DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gold. Nuggets made of gold. Gold is the 79th element of the periodic table, and has a relative atomic mass of 196.97. It has been known since prehistoric times, as it appears in nature as a free metal; either in veins in quartz or as nuggets in alluvial gravels. Its main uses are forming the basis of monetary systems and as jewellery, due to its relative rarity, attractive appearance and lack of tarnishing. Gold is also used in the electronics industry as a conductor. It has no known biological role, although compounds of gold are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
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