Gold is probably the most well known and desirable precious metal. Its chemical symbol is Au and it has an atomic number of 79 on the periodic table. It typically has a metallic yellow, or golden colour. Gold has been used and sought after throughout history as a symbol of power and wealth. It has driven conquest most notably with the Spanish conquest of South and Central America beginning in the 15th century. The enduring myth of El Dorado, the city of gold still entices people to this day with expeditions setting off in search of mythical golden city and the wealth its discovery could bring.
Our handy live charts show you the current price of gold as well as historic fluctuations in price: https://www.ukbullion.com/live-chart/gold/gbp
Most people will of course be familiar with the main use of gold in jewellery and this still serves as the main global demand for gold.
Due to the intrinsic value people attribute to gold it has also found a place as a currency guarantor. Until the mid 20th century many countries around the world used the gold standard to underwrite their national currency however this has fallen out of favour in the more financially driven economies of the modern world.
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Beyond the obvious demand for gold in jewellery and gold bullion here is another growing sector that makes use of gold, the industrial sector. Almost ten percent of the world demand for gold goes into industrial processes with electronics accounting for the vast majority of that ten percent.
Check back next week for Episode 3