Gold is number 79 on the periodic table of elements and uses the symbol “Au.” This is an abbreviation for the Latin word Aurum. Aurum basically means shining dawn. No one knows exactly how Gold got its Latin name. Since Latin is such an ancient language, the origin of the name is lost to history.
An element is considered reactive when it “reacts” or changes in some way when coming in contact with another element or chemical. Gold is the second least reactive solid metal element on the periodic table, next to Platinum. What does that mean? Not much bothers Gold. Water, heat, and other chemicals can be applied and Gold holds steady. But with a little extra work, Gold can be combined with other elements to form what we call compounds.
For example, a common compound is water, made when hydrogen and oxygen are combined in the right amounts. A common compound made with gold is auric chloride (gold and chlorine). This is used to make things like purple of cassius and in certain practices of photography. Another gold compound is gold sodium thiomalate or “gold salts” used in medicine. Some gold salts are used in treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.
Certainly this pure element has its many uses!