Gold is a valuable metal that has an atomic number of 79. Dating back nearly 5,500 years, different civilizations used gold in jewelry and artwork. These early civilizations also used gold as money.
In nature, many compounds, such as tellurium, calcite and quartz, contain gold. Gold also can occur freely in nature. It is a malleable, shiny and soft metal that has the chemical symbol Au. Malleable means that it is easy to hammer or beat gold into thin sheets or thin wire.
Some other physical properties of gold are that it is a conductor of electricity and heat, and it has a melting point of 1064.18 degrees Celsius. It also has good reflectivity properties.
Presently, gold has many uses, including for jewelry, electrical contacts, printed circuits, shielding on space vehicles and dental alloys.