a. An isometric mineral, native 4[Au] ; commonly alloyed with silver or
copper, possibly with bismuth, mercury, or the platinum-group metals;
metallic yellow; soft and malleable; sp gr, 19.3 if pure; occurs in
hydrothermal veins with quartz and various sulfides; disseminated in
submarine massive effusives and in placers or nuggets, fines, and dust.
b. Found in nature as the free metal and in tellurides; very widely
distributed. Symbol: Au. Occurs in veins and alluvial deposits; often
separated from rocks and other minerals by sluicing and panning
operations. Good conductor of heat and electricity. Used in coinage,
jewelry, decoration, dental work, plating, and for coating certain space
satellites. It is a standard for monetary systems in many countries.
Syn: palladium gold
Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms