Everyday Uses of Rocks and Minerals - Shelf 9

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This shelf features silver and gold, sister elements to copper. On the periodic table they're all in the same column, and that reflects the similar structures of their atoms, which give them similar chemical properties. They're all good conductors of both heat and electricity. Gold and silver are actually better conductors than copper, which is why they're used in high-end electronic devices, like cell phones and some audio equipment. They're rarer than copper, too, which is why gold and silver jewelry is more valuable and why they're used more often for decoration than for their electrical properties. Gold is most often found as a pure element in nature, but silver is often found both in its pure form and in ores.