Gold is the 79th element and one of the heaviest naturally occurring elements. It has been known since ancient times and artifacts from the ancient Ur (modern Iraq) civilization have been found and dated to 3,800 BCE, or 5,800 years ago. It is a shiny, soft, yellowish red, heavy malleable and ductile element. A one-gram piece of gold can be hammered into a one meter square sheet that is semi-transparent. It is one of the least reactive elements and will not react with oxygen at any temperature. It is resistant to heat and acid except “aqua regia” (nitric acid and hydrochloric acid) which will dissolve pure gold.
Because of its long association with humans and their crow like attraction to shiny things, it was an object to collect, adorn, barter and obsess over. Alchemically, gold is the symbol of transition to love, virtue and compassion. Interestingly, gold is considered a transition element within the periodic system. Vitality, life, health, radiance, wisdom, clarity, unification, virtue and light are all qualities associated with this element.
Though it is also considered to be biologically inert, some salts of gold are used to treat inflammation from arthritis. If pure gold is ingested, it is not absorbed or processed by the body at all.