What Is the Normal Phase of Gold?

normal-phase-gold Credit: Jeff Huang/Ikon Images/Getty Images

At normal room temperature, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, gold exists in a solid phase. It is classified as a metal and must be heated to extreme temperatures to transform into a gas or liquid. It is a soft metal and is extremely malleable and ductile. Because it is so malleable, it is often added to other metals like silver or platinum to create an alloy that is more durable.

For solid gold to melt into a liquid, it must be heated to a temperature of 1947.52 degrees Fahrenheit. To bring liquid gold to a boil, it must be exposed to a heat source reaching 5173 degrees Fahrenheit. Pure gold can exist in deposits by itself, but it is usually found in conjunction with other metals like silver, lead or copper. Gold is an unreactive element and will only dissolve when exposed to a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, known as aqua regia, or “royal water.”

Because gold is such a malleable and lustrous metal, it is often used in jewelry, art and certain elements of architecture. For decorative purposes, gold can be beaten into a thin sheet called “gold leaf” that is a few hundred times thinner than a human hair. Because it conducts heat and electricity so well, gold is used in electric conductors and circuit boards.