Because a tiny amount of this element - whose creation is due to a rare phenomena - has the ability to be hammered into thin sheets!
Gold is an element, meaning that it is not formed, but exists as an atomic structure.
Unlike diamonds or gem stones, which are produced under the Earth by extreme pressures and heat, gold is a non-terrestrial metal, meaning that all the gold that exists today, above and below ground, is all there ever will be. Gold is not produced by the geology of the Earth; in fact, Gold doesn’t even originate from this solar system.
To create elements heavier than iron, like gold and silver, requires the most destructive
forces known in our universe. As a star undergoes its death-throes, once its nuclear fuel
is consumed, explosive emissions of heavy material are ejected in a violent processknown as a supernova.
555 feet 5-1⁄8 inches
Our Earth’s core is not producing any gold and neither is our Sun.
Our Earth is the by-product of a star that went supernova about 4.5 billion years ago and during that supernova, our Earth collected some rare formations of Gold atoms. Not every star goes supernova when it runs out of nuclear fuel to burn. In fact 97% of stars never explode which makes a supernova and the chances of gold atoms forming in the universe that much rarer.
Hence the rarity of gold. To put it into perspective:
- The entire gold that has been mined in the history of our planet would fit in a cube roughly 20.5m a side. Or put another way, it would fill about 3.5 Olympic size swimming pools.
- If the entire amount of gold that exists in the world today, as bullion, jewelry or coins, was melted down into a single block, it would only be as large as about one-third of the Washington Monument.
- A cube the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet that would cover that same swimming pool or tennis court, and one tiny ounce (28.3 grams) of gold can be stretched into a wire fifty miles (80.4 kilometers) long! A little gold sure goes a long way!
Source(s): macmllc.com/pdf, bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/, thedailygold.com/