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Gold Au

Heat, moisture, oxygen, and most corrosive agents have very little chemical effect on gold, making it well-suited for use in coins and jewelry.

The History Says

Gold is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. The south-east corner of the Black Sea was famed for its gold. Exploitation is said to date from the time of Midas, and this gold was important in the establishment of what is probably the world's earliest coinage in Lydia between 643 and 630 BC.

The Present Scenario

The gold isotope Au-198, is used in some cancer treatments and for treating other diseases.

Gold is a metallic element. Its atomic number is 79. It is soft, shiny, yellow, dense, malleable and ductile. It does not react with most chemicals but is attacked by chlorine, fluorine and aqua regia. This metal occurs in the form of nuggets or grains in rocks. It is is also found in alluvial deposits.

Gold is measured by troy weight and by grams. If alloyed with other metals, a term 'carat' or 'karat' is used to indicate the amount of gold present. Pure gold is 24 carats.

Physical Properties of Gold

Phase Solid
Density (near room temperature) 19.3 g/cm3
Liquid density at melting point 17.31 g/cm3
Melting point 1337.33 K (1064.18°C, 1947.52°F)
Boiling point 3129 K (2856°C, 5173°F)
Heat of fusion 12.55 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization 324 kJ/mol
Heat capacity (25°C) 25.418 J/(mol-K)

Atomic Properties of Gold

Crystal structure Cubic face centered
Oxidation states 3, 1 (amphoteric oxide)
Electronegativity 2.54 (Pauling scale)
Ionization energies 1st: 890.1 kJ/mol
2nd: 1980 kJ/mol
Atomic radius 135 pm
Atomic radius (calc.) 174 pm
Covalent radius 144 pm
Van der Waals radius 166 pm

Characteristics of Gold

Gold is yellow in color but can also occur in black or ruby when it is finely divided. The colloidal solutions are intensely colored and are often purple. Gold's plasmon frequency, lying in visible range, results in colors. It absorbs blue light and causes the red and yellow light to be reflected.

Gold is most malleable and ductile. One gram can be beaten into a sheet of one square meter. It readily forms alloy with many other metals. With copper it yields redder metal, blue with iron, silver produces green, aluminium-purple and platinum-white. Native gold contains generally 8-10% silver.

Gold is a good conductor of both heat and electricity. It is not affected by air and most regents. Heat, moisture, oxygen, and most of the corrosive agents have very little chemical effect on gold. Halogens chemically alters gold and aqua regia dissolves it.

Uses of Gold

World Gold Markets

Major Gold Producing Countries

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