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General Info
Atomic Symbol Atomic symbol::Au
Atomic Number Atomic number::79
Atomic Weight Atomic weight::196.96655 g/mol
Chemical series Transition Metal
Appearance soft and golden yellow
Gold nugget (Australia) 1 (16847082298).jpg
Group, Period, Block group 11, period 6, d-block
Electron configuration [Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s1
Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 1
Electron shell gold.png
CAS number CAS number::7440-57-5
Physical properties
Phase solid
Density Density::19.32 g/ml
Melting point Melting point::1947.9741 °F
Boiling point Boiling point::5084.6 °F
Isotopes of Gold
iso NA half-life DT DE (MeV) DP
197Au 100% Au is stable with 0 neutrons.
170Au syn 286 microseconds - - -
171Au syn 17 microseconds p - 170Pt 167Ir
172Au syn 22 milliseconds α (98%) p (2%) - 171Pt 168Ir
173Au syn 25 milliseconds α β+ (rare) - 169Ir 173Pt
174Au syn 139 milliseconds β+ (rare) α - 174Pt 170Ir
175Au syn - α (82%)
β+ (18%)
- 175Pt 171Ir
176Au syn - α (60%) β+ (40%) - 176Pt 172Ir
177Au syn 1.53 seconds β+ (60%) α (40%) - 177Pt 173Ir
178Au syn 2.6 seconds β+ (60%) α (40%) - 178Pt 174Ir
179Au syn 7.1 seconds α (22%) β+ (78%) - 179Pt 175Ir
180Au syn 8.1 seconds α (1.8%) β+ (98.2%) - 180Pt 176Ir
181Au syn 13.7 seconds α (2.7%) β+ (97.3%) - 181Pt 177Ir
182Au syn 15.5 seconds α (.13%) β+ (99.87%) - 182Pt 178Ir
183Au syn 42.8 seconds β+ (99.2%) α (.8%) - 183Pt 179Ir
184Au syn 20.6 seconds β+ 184Pt
185Au syn 4.25 minutes α (.26%) β+ (99.74%) - 183Pt 181Ir
186Au syn 10.7 minutes α (8×10−4%)β+ (99.9992%) - 186Pt 182Ir
187Au syn 8.3 minutes α (.003%) β+ (99.997%) - 187Pt 183Ir
188Au syn 8.84 minutes β+ - 188Pt
189Au syn 28.7 minutes α (3×10−4%) β+ (99.9997%) - 189Pt 185Ir
190Au syn 42.8 minutes β+ α (10−6%) - 190Pt 186Ir
191Au syn 3.18 hours β+ - 190Pt
192Au syn 4.94 hours β+ - 191Pt
193Au syn 17.65 hours α (10−5%) β+ (100%) - 193Pt 189Ir
194Au syn 38.02 hours β+ - 194Pt
195Au syn 186.098 days EC 0.227 195Pt
196Au syn 6.1669 days β+ (93.05%) β− (6.95%) 1.506, 0.686 196Pt 196Hg
198Au syn 2.6948 days β− 1.372 198Hg
199Au syn 3.139 days β− 0.453 199Hg
200Au syn 48.4 minutes β− - 200Hg
201Au syn 26.0 minutes β− - 201Hg
202Au syn 28.4 seconds β− - 202Hg
203Au syn 60 seconds β− - 203Hg
204Au syn 39.8 seconds β− - 204Hg
205Au syn 39.8 seconds β− - 205Hg

[1] [2]

All properties are for STP unless otherwise stated.

Gold is one of the most well known and valuable metals. Its atomic symbol is Au, from Latin Aurum, and it belongs to the Transition metals. Gold has been recognized as a rare and precious metal, and has been used for centuries. Its golden yellow glow, and luster make this metal irresistible. Also its malleability, ductility, and excellent conductivity to electricity make gold easy to work with. Because of its qualities, gold has been used in the production of jewelry, coins, electronic devices, and even gold flakes in food.

Gold has been classified as a Precious metal, meaning that it has high economic value, and it also is less reactive than other elements. Gold's lack of reactivity to water and other elements, prevent it from rusting or tarnishing. Gold is also a native mineral, meaning that this element is found as a pure solid in nature. Gold is also mentioned in the Bible multiple times. It was famously used in the making of the Ark of the Covenant, and it also was used as currency. Gold's rarity and usefulness continue to attract people, and its chemical properties allow gold to be one of the most practical metals today.


the top piece was found in California, and the bottom 2 are from Australia

Similarly to other metals, Gold is also solid at room temperature. [3]. Gold is also heavy. In the measurement of Density grams per ml, Gold weighs 19.30. It is much heavier than water, which only weighs 1.00. [4]. Gold is also very shiny. Delocalized electrons in gold vibrate in response to light, which leads to them producing their own light. This results in Gold having a lustrous and shiny shimmer. Like most metals, Gold has a very high conductivity. In the Gold lattice, the delocalized electrons move freely and easily, which makes the transfer of electrical current and heat energy very quick. Another property of Gold, is that it is ductile and malleable. Ductility is the property of a material to stretch without being damaged, and malleability is the property of a material to deform under compression. [5]. When only one gram of gold is hammered into a thin sheet, its thickness is about 230 atoms, and it reaches the area of one meter. Also, just one gram of gold can be drawn into a thin wire 541.339 feet long and just 20 micrometers thick. [6].



Gold occurs in many different geological settings,and there are two main types of deposits or occurrences, primary and secondary. In order to produce economic concentrations of gold ore, primary and secondary occurrences both rely on similar physical and chemical processes. In the earth's crust, when chemical reactions between the hydro-thermal (heated water in the earth's crust) mineralizing solutions and rocks occur, gold precipitates. This is where primary deposits form. Secondary deposits form during the chemical and mechanical processed of erosion and weathering.

In most natural substances, there are minor concentrations of gold. In freshwater, there is 0.02 ppb (which is parts per billion). Also in seawater, there is approximately 0.012 ppb of gold. In the earth's crust, the average concentration is 5 ppb. And in some particular sedimentary rocks, there can be concentrations of up to 2100 ppb. In order to extract one ounce of gold, 20 to 30 tons of rock must be processed. [7]


Viking gold jewelry on display in The National Museum of Denmark
Gold coin

Gold has many great properties, which makes it very useful and efficient. Gold can be cast and melted into highly detailed shapes, it does not tarnish, it can be molded into wire, it can transform into thin sheets by being hammered down, and it has a beautiful luster and great color. By simply melting the gold nuggets at high temperatures and using molds and hammers, Gold can be made into many shapes and forms. These properties are also reasons why Gold is primarily used in the jewelry industry. Almost 78% of the gold produced each year is in the manufacture of jewelry. [8]

Jewelry: Gold is a precious metal. Precious metals are different from nonmetals because of its value and rarity. Precious metals include platinum, Gold, and silver, while all the other nonmetals fall into the category of Non precious metals.Precious metals are mainly desired for jewelry because it has a higher value, its easy to work with, less reactive than most elements, resistant to tarnish, and they have a higher luster. Often pure gold is mixed with other metals to create white gold, or rose gold. Jewelry made of gold has a level of the how much pure gold it contains, and it is measured by karats.

24 Karat: 99.9% Pure. 22 Karat: 91.7% Pure. 18 Karat: 75% Pure. 14 Karat: 58.3% Pure. 12 Karat: 50% Pure. 10 Karat: 41.7% Pure.

Gold Coins: Gold coins have been used as a currency for centuries. They are still of monumental value today. Many people invest in gold coins, because you can always trust its value, and it could protect you from a stock market crash. The earliest gold coin can be traced back to 6th century BC. They were first produced in Lydia, Western Turkey. They weighed from 17.2 grams to as small as 0.2 grams. On the coin was usually a picture of a lion or a bull, and on the other side was a seal or punch mark. The Romans also used the gold coin, and began printing their emperor's heads on them. Between 200 and 400 AD, millions and millions of gold coins were produced and distributed across the Roman Empire. As gold continued to be discovered, the production of gold coins grew as well. Gold coins reached its highest point after the gold rushes in the United States and Australia after 1848. Still to this day, gold coins have great value. [9].

Other devices: Also because of the effectiveness of Gold, it is been incorporated into some of our daily electronic devices. Small amounts of gold can be found in cell phones, global positioning system units, calculators, and other personal digital assistants. [8]

Biblical accounts of Gold

The King James Bible mentions gold 417 times [10]. Throughout the Bible, Gold is mentioned as a treasure, a currency, as a symbol of wealth and royalty, and used to make false idols or important sculptures and items. In Revelation 21:21, it describes what Heaven will look like. And it describes the streets as Gold. "The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass".

Solomon's temple: This temple was built by Solomon and his workers. It took almost 7 years to complete the temple, and it was solely dedicated to the Lord. In the most holy place of this temple, the room was lined with cedar from Lebanon and it covered with 600 talents of gold. The gold plating by itself, in today's worth would equal to $270 million. Gold plates were also used in the doors of the temple [11] The entire temple used $157,080,000,000 worth of Gold [12].

Building the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 37). The ark was a rectangular box made of acacia wood, and measured 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 cubits (i.e. c. 4 x 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 feet). The whole was covered with gold and was carried on poles inserted in rings at the four lower corners. The lid, or ‘mercy-seat’, was a gold plate surrounded by two parallel placed cherubs with outspread wings. The Ark of the covenant served as a guide to Israel in the wilderness, and serves as a symbol of the presence of God. It was also spoken of as the throne of God. Inside the Ark of the covenant, it contained: the Ten commandments, Aaron's rod, and a pot of manna. It played a crucial part during the fall of Jericho, the ceremony of remembering the covenant at Mt Ebal, and at the crossing of Jordan. [13].

Exodus 37:1-5 "Next Bezalel made the Ark of acacia wood—a sacred chest 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high. He overlaid it inside and outside with pure gold, and he ran a molding of gold all around it. He cast four gold rings and attached them to its four feet, two rings on each side. Then he made poles from acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. He inserted the poles into the rings at the sides of the Ark to carry it." In Exodus chapter 37, it also refers to the building of the table, the lamp stand, and the incense alter. Gold was incorporated into all of these items. Verse 10: "Then Bezalel made the table of acacia wood, 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high. He overlaid it with pure gold and ran a gold molding around the edge." Verse 17: "Then Bezalel made the lampstand of pure, hammered gold." This lamp-stand today would cost $1,570,800 for its gold alone. Verses 25-28: "Then Bezalel made the incense altar of acacia wood. It was 18 inches square and 36 inches high, with horns at the corners carved from the same piece of wood as the altar itself.He overlaid the top, sides, and horns of the altar with pure gold, and he ran a gold molding around the entire altar. He made two gold rings and attached them on opposite sides of the altar below the gold molding to hold the carrying poles. He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold."


Video of Gold.


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  3. Batdorf, Brad., Santopietro, Rachel., Cox, Heather., Porch, Thomas., and Wetzel, John. Chemistry. Greenville, S.C: Bob Jones University Press, number 123. Print.
  4. Ophardt, Charles. Density of Gold Virtual ChemBook. Web.Last accessed November 3, 2016.
  5. Kennedy, James. Why is Gold Yellow? James Kennedy. Web. Last accessed November 3, 2016.
  6. Winter, Mark. Gold:physical properties WebElements. Web. last accessed November 3, 2016.
  7. Weick, James. Gold occurrences Newfoundland Labrador. Web. Last updated July 28, 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Puiu, Tibi. How Gold is made and how it got to our planet ZME Science. Web. Published January 12, 2015.
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  10. . Bible Investments Bible investments. Web. Last accessed November 12, 2016. unknown author.
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  13. . What was the Ark of the Covenant, and was it real? Web. Last accessed November 12, 2016. unknown author.