My albeit simplified understanding of the universe:
At one point in time there was nothing but hydrogen in the whole universe, which coalesced into stars. Through a process of fusion, the hydrogen was used up as star-fuel, then the resulting helium was fused and so on until it gets to iron (#32?), at which point it can no longer fuse so the star explodes and sends metal elements all over the place which end up forming new stars and planets and so forth.
Anyways, it was my understanding that this process always stops at Iron, that stars never go beyond that element in their fusion process. So I can see how we have all the elements up to Iron, but how do we have naturally occuring elements with higher atomic numbers than Iron, like Gold or Silver for instance?