Atomistry » Gold » Chemical Properties
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      Auric chloride »
      Aurichloric Acid »
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Chemical Properties of Gold

The chemical character of the metal accords with its low electroaffinity, an example being its stability towards the action of strong acids; although boiling, concentrated nitric acid dissolves it to a slight extent. It is also dissolved by selenic acid. The metal is readily brought into solution by the action of powerful oxidizers such as chlorine, and by mixtures in which chlorine is generated. Such mixtures are formed by hydrochloric acid with peroxides, chromic acid, permanganate, or nitric acid, and by hypochlorites with sulphuric acid. Other oxidizing mixtures have a similar effect, examples being solid potassium permanganate and sulphuric acid; the higher oxides and peroxides of manganese with concentrated sulphuric acid, arsenic acid, or phosphoric acid; those of lead, nickel, and chromium with concentrated sulphuric acid or phosphoric acid; and concentrated nitric acid with sulphuric acid. At 160° C. gold is attacked by sulphuryl chloride, SO2Cl2, with formation of auric chloride and evolution of sulphur dioxide. It is also attacked by pyrosulphuryl chloride, S2O5Cl2. Aqua regia converts it into aurichloric acid, with evolution of nitric oxide:

Au+HNO3+4HCl = HAuCl4+NO+2H2O.

The metal does not combine directly with oxygen.

Normally, gold does not display radioactivity, neither the metal nor its salts affecting the photographic plate. Cobb states that after exposure to a high-tension discharge between platinum electrodes amorphous gold does not affect a photographic plate, and further alleges that traces of copper are produced in the metal.

Compounds of Gold

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