Gold (Au)

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Gold 79Au196.967

Known to ancient civilizations.

[Anglo-Saxon: gold; Latin: aurum]
  French: or
  German: gold
  Italian: aro
  Spanish: aro

Description: Gold is a soft metal with a characteristic shiny yellow colour. It has the highest malleability and ducility of any element, and can be beaten into a film only microns thick. Gold is unaffected by air, water, acids (exept aqua regia, HNO3-HCl) and alkalis. It is used as bullion, in jewellery, electronics and glass, to colour it and as a heat reflector.

Gold single crystal properties


State: Single crystal
Crystal structure: fcc
Production method: Czochralski
Standard size: diameter 10-20mm
thickness 1-2mm
Orientation: (100), (110) and (111)
Orientation accuracy: <2°, <1°, <0.4° or <0.1°
Polishing: as cut, one or two sides polished
Roughness of surface: <0.03 µm
Purity: 99.999%


Typical analysis (ppm): Ag 4.20
Al 0.20
Ca 0.30
Cd < 0.1
Cl 0.16
Co 0.03
Cu 1.30
Fe 0.73
K 0.40
Mg 0.02
Mn 0.04
Mo 0.06
Na 0.10
Ni 0.05
Pd 0.25
Rh 0.10
S 0.13
Si 0.51
Ti 0.01
V 0.02
Zn 0.05
Au balance



Further Materials properties


Crystal structure: (cell dimensions/pm), space group, f.c.c. (a=407.833), Fm3m
X-ray diffractions mass absorption coefficients: CuKa 208 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
MoKa 115 (µ/r) / cm2g-1
Neutron scattering length: 0.763 b/10-12 cm
Thermal neutron capture cross-section: 98.7 sa / barns
Density: 19.3 kg/m-3
Melting point: 1064.43 °C / 1337.58 °K
Boiling point: 2806.85 °C / 3080 °K
Molar volume: 10.19 cm3
Thermal conductivity: 317[300 K] Wm-1K-1
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion: 14.16 x 10-6 K-1
Electrical resistivity: 2.35 x 10-8 [293 K] Wm
Mass magnetic susceptibility: -1.78 x 10-9(s) kg-1m3
Young's modulus: 78.5 GPa
Rigidity modulus: 26.0 GPa
Bulk modulus: 171 GPa
Poisson's ratio: 0.42
Radi: Au3+ 91; Au+ 137; atomic 144; covalent 134
Electronegativity: 2.54 (Pauling); 1.42 (Allred); 5.77 eV (absolute)
Effective nuclear charge: 4.20 (Slater); 10.94 (Clementi); 15.94 (Froese-Fischer)
Number of Isotopes (incl. nuclear isomers): 39
Isotope mass range: 176-> 204



Biological data


Biological role: none, but acts to stimulate metabolism
Toxic intake: gold metal and gold salts generally have low toxicity
Lethal intake: n.a.
Hazards: Gold is poorly absorbed by the body and poisoning by gold compounds is very rare. Gold-based anti-arthritics can cause liver damage and kidney damage.
Level in humans  
Blood: (0.1 - 4.2) mg dm-4
Bone: 0.016 ppm
Liver: 0.0004 ppm
Muscle: n.a.
Daily dietary intake: n.a., but very low
Total mass of element in average
[70 kg] person:
0.2 mg


Geological data


Minerals:Many minerals are known, and aluminium is present in many other minerals
MineralFormulaDensityHardnessCrystal apperance
Gold  Au  19.3  2.5 - 3  cub., met. white
Sylvanite  AgAuTe4  8.16  1.5 - 2  hex., met. white


Chief ore: quartz veins in extrusive rocks
World production: 1400 tonnes/year
Main mining areas: South Africa, USA, Canada, Russia
Reserves: 15000 tonnes
Specimen: available as foil, powder, rod and shot.


Sun: 5.6 (relative to H = 1 x 1012)
Earth's crust: 0.0011 ppm
Seawater: 1 x 10-5 ppm
Residence time: n.a.
Classification: n.a.
Oxidation state: I

  Source: Emsley, J. (1998) The Elements (3rd Edition)

Other sizes and specifications on request

Overview of elements with access to our shop

1 18
2 13 14 15 16 17
Li Be B C
Na Mg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Al Si P S
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo
Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I
Cs Ba La Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi
Ce Pr Nd
Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu

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