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Derivation:From "Gold" (German)
Formula: Au
Description: Bright yellow metal.

Gold Gold is a precious metal. It has been widely used for jewelry, as it is fairly soft and easy for work, it never rusts or tarnishes, and it is an attractive colour. The sample above is natural gold in quartz. It is covered with varnish to protect it.

Gold can be beaten out into a very thin sheet. The early Christian hand-written books often decorated their pictures with pure gold leaf. The photograph on the right shows small pieces of gold leaf in a bottle with water. When you shake the bottle, it looks like the bottle is full of gold!

Gold has always been valuable. The Spanish conquered the South American peoples because of the gold they owned. Sometimes a new gold mining area is discovered, such as in California in 1849. Then there is a Gold Rush, and people flood into the area, desperate to find gold and make their fortunes. Few do.

Ancient people thought of gold as a symbol for the sun.

Larger pictures of Gold:

This specimen is natural, but varnished. It is a vein of gold in quartz.


This is small pieces of gold leaf, in a bottle of water, to magnify them.