What Makes Gold Unique: The Only Metal Both Heavy and Soft

That single ounce is worth almost $2600 CAD. That makes a pound of gold worth $37897.00 CAD.  Rarity makes huge nuggets worth more than their gold value. What is it about gold that makes it so heavy to begin with?

Gold’s High Density Makes It Very Heavy: The Atomic Structure

Golden density makes it heavy for its volume. Gold is some of the heaviest metals with 19.32 g/cm3. Gold’s density comes from its atomic number of 79—79 protons and 79 electrons. Due to their many protons and electrons, gold atoms have a high atomic mass and dense lattice structure. Gold is heavy yet the most ductile metal, creating 0.000127 mm sheets. Gold’s crystal structure and strong atom interactions make it malleable. Hammering gold’s symmetry atoms into different shapes distributes stress evenly.

Gold’s Electronic Structure Allows It to Be Soft

The electrical structure of gold makes it thick and malleable. An electron occupies a two-electron orbital in gold’s outer shell. Due to this loosely bonded electron, surrounding atoms can glide past without breaking. Gold is malleable and flexible due to its strong, close-packed atomic cores and weak interatomic connections.

Soft gold may be hammered into thin sheets, called gold leaf, which transmits light and is used for gilding. Gold may also be drawn into fine wires due to its malleability. One gramme of gold may be hammered into a roughly square-metre sheet due to its softness.

The heavy nucleus makes gold dense, while each atom’s loose outside electron makes it soft. Due to its properties, gold is the densest and most malleable natural metal.

Gold’s Unique Combination of Density and Softness Enable Many Practical Applications

Gold is dense—one cubic foot weighs over 1,200 pounds. Gold’s considerable density makes it heavy and substantial to hold. The density of gold renders it non-reactive. Gold is good for jewellery, coinage, and electronics due to its chemical stability and tarnishes resistance.

Gold is thick but flexible. Gold may be hammered into 0.0001-millimeter sheets and drawn into 35-kilometre wire. Jewellers can make elaborate gold patterns. With its malleability, gold may be softly sculpted to suit teeth in dentistry.

Embracing the Uniqueness – Appreciating the Beauty & Versatility
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