Today, Muinteoir John told us all about the mineral gold.

We learned that:

  • Gold is very valuable It is not a renewable resource
  • It cannot be made - it can only be found
  • Over the course of history, people have always desired and searched for gold
  • A unit of measurement called a "karat" measures the purity of gold.
  • 24-karat gold is the purest and highest quality gold imaginable.

Good news!

Even though gold is non-renewable, the good news is that it can be recycled - melted down and made into different shapes. 30% of the global supply of gold is now recycled.

Download the activity sheet for games and the full lesson to share!

Agus as Gaeilge ANSEO!

Let's have a look at its many uses - some of them might surprise you!

Teeth
The use of gold in dentistry dates back to early as 700 BC, when Italian "dentists" used gold wire to fasten replacement teeth into their patients’ mouths. Gold is still used today also used for fillings and crowns, because it is extremely strong, is non-allergenic and easy to work with.

Spaceships
Yes, spaceships! NASA, the US space agency, uses gold in hundreds of different ways in every spacecraft it launches. When launching a rocket, they need to use extremely dependable materials that won’t damage easily. Gold is durable to the point of virtual indestructibility.

Jewellery
Despite being so durable, gold is extremely malleable - this means it can be hammered or pressed into shape without breaking or cracking - making it perfect for detailed jewellery-making.

Olympic Medals
A gold medal in the Olympics of course means you have come in first place and are the best athlete in the entire WORLD at your sport!

Mobile phones
Yes, gold is used in mobile phones because it is a highly efficient conductor - meaning it can carry tiny currents and not become damaged. But definitely don't open up your parents’ phone hoping to make your fortune! Phones contain only the tiniest amount of gold - about 0.034g of gold - that’s only worth about €1.50!

The Gold Standard
This is a currency system that some countries use. That country’s government literally owns a stockpile of gold. The amount of gold they have influences the value of their currency. This is called The Gold Standard.

Why don't you investigate: Does the Irish government use The Gold Standard?

A Non-Renewable Resource Gold is a non-renewable resource, meaning that it can't be made - it can only be found.

Have a look at the pictures in the activity sheet and circle which ones are RENEWABLE.

JOKE!

How do you make gold soup?
Put in 14 carrots!