuccess8!

      I'm delighted that you found this article illuminating - it is surprising once you start to look into it, just how many areas of life and history have been influenced, either directly or indirectly, by the discovery and valuing of gold.

      Bless you :)

    • mySuccess8 profile image

      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      Some interesting facts we did not know well enough about this precious metal we all love, until revealed in this well-written Hub, make us appreciate its value even more. Thanks and congrats on the HotD!

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi firstday!

      Thanks so much for your visit and votes - that's great! You're worth your weight in gold...

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi starstream!

      Why, thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed watching the videos about the history of gold, mining gold and making gold leaf.

      Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Thief12!

      Puns are welcome! Delighted that you enjoyed learning some facts about gold and found it interesting.

      Thanks for your comment. Bless you :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Rajan!

      Thanks for stopping by. Gold certainly seems to be a fascinating subject for many people!

      Bless you :)

    • firstday profile image

      R Beggs 3 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Great article on gold… I read the side notes and learned wonderful facts. I gave pluses all the way across.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 3 years ago from Northern California

      Your article is super. I enjoyed reading about the golden fleece which explains the name. You really explored this topic and included many videos. Thanks!

    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Well, this Hub was golden! (pun intended) Seriously, a very interesting and informative read. Loved it.

      Voted Up, Helpful, and Interesting!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      What an interesting and informative hub! Very well done! Voted up and shared.

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi misterhollywood!

      Thanks for reading this and I'm glad you enjoyed it. You collection of gold - however small - is probably a good investment, as gold is one of the very few things that does not lose value with the passing of time!

      Bless you :)

    • misterhollywood profile image

      John Hollywood 3 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Loved this hub on gold. I am a big fan of this precious metal and try to collect some here and there whenever I can!

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi RTalloni!

      Thanks for your interesting contribution to this article about gold. To answer your question, as far as we know, it seems that Mansa Musa's generosity in Egypt was entirely innocent.

      Musa was one of the great African Emperors of the medieval period. We have to remember that the continent of Africa was, before European influence, the wealthiest and most powerful in the world at that time. He was also a devout Muslim.

      Every Muslim must make a pilgrimage at least once in her lifetime, to the 'Holy City' of Mecca. This pilgrimage is known as 'Haj'. Traditional Islam places great emphasis on alms-giving and that is certainly a very important aspect of the Haj. He was simply fulfilling his duty as a good Muslim as he understood it, as he journeyed through Egypt on his way to Mecca.

      He gave away literally thousands of gold ingots. Egyptian merchants put their prices up, of course, and the economy collapsed - so really his generosity back-fired completely. Not only that but on his return to Mali, his native land, he was stone broke and had to borrow money to shore up the economy back home!

      Sounds a bit familiar - although our money is spent on religious wars abroad while we sink deeper into debt at home. Seems nothing much has changed.

      Thanks again for your comment and interesting question! Bless you :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      An interesting read, but you've really started me thinking with the consequences of Mansa Musa's diplomatic activity. I now have questions. Did he know what he was doing or was he unaware of the effect he would have on the economy? His story also reminds me that change can occur in unexpected ways.

      Will have to return to see the documentaries and your neat hub will make it easy to remember that they are here. :)

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Thank you DealForALiving, I'm glad you enjoyed learning about gold.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      This is a really well-designed hub with great content. Nice job!

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Chitrangada!

      Thank you for your contribution to this hub about gold. Yes, I have seen many Indian women during special festivals beautifully adorned with gold threads in their saris and exquisite golden jewellery.

      I can see why it is your favorite - a very beautiful and precious metal indeed!

      Bless you :)

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very interesting facts about the precious metal Gold, my favorite! I must admit that I did not know so many wonderful details about Gold.

      It is considered auspicious in India to wear Gold. And you can hardly find a woman who is not in love with their Gold jewelry.

      I loved your pictures and video. Very useful and informative, voted up and shared on HP!

    • stuff4kids profile image
      Author

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Maggie!

      Thanks for reading and your comment. Yes, it is an extraordinary thought that one of the 'e numbers' that everyone gets in such a fuss about is actually gold!

      Not sure how many products you'd have to get to extract sufficient to retire on, however... :)

    • Maggie.L profile image

      Maggie.L 3 years ago from UK

      Hi stuff4kids, What an interesting and informative hub! I've certainly learned things I didn't know about gold. To think that gold is still sometimes used in food production. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge about gold...no pun intended!

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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Sanjay!

      Nice to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words and your contribution about the length of gold wire that can be got from a gram - amazing!

      Bless you :)

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 3 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Really a very informative and golden hub. thanks for sharing. Gold is so malleable that one Kilometer long wire could be made of one gram of it.

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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Shelley!

      Yes, I tried to find some lesser known facts about gold to put in here, along with the more fundamental things.

      Thanks for your comment. Bless you :)

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      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks so much for reading this and I'm happy you're enjoying the series and learning new things along the way!

      Bless you :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I learned quite a few new facts here, Mindi! Fascinating hub that is bound to teach and entertain as well. I always wondered why Gold's abbreviation is Au in the periodic table. I should've know it was Latin. Well done.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I always enjoy these articles. Some of it I know. Some of it is brand new and fascinating. Thanks for the enjoyable education. :)