Gold is a soft, heavy metal that is both malleable and ductile. A single gram of gold can be stretched into a thin wire 541 feet long and just 20 micrometers thick, according to Web Elements.
Gold is a rare substance, accounting for only three parts per billion of the Earth's outer layer. It weighs twice as much as lead and 19 times more than water, according to the Australian Mineral Atlas. Gold's melting point is 1,940 degrees Fahrenheit, while its boiling point is 4,820 degrees Fahrenheit.
Jewellery is responsible for consuming around 75 percent of all gold produced; it is also used in glass, electronics and wiring and as bullion, states Lenntech. Gold electroplating is popular in the electronics industry as it protects copper components and improves their solderability.
Two-thirds of the world's supply of gold comes from South Africa, and two-thirds of the gold production in the United States branches from South Dakota and Nevada. Other major gold mines are located in Canada and Russia, according to Lenntech. While gold is found in sea water, there is not yet a cost-effective method to extract it from this source. The Earth produces roughly 2,500 tons of gold per year.