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What is gold? A simple definition

What is gold? Simple definition

Definition of gold

Gold, a precious metal coveted the world over for millennia, embodies beauty and rarity. Used both as currency and as a material in jewelry, gold has a complex definition. A symbol of wealth and power, it is also associated with financial stability. However, gold also has profound symbolic and cultural significance, often representing perfection, purity and eternity. Find out more about the definition of gold and its importance in various contexts.

The definition of gold

The definition of gold is simple enough: it’s a noble, ancient, yellow-colored metal that resists oxidation and corrosion. So far, it’s simple enough to recognize gold. These properties enable it to be immersed in seawater, buried underground or exposed to the open air, while retaining its appearance unaltered.

It is a malleable and ductile metal, which means it can be deformed without breaking. When not used with another metal, gold can be infinitely stretched, easily shaped and crushed. Its chemical symbol is (Au), which is used in Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements.

Before it was used as a currency or gold standardgold held many symbolic meanings for both Eastern and Western civilizations. The symbol of gold is powerful: it is linked to sunlight because of its gilding, and to holiness because of its purity.

Where can I find gold?

Where find gold? Gold is not a metal that can be manufactured: it can only be found in its natural state, which is why it is so rare. In its native state, however, it can be mixed with other precious metals such as silver. This natural alloy is called electrum.

The origin of gold is therefore 100% natural. It is most often found in the form of nuggets ranging from a few grams to several kilos. Gold can also be found in powder form, known as gold sands, or as yellow flakes. In the definition of gold below, we haven’t yet touched on where it comes from. This precious yellow metal can be found in :

  • Primary deposits: these are veins of gold-bearing rock where the ore is particularly pure.
  • Secondary deposits: alluvial formations located at the surface, which constitute veins brought to the surface by geological movements or weathering.
  • Mining deposits: new technologies make it possible to exploit subsoil containing gold in the form of small particles that are almost invisible to the naked eye.
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Alloys containing gold

The definition of gold tells us that it is a very malleable metal. That’s why it’s so popular with goldsmiths. However, for gold jewelry to be strong and durable, gold must be combined with other precious metals: this ensures the jewelry’s hardness and prevents it from warping over time. Each alloy has a specific name to designate the proportion of other metals associated with the 75% gold:

  • White gold: 25% palladium or 25% nickel.
  • Red gold: 25% copper.
  • Green gold: 25% silver.
  • Yellow gold: 12.5% silver and 12.5% copper.
  • Pink gold: 19% copper and 6% silver.
  • White gold: 19% silver and 6% copper.

The term “fine gold” designates an object made with a minimum of 995 thousandths of gold and a maximum of 5 thousandths of alloy. For example, an ingot grading 996 thousandths is considered to be made of fine gold.

How can gold be used?

Buying gold is possible for investment purposes, but it can also be used in many areas such as :

  • Jewelry: over 70% of gold is used for jewelry and handicrafts.
  • Industry: gold is used in electronics for its conductive properties.
  • Dentistry: gold is appreciated for its malleability and aesthetic appeal. It does not cause allergies, hence the creation of gold teeth.
  • Medical: gold can be used in the manufacture of certain surgical instruments and medical electronics.
  • Aerospace: gold is reliable and resistant, and is used for its connectivity, heat absorption and lubricating properties.

Gold carats

Until January 4, 1994, the only authorized alloy was gold. 18-carat gold (75% gold and 25% other precious or semi-precious metals). It is now possible to go down to 9 carats (37.5%). This gold titration is used to determine the purity of jewelry and the mass of gold contained in an object or ingot: carats are divided into 24 parts, and a quality of 24 carats designates a titration of 999.99 ‰. So, for a 24-carat gold ingot, this means that 999 parts of it are pure gold, while the remaining part may be another metal.

This carat titration is used by most European countries, and a hallmark guarantees its composition according to the following legal titles:

  • 999 thousandths gold, or 24 carats;
  • gold 916 thousandths, or 22 carats;
  • gold 833 thousandths, or 20 carats;
  • 750 thousandths or 18-carat gold;
  • 585 thousandths or 14-carat gold;
  • gold 375 thousandths, or 9 carats.
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How to have gold appraised?

At our agencies, we appraise your gold at the right price. Our estimate is free and without obligation. It takes into account the object’s gold content, weight and state of preservation, as well as the current gold price. Our professional expertise enables us to make you a transparent offer, with secure transactions!

Our
specialized agencies LMP accompanies you in all your gold buying and selling projects. Gold is seen as a safe haven, a way of investing your savings without suffering from inflation, since the price of gold has remained stable over the centuries. Ingots or coins: discover our selection of gold objects and benefit from the advice of our experts.

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