What is Gold?
nps staff photo
Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. A single troy ounce of gold can be beaten into a flat sheet measuring roughly 5 meters on a side. Thin sheets of gold, known as gold leaf, can be as thin as 0.000127 millimeters, or about 400 times thinner than a human hair.
Pure gold is soft and is usually alloyed with other metals, such as silver, copper, platinum or palladium, to increase its strength. Gold alloys are used to make jewelry, decorative items, dental fillings and coins. Gold is a good conductor of heat and electricity and does not tarnish when it is exposed to the air, so it can be used to make electrical connectors and printed circuit boards. Gold is also a good reflector of infrared radiation and can be used to help shield spacecraft and skyscrapers from the sun's heat. Gold coated mirrors can be used to make telescopes that are sensitive to infrared light.
Commonly used measurements often used when dealing with gold are carat and troy ounce.
Did You Know?
During the summer months, rangers give demonstrations about gold panning at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.