Gold is a native element (native; found in a chemically uncombined state), a mineral and precious metal, long prized for its beauty, widely used in jewelry, resistant to any form of corrosion, critical to electronics, and used as a standard for global currency. And the list goes on. It is one of the most popular minerals, especially considering it will never decay, oxidize, fade or lose its intrinsic value (!). Its color is, well, um, gold . . . with metallic luster. And it’s also one of the heaviest minerals on earth. It is paired with numerous minerals, but the most aesthetic and common association, by far, is with Quartz.
The crystal system for Gold is isometric. Though rare and often distorted, octahedral, dodecahedral and cubic crystals can occur. More common forms include dendrites, wires, nuggets, encrustations, flakes and in veins.
Many Gold mines exist throughout the world, but localities for fine specimens are more limited. Notable locations include Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Romania, Russia, Taiwan and the USA (California, Washington).