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Physical Properties of Gold

Physical Properties of Gold That Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Gold, the yellow wonder. You can get to know the physical properties of gold, by reading this article. I'm sure you'll want to know more about it.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: May 9, 2018
Gold: the eternal symbol of wealth and prosperity. Buying gold as an investment has always proved to be a smart move due to its high value and easy liquidity. It is one of the most precious metals, and hence, has an extremely high value in the market. Gold jewelry has been a mark of respect and a sign of one's ability to afford the luxuries of life. Even today, people buy gold simply as an investment in the form of biscuits or wires. Let us see something more about the physical properties of gold, in this ScienceStruck article.
Gold: Physical Properties
symbol of gold
  • The symbol of gold in the periodic table is Au.
  • This is short for Aurum, its Latin name. The Latin name Aurum means 'shining dawn'.
  • The English name 'gold' is derived from an old English word 'geolo', meaning yellow.
  • Gold has been classified as a transition metal in the periodic table and it has an atomic number of 79.
  • Its atomic mass number is 196.9665.
  • It lies in Group 11B of the periodic table.
  • The boiling point of gold is between 5100-5200 ºF.
  • It has a melting point of 1948.5 ºF.
  • These temperatures change when gold is alloyed with other metals.
  • Its heat of vaporization is 334.4 kJ/mol.
  • Its specific heat capacity is 0.128J/gK.
  • The density of gold is 19.3 gm/cm3.
  • Gold is a highly ductile metal. This means that it can be drawn into wires easily. One of the primary uses of gold wires is investment.
  • It is also a malleable metal. This means it can be beaten into sheets.
  • If you happen to take a piece of gold that weighs less than even a single ounce, you can beat it into a sheet that can cover an area of approximately 6-7 square meters.
  • It is a relatively soft metal, and has a yellow color.
  • In fact, it is so soft, that even a small object like a coin can leave scratches on a piece of pure gold.
  • It has a shiny appearance and is quite dense as a metal.
  • It is a highly reflective metal. This means that it does not absorb light or heat. They just get reflected off its surface.
  • On the other hand, it has very poor resistance to electricity. Electric charges pass through it very easily.
  • The only way to attain gold is by mining. Major gold mines in the world are seen in countries like South Africa, United States, Australia and China respectively.
  • Gold is found in quartz ores, together with copper ores and other native metals.
  • Gold is one metal that cannot be corroded easily. Only when highly powerful acids like nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are mixed, can gold be corroded.
  • Pure gold can be easily misshapen. That is why, generally a layer of silver is added to keep it from getting bent out of shape.
  • Pure gold is measured in grammes.
  • The amount of gold in an alloyed piece of gold is what is measured in Karats, abbreviated as 'kt'.
  • A method to tell if gold is real is conducting a simple magnetic test. Hold a magnet next to the piece of gold. If it gets attracted to the magnet, then it is not gold, because gold has no magnetic effect.
  • The highest value of Karats used in gold (bullion and jewelry) is 24 Karat.
Gold is an extremely precious metal, and its prices are constantly on the rise. It is that one metal that can bring on an upheaval in economies of countries, and affect its trade and commerce.