Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from the Latin aurum) and atomic number 79. It’s a metal, not alloys, so it’s found in soil in its pure form. But we don't mine for gold: we find it, getting it from rivers and streams or sometimes from meteorites.
Gold is rare because it's pretty much the only metal we know that has a natural 'friction' force.
For all other metals there is a steady state, but not for gold. As soon as you put gold on the anvil, it begins to scratch itself against the anvil. That makes it harder and harder and more heavy until eventually it goes to its own weight in air and stops.
Because of this natural friction we call it 'hard gold'.
Gold’s value has always been high. In fact, it was the first metal that people used for money - and it’s more valuable than ever today.
The main reason gold is valuable is that we don't find much of it as a metal in the earth's crust. It's usually mixed up with other metals, and these always get in the way of our chemistry so we can't get rid of them very easily.
However, if we make it into jewellery or coins, suddenly it's a more convenient size. Then it's no better than any other metal until we melt it down again.
By its nature gold is a valuable metal and is used in many ways from jewellery to electronics and dental fillings. Gold has been mined for over 6,000 years and is still a sought after metal today. There are many uses for the element with its purity being one of the main reasons that this is so. Gold is the oldest known currency and is forecasted to be worth a record $10,000 per ounce in 2009. The value of gold is based on its rarity, practicality, malleability and durability. Gold is easy to work with and holds shine for long periods of time. Its unique properties, such as chemical inertness and thermal conductivity make it the best conductor of heat. Gold has been found in meteorites that have fallen over 3 billion years ago, meaning that there must be a lot more left in the universe. A gold bar is a big chunk of gold, similar to a 2x4 piece of wood as its mass is equal to the mass of one side of the bar. Gold is a precious metal found in nature that conveys value. Gold has many different properties, it is rare, it can be applied to jewelry and electronics such as cell phone cases, computers and jewellery. It seems to be almost indestructible. Gold has many uses such as dental work, electronics, scientific research and jewellery.