Gold is the most malleable of all metals. One gram of it and this is not very much in volume due to its high density (19.3gm per cubic cm) can easily be beaten to a sheet of 1square meter or drawn to a wire 2km in length. Gold also does not tarnish and is inert, in its purest form it does not change colour in air or in water. Another advantage it had right from its discovery is that it was found almost pure. Silver and copper are just about the only elements in small quantities mixed with it. A relatively low melting point of 1064 degree Celsius meant that it could be melted down with the basic furnaces which were at early cultures’ disposal.
So it is not a surprise that from all the metals available in the early days of civilization gold had all the advantages a metal smith or jeweller could hope for. It is very clean even during heating, oxidization is low and joining pieces with solders, gold alloys at a slightly lower melting point, is a much easier task as if it were, let’s say, copper.
The oldest artifacts in gold were found on the …Read More