Gold

Atomic number: 79

Symbol: Au

Category: transition metal 

Density at 25°C: solid: density: 19.30 g·cm−3

Known since prehistoric times, this is perhaps the most well known precious metal element. Its  colour, stability and ductility makes it useful for a wide range of purposes from coinage to jewellry to electronic circuitry. Due to it's relative rarity but easy to spot characteristics, it has had an important role in the development of economics and money.

Pure gold crystals about 14mm across. image: adapted from wikipedia


Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • electronic circuits
  • commodity 
  • jewellery
  • decorations on food
  •  The average person's body weighing 70 kilograms would contain a total mass of approximately 0.2 milligrams of gold. Ref: The Elements 3rd Edition, J.Emsley , Clarendon Press, Oxford (1998)


Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: 196.966569(4)
  • Melting point: 1064.18 °C
  • Boiling point: 2856 °C
  • Radioactivity: all naturally stable