Can Gold Be Destroyed?
Many great civilizations have used gold for trade and commerce. A study suggests more than 190,000 thousand tons of gold have been excavated over the years, making it an incredible financial asset.
Even though gold is renowned for its investment purposes, it’s also famous for its remarkable physical characteristics. Gold is malleable and a great electrical conductor. It serves various applications in the dental and ornament industries. It’s a rare metal that is completely resistant to corrosion. These physical properties lead us to believe that gold is indestructible. Therefore, let’s figure out what chemical substances can destroy this precious metal.
What Can Destroy Gold?
No naturally occurring substance on earth has a molecular level that is strong enough to destroy gold. Therefore, pure gold is indestructible. Fire can’t destroy gold, and it won’t rust, tarnish, or corrode. Hence, all the gold that has ever been extracted from the earth’s crust is melted, re-melted, and re-used again and again. It’s safe to say that no recast gold is destroyed beyond recovery. The only way to destroy gold is by subjecting it to nuclear reactions.
Gold Can Only Be Dissolved, But Not Destroyed
Most gold imitations melt when mixed with nitric acid. However, gold neither reacts to nitric acid nor hydrochloric acid. The only solution that can dissolve this precious metal is Aqua Regia. It is a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids in a ratio of 3:1. Even in a dissolved state, the particles of gold remain widely dispersed. You may dump the solution down the sink or mix it with more water, but gold will always transform into its original solid form. In this context, gold will last forever. Scientists and physicists have studied gold for thousands of years, and yet this is how close they’ve come to destroying this metal without using nuclear reactions.
Can Gold Be Destroyed Commercially?
Whether gold can be commercially destroyed or not is yet to be seen. Currently, there’s no chance of destroying gold’s market value. This rare metal withstands inflation and isn’t affected by wars, geopolitics, or political conflicts. Since the properties of gold have persisted over the years, its economic value will also remain for centuries to come.
Fortunately, gold being indestructible is a good thing. There would be devastating consequences on the economy if gold were to disappear. Some electronic devices would no longer be manufactured. Similarly, there would be no effective treatments for diseases like arthritis and cancer. This precious metal is extraordinary and here to stay!
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