Many people who are curious about the world have asked themselves who discovered gold? The answer to this question cannot really be answered, as gold is one of the first metals that humans ever used. Gold has been a part of thousands of cultures, including ancient man who used it on decorative head dresses to signify rank. Gold was highly prized and used extensively in ancient Egypt. A great example of how humans from all cultures have revered the precious metal gold comes from when the Spanish came to South America. Though they did not speak the same language and had an ocean between them, both cultures held gold in the highest esteem.
In ancient times there were many people who believed that gold was the perfect element, symbolized by the symbol Au. Gold has been used in medicines and concoctions for generations and the beginning of the science known today as chemistry can be traced back to alchemy. Alchemists believed that lesser metals could be transformed into gold if the right concoction of chemicals and rituals were performed over them, and entire kingdoms were soon obsessed with the idea that their alchemists could bring them untold fortunes. None of these claims, however, came to fruition and many alchemists were put to death for their boastful claims.
Ancient man may have discovered gold, but the fact is that we are still learning about and finding uses for the precious metal, such as the discovery that gold is one of the most non-reactive elements in the world. Very few chemicals will have a reaction with the metal and because of this, it has no positive or negative effects on the human body. Many people even enjoy a form of liquor that has gold flakes in it. As stated before, there were many alchemists who believed that ingesting the metal would give them eternal life. Little did they know that the metal would have absolutely no effect on them or their lifespan. Ironically, there are small trace amounts of gold in the human body, naturally.
After the industrial revolution, gold was used for many things, especially electronics. Though it is not reactive to chemicals, gold conducts electricity and heat better than many metals on the periodic table and can be found in many electronic devices around the house today. Many of the devices we use today have very low voltage and because electricity can be interrupted by corrosion and rust, gold has replaced many of the other metals because gold never rusts or corrodes. The way that it exists today is the way that it will exist in millions of years.
A surprising fact about gold that many people don’t know is that at the present rate humans are using gold, the world’s supply, as it stands today, will be completely gone in 46 years. That is why some modern day alchemists have begun trying to figure out how to make synthetic gold, if not real gold, by causing electrons to transfer from one element to another. This is no easy task, even with our abilities in this day and age. However, if they should succeed, the price of gold, and some say the personal human value of the metal, will diminish and eventually fade away.
The fact is no specific human being is known to have discovered the element gold; however, we, as a species, have evolved on this planet using and revering this metal. Though there’s no known discoverer of the metal, gold is one of the single most important elements we as humans have ever used and the same will be true for as long as we can dig it from the earth. There is a reason why gold is called a precious metal.
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