Gold is a kind of element, often represented with the chemical symbol Au, which is well-known for being used for jewelry. It has also been used as a main component of coins or other similar forms since people started using money for the completion of transactions. This element has a yellow color and possesses a certain kind of shine or lustre.
Gold may be used for electronic purposes, especially because it is a very good conductor. It may also be used for fillings and caps in dentistry. Its value is more recognized, however, in the context of its role as money. Although not all forms of money, particularly paper money, comes with the actual gold, regular money can represent the amount of gold in reserves. This is made possible with the creation of gold standards.
The gold standard is a system that makes use of gold to determine value. There are, however, different categories. Under the gold exchange standard, only actual silver coins or coins making use of other kinds of metal are used. The value of these metals is then pegged to the value of gold, creating a different value for the silver or other metal used. Under the gold specie standard, gold coins are put into circulation. In the gold bullion standard, though, gold coins are not circulated but bullion may be purchased at a set price using the recognized currency.
Entities who are particularly interested in investing in gold may do so by keeping gold bars. Some investors believe that having the actual element brings protection from the negative effects of inflation or other difficulties in the economy.