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


gem photos
100+ Gems - Photos of over 100 beautiful gems ranging from the popular to the obscure.
diatomite
Making Beer With Rocks - Do you know which fossiliferous rock is used to make beer?
Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons: The largest volcano in the solar system is on Mars.
Diamonds
Diamonds: Learn about the properties of diamond, its many uses and diamond discoveries.
Types of Volcanic Eruptions
Types of Volcanic Eruptions: A description of the most common eruption types.
Download Google Earth Free
Free Google Earth software allows you to browse seamless world satellite images. Free.
largest volcano
The Largest Volcanoes on Earth might not be the ones that you are thinking about.
Fire Opal
Fire Opal is a transparent to translucent opal with a yellow, orange or red background color.


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
  How Do Snowflakes Form?
  Fluorescent Minerals
  Quartz
  Mineraloids
  Mineral Identification Chart
  Topaz
  Diamond




© 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.