How did gold get its name?
Common gold questions

How did gold get its name?

The term "Gold" as we know it today, actually derives from Old English and Germanic origins.

Actually, gold is not the true name of this rare yellow metal although it is the commonly accepted name in use today. Almost every culture has had some experience with gold and there have been many names for this precious metal. The term "Gold" as we know it today, actually derives from Old English and Germanic origins.

The German Gothic language expressed gold with the word gulþa which later evolved into geolu in the Old English language. Geolu is translated to mean "yellow", thus naming the metal for it's most dominant characteristic; its golden yellow colour. In the twelfth century, Middle English brought another evolution to the word and our modern word, gold, came into existence.

The chemical symbol for Gold on the periodic table of elements is AU. This symbol is a tribute to the Latin word, aurum, loosely translated "glowing dawn" which was used to describe gold in Ancient Rome. The Ancient Romans were not the first civilization to encounter gold but they did invent improvements on the way gold was mined and extracted, thus increasing the availability of gold throughout their empire. Many of these improved methods invented by the Ancient Romans have stood the test of time and are still in use by gold miners today.

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