Image showing the treasure of "El Carambolo", an example of Tartessos culture, found in Camas (Seville, Spain)

Facts about Gold:

  • Gold: Bright yellow soft metal with the highest malleability and ductility of any element in the periodic table.
  • Fun fact about Gold: Gold is one of the most noble metals and posseses an unique position in the Periodic Table. It is resistant to most acids, except aqua regia.  It has been widely used for jewellery and nowadays, also in electronics and as a catalyst of chemical reactions.
  • Chemical symbol: Au
  • Atomic number: 79

A crystal structure containing Gold:

Image showing the crosssection of the one-dimensional acyclodextrin channel in the inclusion complex with KAuBr4

Facts about this structure:

  • Formula: Au Br4 -, 2(C36 H60 O30), K +, 8(H2 O)
  • Structure name: bis(α-Cyclodextrin) potassium tetrabromo-gold(iii) unknown solvate octahydrate
  • Fun fact about the structure: This structure starts a new environmentally respectful method for gold extraction and recovery from raw materials.
  • CSD refcode: YIHJUW (What's this?)
  • Associated publication:  Zhichang Liu, Marco Frasconi, Juying Lei, Zachary J. Brown, Zhixue Zhu, Dennis Cao, Julien Iehl, Guoliang Liu, Albert C. Fahrenbach, Youssry Y. Botros, Omar K. Farha, Joseph T. Hupp, Chad A. Mirkin, J. Fraser Stoddart,  Nature Communications, 2013, 4,  1855, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2891

More info:

Gold occurs in the free native form in rocks, veins and in alluvial deposits.  This element has been used as a medication for ancient times: its first use was as a powder metal by the Chinese. In 1890 Koch discovered that gold cyanide killed tubercle bacilli more efficiently than cyanide alone. Their inorganic and coordination compounds are unique and displayed exceptional properties like the ability to form metal-metal bonds in clusters. Recycling gold is a way of conserving resources because of which it is necessary environmentally respectful methods for gold recovery. 

More info about the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) in crystals project:

This project (#IYPTCrystals) is part of the International Year of the Periodic Table celebration (#IYPT2019), read more about the project here. You can follow us on social media using #IYPTCrystals and learn more about the wonders of crystals by following the CCDC on Twitter @ccdc_cambridge on Facebook ccdc.cambridge, on Instagram ccdc_cambridge or on YouTube CCDCCambridge.

If you want to find out more about some of the terms and concepts we have a Frequently Asked Questions Page.

A visualisation showing the structure containing Gold alongside other structures published in the same scientific article: