subpage of Ecomining


  • Definition:Gold is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Au (L. aurum) and atomic number 79. A soft, shiny, yellow, heavy, malleable, ductile (trivalent and univalent) transition metal, gold does not react with most chemicals but is attacked by chlorine, fluorine and aqua regia. The metal occurs as nuggets or grains in rocks and in alluvial deposits and is one of the coinage metals.
Current Gold Uses:

  • Gold can be made into thread and used in embroidery.
  • Gold performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products.
  • The resistance to oxidation of gold has led to its widespread use as thin layers electroplated on the surface of electrical connectors to ensure a good connection.
  • Gold is used in restorative dentistry especially in tooth restorations such as crowns and bridges.
  • Colloidal gold (a gold nanoparticle) is an intensely colored solution that is currently studied in many labs for medical, biological and other applications. It is also the form used as gold paint on ceramics prior to firing.
  • Chlorauric acid is used in photography for toning the silver image.
  • Gold(III) chloride is used as a catalyst in organic chemistry. It is also the usual starting point for making other gold compounds.
  • Gold is used as a coating enabling biological material to be viewed under a scanning electron microscope.
  • Many competitions and honors, such as the Olympics and the Nobel Prize, award a gold medal to the winner (with silver to the second-place finisher, and bronze to the third.)
  • Since it is a good reflector of both infrared and visible light, it is used for the protective coatings on many artificial satellites.
  • Disodium aurothiomalate is a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (administered intramuscularly). It inhibits lymphocyte proliferation, lysosomal enzyme release, the release of reactive oxygen species from macrophages, and IL-1 production. However, it can also cause photosensitive rashes, gastrointestinal disturbance, and kidney damage.
  • The gold isotope Au-198, (half-life: 2.7 days) is used in some cancer treatments and for treating other diseases.
  • Gold flake is used on and in some gourmet sweets and drinks. Called varak or (varaq) in India. Having no reactivity it adds no taste but is taken as a delicacy. Some use it as an excuse to create super-expensive delicacies ($1,000 cocktails). For similar reasons, it also used as the basis for some superstitious, over the top, health claims. Only the salts and radioisotopes (mentioned above) have any evidence of medicinal value.
  • White gold (an alloy of gold with platinum, palladium, nickel, and/or zinc) serves as a substitute for platinum.
  • Green gold (a gold/silver alloy) is used in specialized jewelry while gold alloys with copper (reddish color) are more widely used for that purpose (rose gold)*.

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