Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact


   "Gold is almost completely resistant to air, water and acids,
and can be dissolved only by a strong acid called aqua regia.  It
is attacked by free chlorine, potassium and sodium cyanides,
bromium and some other chemicals..." 

G’day; here I go again pokin’ me silly ole’ nose in. I beg to differ
there. There ain’t no sich animal as BROMIUM However, I’m sure that
was a typographical mistake; what you really intended to write was
BROMINE of course, wasn’t it?.

Bromine is is a liquid at room temperature, but leave the bottle in
the sun and it will explode into violently choking Bromine gas. It
is one of the heaviest of all liquids, (mercury don’t count; it’s a
metal) is very dark brown in colour, is very corrosive and very
poisonous. It is also expensive and I’ve never understood why it is
used sometimes as a pool disinfectant instead of common bleach,
(sodium hypochlorite) or better, ‘pool chlorine’. (Sodium

Bromine may be made by heating any bromide salt with strong
sulphuric acid. Heating bromides with almost any other acid will
produce hydrobromic acid gas, which is analogous to hydrochloric
acid, only more corrosive and poisonous. It attacks gold much better
than chlorine. Burns badly if in contact with skin. Thoroughly

And by the way, have you noticed that most metals end in the suffix:

S’right: Latin was the first to name them; iron is ferrum. lead is
plumbum, gold is aurum, mercury is hydrargyrum, copper is cuprum, tin
is stannum. … But to be awkward, salts of ammonia are written
’ammonium’ . Why? because the ammonia radical has many of the
properties of a metal; you can make ammonium and mercury amalgam, a
solid. Ain’t science confusin’? – Cheers for now, John Burgess;
@John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


Good catch there John, It slipped right by me! I guess something
was lost in translation when Charles Lewton-Brain and Tim McCreight
did their translation job on Brepohl (certainly the PhD Prof
wouldn’t make such a mistake!!! ). If Charles is reading these,
perhaps he can make a note to pick this up in hte next revision. On
second thought, and as paret of your explanation of chemical
terminology, perhaps in German the “bromium” term has something to
do in general with bromine salts? I know that we load a bunch of
bromine (big white tablets - never looked at the label on the
container) in our hot tub every so often and we don’t take any
jewelry into it just for safety’s sake. Now I have a good
rationale… Tom


John Burgess, I want to thank you for all your I am
sure that all of us Orchidians appreciate your depth of knowledge and
generosity in sharing!

Just today while talking with another jeweler (who I met thru this
great service) a question came up about a chemical process. I found
myself saying '‘I wonder what John Burgess would say!’ and my friend
said '‘Yes, there isn’t much that he doesn’t know!’

Thank you John! You are a treasure! Jeannie