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Gold is a shiny, soft, heavy, rare, resistant to corrosion, and very valuable metal -- the last property means that it turns up heavily in tropes, both figuratively (signifying purity and value) and literally.

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Gold (symbol Au, atomic number 79) is a shiny, soft, heavy, rare, resistant to corrosion, and very valuable metal -- the last property means that it turns up heavily in tropes, both figuratively (signifying purity and value) and literally.


For most of human history the physical properties of gold have limited its uses to aesthetics, such as jewelry, or the storage of wealth, given its relative rarity in comparison to other elements obtainable through pre-industrial revolution processes. Gold is extremely ductile, which means you can really stretch it out and flatten it easily. This made it easy for the ancients to work with in addition to the fact that it was pretty to look at.

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For most of human history the physical properties of gold have limited its uses to aesthetics, such as jewelry, or the storage of wealth, given its relative rarity in comparison to other elements obtainable through pre-industrial revolution processes. Gold is extremely ductile, which means you can really stretch it out and flatten it easily. This made it easy for the ancients to work with (compared to other metals), in addition to the fact that it was pretty to look at.


For most of human history the physical properties of gold have limited its uses to aesthetics, such as jewelery, or the storage of wealth, given its relative rarity in comparison to other elements obtainable through pre-industrial revolution processes.

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For most of human history the physical properties of gold have limited its uses to aesthetics, such as jewelery, jewelry, or the storage of wealth, given its relative rarity in comparison to other elements obtainable through pre-industrial revolution processes.
processes. Gold is extremely ductile, which means you can really stretch it out and flatten it easily. This made it easy for the ancients to work with in addition to the fact that it was pretty to look at.


These days, however, gold has a wide range of uses. One of the most popular uses is in electronics, as it is one of the best conductors of electricity. Gold is [[http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/electrical.html slightly less conductive than copper and silver]] but is highly resistant to corrosion compared to copper and silver. Those silicon chips in your computer? They're connected to the pins on their casings by very fine, very pure gold wires. The aforementioned corrosion resistance means that this is the only way wires could be that fine; copper or silver wires would just turn into non-conductive oxide. Recycle a tonne of old computers and you can recover a whopping 250 grams of gold.

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These days, however, gold has a wide range of uses. One of the most popular uses is in electronics, as it is one of the best conductors of electricity. Gold is [[http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/electrical.html slightly less conductive than copper and silver]] but is highly resistant to corrosion compared to copper and silver.them. Those silicon chips in your computer? They're connected to the pins on their casings by very fine, very pure gold wires. The aforementioned corrosion resistance means that this is the only way wires could be that fine; copper or silver wires would just turn into non-conductive oxide. Recycle a tonne of old computers and you can recover a whopping 250 grams of gold.


These days, however, gold has a wide range of uses. One of the most popular uses is in electronics as it is one of the best conductors of electricity. Gold is [[http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/electrical.html slightly less conductive than copper and silver]] but is highly resistant to corrosion compared to copper and silver. Those silicon chips in your computer? They're connected to the pins on their casings by very fine, very pure gold wires. The aforementioned corrosion resistance means that this is the only way wires could be that fine; copper or silver wires would just turn into non-conductive oxide. Recycle a tonne of old computers and you can recover a whopping 250 grams of gold.

to:

These days, however, gold has a wide range of uses. One of the most popular uses is in electronics electronics, as it is one of the best conductors of electricity. Gold is [[http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/electrical.html slightly less conductive than copper and silver]] but is highly resistant to corrosion compared to copper and silver. Those silicon chips in your computer? They're connected to the pins on their casings by very fine, very pure gold wires. The aforementioned corrosion resistance means that this is the only way wires could be that fine; copper or silver wires would just turn into non-conductive oxide. Recycle a tonne of old computers and you can recover a whopping 250 grams of gold.


You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. Creator/TheHistoryChannel interviewed a guy who had a part-time job ferrying gold bars to and from the vaults for an internal audit of Fort Knox back in the 1970s. He mentioned how a brick of gold is heavy (weighs about 33 pounds) is dirty (the dust isn't cleared out of sealed vaults) and is dangerous (drop a gold brick on your foot and you'll break every bone.) For the same amount of space, gold is about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. Fiction rarely gets this right.

Gold is valuable in part because it is so rare, much rarer than is commonly depicted in fiction. A total of about 160,000 metric tons of gold have been mined throughout all of human history, or 8500 cubic meters as a solid mass of pure gold. Assuming Scrooge [=McDuck=]'s money bin is a cube six stories tall, filling it with gold would require 2/3 of the world's gold supply.

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You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. Creator/TheHistoryChannel interviewed a guy who had a part-time job ferrying gold bars to and from the vaults for an internal audit of Fort Knox back in the 1970s. He mentioned how a brick of gold is heavy (weighs about 33 pounds) pounds), is dirty (the dust isn't cleared out of sealed vaults) vaults), and is dangerous (drop a gold brick on your foot and you'll break every bone.) For the same amount of space, gold is about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. Fiction rarely gets this right.

Gold is valuable in part because it is so rare, much rarer than it is commonly depicted in fiction. A total of about 160,000 metric tons of gold have been mined throughout all of human history, or 8500 cubic meters as a solid mass of pure gold. Assuming Scrooge [=McDuck=]'s money bin is a cube six stories tall, filling it with gold would require 2/3 of the world's gold supply.


For more raw facts about gold see {{Wikipedia}}'s [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold article on the stuff.]]

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For more raw facts about gold see {{Wikipedia}}'s Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}'s [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold article on the stuff.]]


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You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. TheHistoryChannel interviewed a guy who had a part-time job ferrying gold bars to and from the vaults for an internal audit of Fort Knox back in the 1970s. He mentioned how a brick of gold is heavy (weighs about 33 pounds) is dirty (the dust isn't cleared out of sealed vaults) and is dangerous (drop a gold brick on your foot and you'll break every bone.) For the same amount of space, gold is about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. Fiction rarely gets this right.

to:

You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. TheHistoryChannel Creator/TheHistoryChannel interviewed a guy who had a part-time job ferrying gold bars to and from the vaults for an internal audit of Fort Knox back in the 1970s. He mentioned how a brick of gold is heavy (weighs about 33 pounds) is dirty (the dust isn't cleared out of sealed vaults) and is dangerous (drop a gold brick on your foot and you'll break every bone.) For the same amount of space, gold is about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. Fiction rarely gets this right.


You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. TheHistoryChannel interviewed a guy who had a part-time job ferrying gold bars to and from the vaults for an internal audit of Fort Knox back in the 1970s. He mentioned how a brick of gold is heavy (weighs about 33 pounds) is dirty (the dust isn't cleared out of sealed vaults) and is dangerous (drop a gold brick on your foot and you'll break every bone.) For the same amount of space, gold is about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. [[DidNotDoTheResearch Fiction rarely gets this right.]]

to:

You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. TheHistoryChannel interviewed a guy who had a part-time job ferrying gold bars to and from the vaults for an internal audit of Fort Knox back in the 1970s. He mentioned how a brick of gold is heavy (weighs about 33 pounds) is dirty (the dust isn't cleared out of sealed vaults) and is dangerous (drop a gold brick on your foot and you'll break every bone.) For the same amount of space, gold is about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. [[DidNotDoTheResearch Fiction rarely gets this right.]]
right.


fun fact: In UsefulNotes/{{Alchemy}}, the philosopher's stone can turn lead into gold and make men immortal. Why? Because gold is an immortal metal, never tarnishing. Gold is the perfection of the world of metal, and the Philosopher's Stone can perfect anything.

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fun Fun fact: In UsefulNotes/{{Alchemy}}, the philosopher's stone can turn lead into gold and make men immortal. Why? Because gold is an immortal metal, never tarnishing. Gold is the perfection of the world of metal, and the Philosopher's Stone can perfect anything.



----
!!'''Tropes involving actual gold:'''

* CityOfGold
* GoldFever
* GoldMakesEverythingShiny
* GoldSilverCopperStandard
* GoldTooth
* NaziGold
* TastyGold
* WorthlessYellowRocks

!!'''Figurative gold:'''

* EyesOfGold
* GoldDigger
* GoldenEnding
* GoldenPath
* HairOfGold
* HiddenHeartOfGold
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold
* SolidGoldPoop

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----
!!'''Tropes involving actual gold:'''

* CityOfGold
* GoldFever
* GoldMakesEverythingShiny
* GoldSilverCopperStandard
* GoldTooth
* NaziGold
* TastyGold
* WorthlessYellowRocks

!!'''Figurative gold:'''

* EyesOfGold
* GoldDigger
* GoldenEnding
* GoldenPath
* HairOfGold
* HiddenHeartOfGold
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold
* SolidGoldPoop

For ''tropes'' about gold, both literal and figurative, see TheGildedIndex.


You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. It's just about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. [[DidNotDoTheResearch Fiction rarely gets this right.]]

to:

You know gold is heavy, but it's almost certainly heavier than you think. It's just TheHistoryChannel interviewed a guy who had a part-time job ferrying gold bars to and from the vaults for an internal audit of Fort Knox back in the 1970s. He mentioned how a brick of gold is heavy (weighs about 33 pounds) is dirty (the dust isn't cleared out of sealed vaults) and is dangerous (drop a gold brick on your foot and you'll break every bone.) For the same amount of space, gold is about ten times as dense as brick. Lifting a single bar is something you do with both hands, carefully. Lifting a ''crate'' of gold is done with heavy machinery. [[DidNotDoTheResearch Fiction rarely gets this right.]]


These days, however, gold has a wide range of uses. One of the most popular uses is in electronics as it is one of the best conductors of electricity (no better conductor is known to exist) and is highly resistant to corrosion. Those silicon chips in your computer? They're connected to the pins on their casings by very fine, very pure gold wires (the aforementioned corrosion resistance means that this is the only way wires could be that fine; copper wires would just turn into non-conductive oxide). Recycle a tonne of old computers and you can recover a whopping 250 grams of gold.

to:

These days, however, gold has a wide range of uses. One of the most popular uses is in electronics as it is one of the best conductors of electricity (no better conductor electricity. Gold is known to exist) [[http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/periodic/electrical.html slightly less conductive than copper and silver]] but is highly resistant to corrosion. corrosion compared to copper and silver. Those silicon chips in your computer? They're connected to the pins on their casings by very fine, very pure gold wires (the wires. The aforementioned corrosion resistance means that this is the only way wires could be that fine; copper or silver wires would just turn into non-conductive oxide).oxide. Recycle a tonne of old computers and you can recover a whopping 250 grams of gold.

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