Gold is, apart from copper, one of the few colored metals that are not defined as grey or silver colored. It can be alloyed easily with many other metals which makes gold very attractive as raw material. Unalloyed gold is as soft as tin. It is rated as chemically stable and extremely resistant to most acids. Because gold is a relatively inert metal, it usually maintains its gloss and color and thus it is easily recognizable in nature.
The Witwatersrand-mine in South Africa is by far the largest storage site of the world. Besides, South Africa was considered the country with the greatest output until 2006. Meanwhile, most of the gold comes from China, Australia, Russia and North America.
It is mainly processed in the jewelry industry and as investment metals in the form of coins and bars. Besides, gold has a decorative use in electroplating of metals and plastic. Objects coated in gold leaf such as furnishings, figures or architectural elements are given the appearance of real gold. Furthermore, it is used in the medical, optical and electronic field.