8 December 17: Beautiful Au

What’s the most fun fact you learnt at school? At risk of sounding like a total dweeb, I loved the mind-blowing revelations in science, from unfathomable cellular biology through to the origins of element symbol names such as Pb (lead, hence ‘plumber’). The symbol for gold, Au, comes from the old Latin name for gold, aurum, which means ‘shining dawn’ or ‘glow of sunrise’ – almost as beautiful as gold itself. The word ‘gold’ comes from the Proto-Indo-European ‘ghel’ meaning ‘yellow green’. I think the Latin description wins that contest hands down.

Martha, The Colour File x

©Martha Roberts

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