McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Home » Minerals » Gold

Gold


Mineral Properties and Uses



What is Gold?



Native gold is an element and a mineral. It is highly prized by people because of its attractive color, resistance to tarnish and its many special properties - some of which are unique to gold. Its rarity, usefulness and desirability make it command a high price.

Trace amounts of gold are found almost everywhere but large deposits are found in only a few locations. Although there are about twenty different gold minerals all of them are quite rare. Therefore, most gold found in nature is in the form of the native metal.

Gold occurs in hydrothermal veins deposited by ascending solutions; as dissiminated particles through some sulfide deposits and in placer deposits.


Physical Properties of Gold

Chemical Classification native element
Color gold yellow
Streak gold yellow
Luster metallic
Diaphaneity opaque
Cleavage none
Mohs Hardness 2.5 to 3
Specific Gravity 19.3
Diagnostic Properties color, hardness, stread, specific gravity
Chemical Composition gold, Au
Crystal System isometric
Uses Numerous uses in jewelry; coinage; bullion; currency backing; an electrical conductor used in computers, circuits, appliances, cell phones, etc.; dental work, gilding.


Uses of Gold?



Most of the gold that is newly consumed or recycled each year is used in the production of jewelry. About 10% is used in coinage or in the financial stores of governments. The remaining 12% is consumed in a wide range of other uses which include electronics, medicine, dentistry, computers, awards, pigments, guilding, and optics. More information on the uses of gold.


Gold
Vein quartz with gold attached to basalt from California. This specimen is approximately 1 inch (2.4 centimeters) across.



Find it on Geology.com




More from Geology.com


Sliding Rocks
Sliding Rocks Mystery: What causes these rocks to slide across a Death Valley playa?
Natural Gas Investing
Natural Gas Investing Kenny DuBose wants you to ask: Why did this deal come my way?
Sea Level Rise Map
Sea Level Rise Map: A Google map that shows where flooding will occur as sea level rises.
Gems from Space
Gems from Space A number of materials from space have been used as attractive gems.
Largest Earthquake
Largest Earthquake: The largest earthquake ever recorded: Chile, 1960, Magnitude 9.5.
Plate Tectoncs
Zoom in on Plate Boundaries: See the details of plate tectonics in satellite view.
Mohs Hardness Test
Mohs Hardness Scale is a set of reference minerals used for classroom hardness testing.
Ametrine
Ametrine is a bicolor quartz (amethyst + citrine) and a gemstone of growing popularity.


Gold nuggets
Gold nuggets from Colorado. These specimens range between three and eight millimeters across.




Vein Gold
White "vein quartz" with gold from Colorado. This specimen is approximately one inch (2.5 centimeters) across.


More Minerals
  Minerals
  Fluorescent Minerals
  Mineral Identification Chart
  Find Minerals and Gems
  Mohs Hardness Scale
  Gold
  Kyanite
  Quartz




© 2005-2014 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code and content of this website are property of Geology.com. Use without permission is prohibited. Pages on this site are protected by Copyscape.