What is gold? Gold is a soft, rich-yellow coloured metal.

Gold nuggets.

Gold is a natural material. Gold is one of the heaviest metals. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity. As gold does not combine with other substances, air and water have no effect on it.

Gold occurs naturally in small amounts in all volcanic rocks. It is, however, occasionally found as veins. When these veins are broken up by running water, lumps called nuggets come to the surface and can be found in river beds.

Rich deposits of gold have given rise to 'Gold Rushes' of the past, but today most gold is obtained while processing other metals such as copper and lead.

Gold has an attractive colour and is used for jewellery. Pure gold is soft. Gold is made stronger by mixing it with other metals to make a gold alloy. White gold is a gold alloy which includes nickel. It is used for making gold rings.

Gold mixed with small amounts of silver and copper can be shaped into a very thin sheet called gold leaf. It is sometimes used to decorate buildings and statues or for the cover of a book.

As gold is such an expensive metal it may be combined with other metals to make cheaper jewellery. For example 'rolled gold' is a cheaper form of gold. It is made by coating a metal such as brass with a thin layer of gold alloy.

Video: gold.

Explore these further resources...

(These links take you to other parts of our web site, never to outside locations.)

You can search in these books:

You can look in this topic for more books, videos and teacher resources:

Jump to Dinos, rocks, minerals, fossils, evolution toolkit screen
The toolkit screen link will take you to a library containing a selection of:
an i-topic, more books, pictures, videos and teacher's stuff related to the search word.
© Curriculum Visions 2018