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


Land Below Sea Level
Land Below Sea Level: Did you know that dozens of land locations are below sea level?
Sliding Rocks
Sliding Rocks Mystery: What causes these rocks to slide across a Death Valley playa?
Tallest Waterfall
Tallest Waterfall: Angel Falls in Venezuela. Image Birget Prentner / iStockphoto.
Plate Tectoncs
Zoom in on Plate Boundaries: See the details of plate tectonics in satellite view.
Difficult Rocks
Difficult Rocks - Elementary students find lots of rocks that you will not be able to identify.
Blue Flames
Blue Flames and the largest highly acidic lake in the world at Kawah Ijen Volcano.
Organic Gems
Organic Gems are gems formed from or by plants or animals. They might also be fossils.
Dallol Volcano
Strange Volcanic Landscape! Photos of Dallol Volcano - an explosion crater in Ethiopia.


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
  Mohs Hardness Scale
  Diamond
  Diamonds Do Not Form From Coal
  Calcite
  United States Gemstones
  Quartz






© 2005-2016 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code, and content on this website are property of Geology.com and are protected by copyright law.
Geology.com does not grant permission for any use, republication, or redistribution.
Images, code and content owned by others are marked on the pages where they appear.