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What is gold?

Gold is the most moldable and ductile of all metals that are known. With just one ounce of gold, it can be flattened into a sheet that is approximately 5 meters in width. This thin layer, which is known as gold leaf, is commonly used in arts and crafts for decoration. The thickness of the gold leaf is so slender that it is nearly 400 times thinner than a strand of human hair, measuring at 0.000127 millimeters.

Since gold is naturally soft, it is usually combined with other metals, such as silver, copper, platinum, or palladium, to add durability and strength. Jewelry, decorative items, fillings for teeth, and coins are all made with alloys of gold, and the amount of gold in the alloy is determined by the karat value. One karat is equivalent to one part out of twenty-four, so a gold ring with an 18 karat value has 18 parts of pure gold and 6 parts of the alloy. Gold is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, and it does not corrode or discolor when it is exposed to air. This makes it a very useful material for making electrical connectors and printed circuit boards.


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