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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


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.



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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.


Mineral Information
 Anhydrite
 Apatite
 Arsenopyrite
 Augite
 Azurite

 Barite
 Bauxite
 Beryl
 Biotite
 Bornite

 Calcite
 Cassiterite
 Chalcocite
 Chalcopyrite
 Chlorite
 Chromite
 Chrysoberyl
 Cinnabar
 Clinozoisite
 Copper
 Cordierite
 Corundum
 Cuprite
 Diamond
 Diopside
 Dolomite

 Enstatite
 Epidote

 Fluorite

 Galena
 Garnet
 Glauconite
 Gold
 Graphite
 Gypsum

 Halite
 Hematite
 Hornblende

 Ilmenite

 Jadeite

 Kyanite
 Limonite

 Magnesite
 Magnetite
 Malachite
 Marcasite
 Molybdenite
 Monazite
 Muscovite

 Nepheline
 Nephrite

 Olivine
 Orthoclase

 Plagioclase
 Prehnite
 Pyrite
 Pyrophyllite
 Pyrrhotite

 Quartz

 Rhodochrosite
 Rhodonite
 Rutile
 Scapolite
 Serpentine
 Siderite
 Sillimanite
 Silver
 Sodalite
 Sphalerite
 Spinel
 Spodumene
 Staurolite
 Sulfur
 Sylvite

 Talc
 Titanite
 Topaz
 Tourmaline
 Turquoise

 Uraninite

 Witherite
 Wollastonite

 Zircon
 Zoisite


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