Exactly how did gold get its name? Gold, valued as one of the world's leading commodities, is also one of the world's most mysterious metals. No one is sure who first discovered it. On top of that, no one is sure of how it is formed. Gold cannot be duplicated or mimicked, and it is one of the rarest metals in existence today. For all of the mysteries surrounding gold, one thing is for sure. Every civilization from ancient to modern days had its own special name for gold, but two names, along with a few gold fun facts, stand out.
Gold was definitely in existence before the formation of the Roman empire, but Rome found a way to improve gold mining, which made the metal more common during that time. The Latin word for "gold" is "aurum." Gold's symbol, AU, also pays homage to this Latin name.
English is a Germanic language, and the word for gold in German Gothic language was "gulþa." The old English derivative of "gulþa201D is "geolu," which means "yellow." "Gold" is a modern derivative of "geolu." Gold is actually a Middle English word that has been in existence before the 12th century.
Astronaut visors contain 24 karat pure gold. The gold is transparent enough for astronauts to see through, but still protects them from harmful solar rays. This is because gold reflects away infrared radiation and prevents overheating.
Gold is so rare that only approximately 152,000 metric tons has been mined in all recorded history. To put it in perspective, you can fit all of the world's known gold into less than 100 tractor trailers.
The majority of gold, between 70% to 80%, is in the form of jewelry and privately owned. Between 10% to 20% of gold is stored in banks. The remaining gold is used in other industries, such as dentistry and technology.
How is gold formed? Gold occurs in the earth, but the science behind it is not entirely known. That said, it appears to be related to volcanic activity.
Want to know how to test gold? You could use a simple magnet test, or you can invest in a gold test kit that will tell you just how pure that gold is.