Gold: history of gold mining, and the use of gold
Gold is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Au from the Latin word "aurum." A simple substance is a yellow precious metal, which is used as currency.
Gold is known to mankind since the bronze age. Its prey was engaged in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. In ancient times people believed that gold was created by a unique combination of water and sun. Since that time it was considered a symbol of wealth and has been used for making jewelry and luxury goods.
Yellow metal many times in history have been targeted wars. So, the campaigns of Alexander the great in 344 BC had one of the objectives of the capture of enormous gold reserves of Persia. The second Punic war against Carthage in 202 BC gave to Rome, in particular, access to the gold mining regions of Spain.
History knows such a thing as a gold rush, when the discovery of new gold deposits has led to radical changes in the economy of entire regions and around the world. For example, in 1700 gold was mined in Brazil. In a few years, the country is now a major global supplier of precious metal, getting it up to 15 thousand tons per year. Prospectors flooded into Brazil, and this has influenced the development of the new continent. In 1848 gold was discovered in California. This was one of the factors that contributed to the creation of such countries as the United States of America. In 1850-m discovery of gold deposits in Australia has produced a stream of settlers in the new territories. The most famous gold rush began in 1896, when two canadian geologist discovered reserves of the metal near the Yukon river. The name of this field - Klondike - became a household word. A similar story happened a decade later in South Africa, with only one difference: gold there was mined already corporations and industrial way.
Today there are several technologies of gold mining. One of them is leaching. Gold is amalgamated with mercury, cyanide and regeneration. In the world, there is on average about 2 500 tons of gold per year. The largest number of the world's gold is mined in South Africa. This is followed by China, Australia, USA, Peru, Russia, Canada, Mali, Uzbekistan, Ghana.
In 2010, more than 450 tons of gold were used for technical purposes worldwide. In electronics the metal is applied as a coating contacts particularly in chips. Gold coatings can be used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards, connectors. Gold solder is needed when soldering metals. Including when you want a special accuracy compounds, for example under vacuum. Gilding metal. The price of gold rarely justifies its use as a coating for protection against corrosion, but the finished products are particularly expensive. The jewelry plated with 24 carat gold looks and wears like real jewelry, but it is worth no more than the usual jewelry. Even the sophisticated connoisseur unlikely to distinguish by just looking between costume jewelry and precious jewelry. A significant amount of gold consumes dentistry, also it is part of some pharmacological drugs. It is registered as a food additive E175.
However, the main use nowadays gold finds in the jewelry industry. And to make decorations may not be used pure metal, as it is too soft for this purpose. So apply its alloys with zinc, Nickel, palladium, cobalt. And the color of the finished product is determined by the presence of copper and silver. For the year 2010 in the jewelry industry used more than 2000 tons of gold. Among the major consumers of gold jewelry is traditionally the first place is India, where sold to 27% of total world production. It is followed by China and the United States.
Low content in the earth's crust and the complexity of the production led to the relative rarity of gold, and due to its chemical inertness and aesthetic qualities it was considered a precious metal. So gold since ancient times is used as the object of investment and creation of reserves. In total, in 2010 the demand for gold for investment purposes amounted to about 1 500 tons. Gold reserves exist in most countries. In addition, in the global economy this precious metal can be used as a gold standard - guaranteed fulfillment of national currencies. This system was first introduced in great Britain in 1816, after the Napoleonic wars, and lasted until the abolition of the Bretton woods monetary system.
A number of economic crises of the 21st century, a huge debt of most developed countries, accompanied by excessive issue of paper money. All this makes a number of modern economists to raise the issue of return to some form of the gold standard in the future.
Gold is the commodity. It has its own standard code similar to the following currencies: as a rule, it indicate the XAU. The main stock exchanges - the London Metal Exchange (LME) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) widely appeal future contracts on gold. Prices are quoted in troy ounces. In autumn 2011 the gold is between $1600 and $1800 per ounce. The main factor affecting the pricing, in addition to the ratio of supply and demand in the jewelry and other industries, is the state of the global economy, investors believe gold is an alternative currency funds.
In addition to the standard bullion traded on exchanges, there are also gold coins, which from time to time issue Central banks. For example, this metal 999-th sample coin from the series "Golden eagle," produced in the U.S. (coins weighing 1, 1/2 and 1/4 troy oz), a series of "Britain," issued by the Bank of England (coins weighing 1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 troy oz).