Figure of the month: 1064° C

News Arnulf Hinkel, Financial journalist – 01.07.2016

Did you know? The melting point of gold is at 1064 degrees Celsius.

As an asset class, gold does hold a unique position as an important portfolio stabilizing element and "safe haven", but so do the physical characteristics as they stand out from the majority of other elements. The noble metal with the element symbol Au (from "aurum", which is Latin for "gold") and the atomic number 79 has one stable isotope, thus making it one of the so-called pure elements. Its special characteristics include, for example, a very high density facilitating the mining of the noble metal, and the fact that gold, unlike numerous other metals, will not corrode. In addition, the melting point of gold is special: it is at exactly 1064.18° C or 1337. 33 degrees Kelvin. Thus, the melting point is some 100°C above that of silver (960.8° C) and at a similar level as that of copper (1084° C). These three elements form the group 11 of the Periodic Table of Elements. While the melting points of the elements in this group are more or less homogeneous, the melting points of other metals differ from them significantly in many cases: the so-called base metals mostly have a much lower melting point, such as tin at only 231° C, lead at 327.4° C, zinc at 419.5° C, or aluminum at 660.32° C. Quite a different case, for example, is the noble metal platinum, which has a significantly higher melting point than gold, at 1773.5° C. Only a few metals have an even higher melting point, such as tungsten which melts at 3442° C.

By the way, the melting of gold is not only the usual method to regain raw material for the production of new jewelry, coins, industrial or dental gold, it also is, as with various methods of density measurement and analysis applications using an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, an important method to determine the degree of purity, especially in case of larger amounts of gold.

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