Cooley, William E. Retired, Winton Hill Technical Center, Proctor and Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Last reviewed:March 2018
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A chemical element, Au, atomic number 79 and atomic weight 196.97, a deep yellow, soft, and very dense metal. Gold is classed as a heavy metal and as a noble metal; commercially, it is the most familiar of the precious metals (see illustration). Copper, silver, and gold are in the same group of the periodic table of elements. The Latin name for gold, aurum (glowing dawn), is the source of the chemical symbol Au. Gold has only one stable isotope, with a mass number 197. See also: Periodic table
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