Categories: Chemistry at home , Guest posts |  Comments
Guest post by Jen Dougan
I attended five weddings this year, between February and October, making 2014 most definitely the Year of the Wedding. Each day was unique and reflected closely the couple, their relationship, vision and hopes for the future. And while there was a broad range of traditions at each, whether religious or humanist approaches, one tradition – the exchange of rings – provided a common element throughout.
The element is, of course, gold. But what is the chemistry of this symbol that is ritually shared as a sign of commitment and lasting love?
Gold is the most noble of metals, it doesn’t corrode or oxidise in the Earth’s moist, oxygen-rich atmosphere. Ductile and malleable, it can be fashioned at will and, since it doesn’t tarnish, is an ideal material for producing jewellery. The decorative attributes of gold have long been coveted – examples of gold jewellery have been found in the tombs of the Queens of Egypt and Sumeria, 3000 years BC. (more…)