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What Was the First Known Element?

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These are crystals of pure gold metal.

These are crystals of pure gold metal.

Alchemist-hp, Creative Commons License

Question: What Was the First Known Element?

Answer: What was the first known element? Actually there were nine elements known to ancient man. They were gold (pictured), silver, copper, iron, lead, tin, mercury, sulfur, and carbon. These are elements that exist in pure form or that could be purified using relatively simple means. Why so few elements? Most elements are bound as compounds or exist in mixtures with other elements. For example, you breathe oxygen every day, but when was the last time you saw the pure element?

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