The Value And Purpose Of Gold
Throughout the centuries, mankind has been using gold as the premium choice of currency... Actually, you're about to find out that gold is the only choice of prime currency, based on its chemical properties.
Why gold, and why not any other element in the periodic table? You may know of jewelry made of other precious metals which is more valuable than gold. There are other elements in the world that have so much more use, compared to gold.
It would help to have a periodic table in front of you; you will soon see how a simple process of elimination causes gold to stand out as the premier element that you could just swear was intended to really be currency.
You can strike out all of the elements at the rightmost column of the periodic table - those are all gases (the 'Noble gases', to be precise), and you can imagine how inconvenient (and humourous) it would be to lug balloons around as currency. Following this train of thought, you would do well to eliminate any other elements that come in liquid form - bromine, and mercury.
In addition to being liquid, these two elements are also poisonous. Therefore, though arsenic and some other elements may come in solid form, they are ineligible to be currency because they are lethal if ingested, or just introduced to the bloodstream. You wouldn't want to have radioactive elements such as uranium, plutonium, or thorium to be made into coins either, unless you want to have cancer in a hurry.
Why Other Elements Couldn't Be Cash
So far, a good number of elements have been taken out. It doesn't stop there. While the rest of the elements could be considered solid and not immediately poisonous or radioactive, they do react a little too much in other circumstances.
For instance, in dry conditions, elements such as potassium and sodium may look fine, but if you pour some of these alkaline metals or earths into some water, they react violently before eventually disappearing into a different gaseous compound. That's literally, 'easy come, easy go', money vanishing into thin air. Strike out the elements with the highest atomic numbers as well - aside from being totally man-made elements, they decompose radioactively only moments after creation.
Now you may probably see other elements in the table which are labelled 'rare earths', which actually are found in less quantities compared to gold. However, these elements are quite difficult to chemically distinguish from one another, so using them in the form of coins would not be effective, simply because you will never really know what you actually have in your money bags.
You are left with a group known as the 'noble metals', which are called that way because they remain the same even after forced exposure to other elements. However, these metals are either too hard to process, too common, or too rare.
Gold At The Top
This leaves us with gold and silver. Gold literally takes the crown at this point because although silver has all the qualities that are needed to be a good currency, it has a slight tendency to tarnish as a reaction to even the most minute traces of sulphur in the air...
...and really, gold is just beautiful.
So, you could see how gold and only gold could really be made to be precious. Whether it is beaten into coin, ingots, or jewelry, you can be sure that any gold you have has a certain significant value at any time. When you're out of cash and in a pinch, you can sell your gold today, knowing that any pawnbroker or dealer will give you top value for it.
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