Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly yellow, dense, soft, malleable. Chemically, gold is a metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions, Gold often occurs in free elemental form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the element silver and also naturally alloyed with copper. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium, golds atomic number of 79 makes it one of the higher numbered, naturally occurring elements. It is thought to have produced in supernova nucleosynthesis, from the collision of neutron stars. Because the Earth was molten when it was formed, almost all of the present in the early Earth probably sank into the planetary core. Gold is resistant to most acids, though it does dissolve in aqua regia, a mixture of acid and hydrochloric acid. Gold also dissolves in solutions of cyanide, which are used in mining and electroplating. Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys, but this is not a chemical reaction, as a precious metal, gold has been used for coinage, jewelry, and other arts throughout recorded history. A total of 186,700 tonnes of gold is in existence above ground, the world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, and 10% in industry. Gold is also used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine. As of 2014, the worlds largest gold producer by far was China with 450 tonnes, Gold is cognate with similar words in many Germanic languages, deriving via Proto-Germanic *gulþą from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃-. The symbol Au is from the Latin, aurum, the Latin word for gold, the Proto-Indo-European ancestor of aurum was *h₂é-h₂us-o-, meaning glow. This word is derived from the root as *h₂éu̯sōs, the ancestor of the Latin word Aurora. This etymological relationship is presumably behind the frequent claim in scientific publications that aurum meant shining dawn, Gold is the most malleable of all metals, a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, and an avoirdupois ounce into 300 square feet. Gold leaf can be thin enough to become semi-transparent
Image: Small gold nugget 5mm dia and corresponding foil surface of half sq meter
Gold(III) chloride solution in water
Relative sizes of an 860 kg block of gold ore, and the 30 g of gold that can be extracted from it. Toi gold mine, Japan.