Gold is the 79th element on the periodic table and has a relative atomic mass of 196.967. Gold, which has a chemical symbol of Au, is a shiny, valuable metal that was first discovered more than 5,500 years ago.
Gold is a soft, yellowish colored metal that is generally considered quite chemically inactive. However, much of the gold found on Earth is not pure; instead, it is typically mixed with silver, copper, lead, tin and other elements. Approximately two-thirds of the gold mined in the world comes from South Africa, with most of the remainder coming from mines in Russia.