Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from its Latin name aurum) and atomic number 79. It is a highly sought-after precious metal, having been used as money, as a store of value, in jewelry, in sculpture, and for ornamentation since the beginning of recorded history.
The metal occurs as nuggets or grains in rocks, underground “veins” and in alluvial deposits. It is one of the coinage metals. Gold is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile substance known. Pure gold has a bright yellow color traditionally considered attractive.
Gold formed the basis for the gold standard used before the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971. The ISO currency code of gold bullion is XAU.