Melting point, boiling point and thermal conductivity are examples of characteristic properties. Characteristic properties of matter are inherent properties that are unique and identifying under specific conditions.
Another example of a characteristic properties is density, which is the mass of a certain volume of a substance. The three variations of magnetism, paramagnatism, diamagnetism and ferromagnetism, are also characteristic properties of different substances. When a material is slightly attracted to a magnet, it is paramagnetic. When it is slightly repelled, it is diamagnetic. When a material is strongly attracted to a magnet, it is ferromagnetic. Cobalt, iron and nickel can be identified by their ferromagnetism.
The solubility of different materials within one another is also a characteristic property. A white powder that dissolves in water but not in oil is likely to be polar. The degree of solubility indicates the strength of the interaction between the two materials.
Melting and boiling points are determined by the bond strength between material molecules and within material molecules. The more strongly a material is bonded together, the higher the melting and boiling points are.
Color is determined by how a material interacts with light. The colors of both gold and silver appear as they do because these materials absorb and re-emit light in unique ways.