Gold, one of the world’s most sought-after precious metals, has been greatly appreciated throughout history. Since 4000 BC, when gold was first referenced in ancient Egypt, the purity of this particular precious metal hasn’t depreciated by one bit- it’s no wonder why gold holds so much value to date. Because of its significant physical and chemical properties, it is among the most valuable materials today.
Unlike most metals, gold doesn’t corrode or rust when exposed to air and oxygen. Asides from its incredible endurance, gold is vastly known for its properties. These include density, malleability, ductility, and ability to conduct heat and electricity significantly. Due to its density and shimmy appearance, miners have it easy finding it amongst other sediments, in water and underground.
One of the essential properties of gold is its density. Gold is highly desirable today for investments, industries, and ornaments, mainly because of its high density. You can tell how valuable this metal is by its weight alone. Among other precious metals we know today, gold is one of the densest. It is, in fact, among the top ten densest metals on the planet, even more, viscous than lead and copper. This brings us to our principal question- what is the density of gold?
The Density Of Gold
Gold is among the top ten densest precious metals on earth. Also, its density is 19.32 grams per cubic centimeter or 19 320 kilograms per cubic meter. Density is the mass of an object per unit volume. In simpler terms, the density of gold is the amount it weighs per volume.
Determining the density of gold in most gold-bearing objects can be a little bit critical as most gold items are not pure gold. For example, as much as a lot of gold ornaments can appear to be a lot of gold, you’d be surprised to know that the accurate volume of the gold present isn’t as much as you’d expect. Anyway, this is quite normal since gold in its purest form is vulnerable, soft, and can scratch or even break easily, making it not the best option for gold products that will be durable.
Gold products today get their toughness and rigidity from being alloyed with other precious metals like silver, palladium, tungsten, e.t.c. Notwithstanding, the density of gold forever remains the same no matter how little the volume is in any product. Suppose you want to measure the density of your gold jewelry, coin, or bar. In that case, you can choose to rid it of all other alloys with nitric acid and hydrochloric solution, scientifically called Aqua-Regia. If you don’t wish to go through such an extent, you can still measure the density of your gold object to determine how close it is to that of pure gold, which is 100% gold.
As such, there is a need to understand the purity of gold to be sure of what you’re getting when buying gold or investing in gold. So here’s a simple explanation for you.
Understand Gold’s Purity
Understanding gold’s purity is fairly the most beneficial knowledge you can have as an investor. According to most international standards, any acclaimed gold object with less than 10 karats is considered fake. If you’ve gone gold jewelry shopping or have experience purchasing gold, you’ve probably heard the word karats.
The measurement of the ratio of gold to other metals alloyed in a gold object is called karats. Karats is measured on a scale of 0-24. The higher the karats, the higher the gold present and the fewer other metal alloys. Most of these other metal alloys adulterated in gold objects are silver, copper, zinc, palladium, nickel(although no longer common), etc.
With this in mind, the purest form of gold you can buy should be 24 karats. However, as said earlier, gold in its purest form can scratch easily. Hence, most gold-bearing objects usually have some other metals alloyed to toughen them up, improve their rigidity, and enhance their color. For instance, copper is alloyed with gold to produce “rose gold.”
You can measure the percentage of your gold’s purity by dividing the number of karats by 24. For example, say you buy a 14k gold ring. To determine the percentage of the gold present, you divide 14 by 24. The answer should be .583, which is 58.3% gold.
Measuring The Density of Gold
When measuring the density of any of your good items, you should remember that the results cannot come out accurately. This is because gold items are rarely soled in their purest form (24k, where it is 100% gold); hence the density is bound to get disrupted by the weight of other metals it has been alloyed with. It is also impossible to ascertain the volume of gold present in any of your gold items by measurements. Instead, you have to get the correct paperwork reading the karats. With this, you can know the exact percentage of gold available in the mix of alloyed gold. However, for simple measurement of the density of gold present, you can use a simple water displacement process.
Things You’ll Need:
- Precision scale
- Graduated cylinder
- Pen & Paper
- Calculator (if needed)
Using Water Displacement
Here’s how you do it:
- First, pick up your gold item- ring, bracelet, nugget, coin, whatever gold item you plan to measure and clean it properly.
- Gauge the mass of your gold object on a precision scale and write down the reading in grams.
- Put water into a graduated cylinder. The cylinder should be approximately half full. Make sure to adjust the water to meet up with a measurement line on the cylinder.
- Record the water level in cubic meters and write it down on your paper as your initial volume (Vi)
- Carefully lower the gold object into the cylinder to avoid spillage
- Re-record the water volume after the gold object has been placed in it, as your final volume (Vf)
- Calculate the difference between the final volume (Vf) and initial volume (Vi). Write down the resulting volume
- Divide the mass of the object that you recorded earlier by the resulting volume, i.e., mass/(Vf – Vi)
- The answer you get is your object’s density.
The closer your answer is to 19.32g/cm³, the closer your gold item is to pure gold.
The Importance Of Gold’s Density
The density of precious metals is one factor contributing to their market value. You can already tell how valuable gold is by how heavy it is. If not for its density, this precious metal would not have been discovered in the first place. Gold ranks third as one of the most expensive precious metals, following after rhodium and palladium, with a value of one gram at $53.95. The density of gold is significantly crucial to gold miners, investors, and industries that work with gold in manufacturing most of their products.
The importance of the density of gold dates back to the California gold rush of the 1800s. Gold miners developed various techniques to search for gold in oceans, lakes, and the bottom of rivers. The most common form of gold mining back then was panning because anyone could do it. Panning is the process of using a pan to fetch sand from water and swirling the content to separate gold flakes or pieces from any other sediments it was attached to. Because of the density of gold, the gold flakes would sink to the bottom of the pan, leaving all other deposits above it. With this simple method, it was relatively easy for the miner to determine if he had found gold or not.
When miners are unsure about a piece of gold, they would take a piece of real gold along with the questionable piece of gold and submerge it into the pan filled with water. Due to its density, the real gold would sink faster before the questionable piece of gold, popularly regarded as fool’s gold.
To Investors & Buyers
Gold is very liquid and highly desirable on the market, so much counterfeit gold exists. Therefore, buyers and Investors are liable to get scammed. Investors and buyers should know about the density of gold they’re working with because they can be sure of the exact weight of what they’re buying. What can be said to be a briefcase of pure gold bars might not be if the bag isn’t as heavy as how a bag of pure gold bars should be. Indeed, it can be measured, but if you don’t know the exact density of gold, swindlers can take the chance to strip you of your money for a bar of merely pure gold. Knowing your stuff right will protect you from manipulators and swindlers as a precious metal enthusiast looking to buy or invest in gold, silver, and the like.
Frequently Asked Questions about Gold:
What are the other chemical properties of gold?
Aside from its density, there are other chemical properties of gold that distinguishes it from other precious metals.
Properties of gold:
- The atomic number of gold is 79
- The atomic symbol used to represent gold scientifically is Au
- The atomic weight (average mass of the atom) is 196.9665
- At room temperature, the physical state of gold is Solid
- The melting point of gold is 1,947.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1,064.18 degrees C)
- The boiling point of gold is 5,162 degrees F (2,850 degrees C)
When is the right time to invest in gold?
There is never a wrong time to invest in gold as it is less likely to get affected by inflation or the economy, so you can hardly be at a loss purchasing or investing your money in gold. Moreover, unlike palladium and platinum, whose value is highly affected by the automotive industry’s supply and demand, even though they’re rarer, gold’s use extends beyond just one industry. From electrical industries to machine, computer, and manufacturing industries, gold is constantly wanted, hence, the guaranteed and increasing value from time to time.
Again, gold is always a safe investment because it doesn’t tend to dip or jump in price, and it always guarantees a heavyweight per any volume obtained. In addition, you can purchase bars of gold and see how to invest with American Bullion, US-based incorporation that will guide you on how to add precious metals to your retirement account and steadily help you grow it.
Is silver as good as gold for investment?
The answer is yes. Gold and silver are commodity assets, and both have their history of being linked closely with money- these two precious metals are forever active stores of value. Silver is much cheaper to invest in than gold because it is more closely related to industrial use. While silver can make you some real money because of its semi-predictable nature, gold is also precious and better for diversifying your portfolio. Either way, both precious have a place in your assets portfolio.