Is Gold A Pure Substance? (Quick Answer)

Last Updated on March 21, 2022

Have you heard the word pure and impure substance? Do you have any idea what it means?  

In this article, we will explain why gold qualifies as a pure substance and why sometimes it doesn’t. This is a very interesting concept so keep on reading.


Is gold a pure substance?

Yes, gold is a pure substance. There are no other substances required for gold to exist, this precious metal is composed of just the element gold.

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Why is gold a pure substance?

Gold is an element which exists without any other substances. More so, it doesn’t need other substances to exist. 

Pure gold is soft which makes it a really poor component. It can’t withstand the stresses of everyday wear.

To give gold strength and durability, other metals are mixed with it. The combination of gold with other elements keeps the gold jewelry from getting dented easily and dinged from every day used.

But when mixed with other metals, gold is not considered pure anymore.

Is gold a mixture?

It depends. If gold is mixed with other metals to combat its soft issue then it is considered a mixture. On the other hand, if the gold doesn’t contain any other substances or does not mix with other elements, then it is considered pure or not a mixture.

Is gold an element?

Yes, gold is an element. Unlike water, gold cannot be broken down into any simpler substance.

Why is gold so valuable?

Here are some of the reason why gold is valuable:

  • Gold holds its value no matter how old it might be since it does not corrode.
  • This precious metal is inaccessible to the average person.
  • It is used for coinage. 
  • Gold is not easy to replicate which ups its value as well.

How deep do you have to dig to find gold?

Actually, you don’t have to dig to find gold. This element can be found in waterways like rivers that is near gold-rich deposits.

Where can gold be found?

Gold is usually found in rock formations. You can also find them in waterways.

Roughly 244,000 metric tons of gold has been discovered in history. A majority of that gold was found in South Africa, China and Australia. The United States has the fourth largest concentration of gold.

Currently, South Africa’s Witwatersrand basin is the largest known source of gold in the world. It is said that there is a tremendous amount of gold remaining there. 

How is gold mined?

Gold is mined in different ways:

Sluicing– Materials containing gold are placed into the sluice box. The machine then moves its way through, collecting gold in the riffles while other substances are being washed away.

Placer mining–  This involves using dredging material that is accumulated in a placer deposit. The deposits usually consist of fairly loose material.

Panning–  This process separates other materials from gold. Collectors fill in large shallow pans with gravel and sand that possibly contain gold. 

The pan is placed under water , then shaken until the gold has settled into the bottom of the pan and all the non-gold substances are released. 

Hard Rock Mining– This is when gold is extracted from a rock.

Rocker Box– This is a machine that employs a rocking motion to separate the gold from other materials.

Can amateur prospectors find gold?

Yes, even amateur prospectors can find gold. All you need is the right equipment.

For amateurs, the best place to find gold is in rivers and streams. This is a good place to start finding gold flakes.

You would need a mining pan and a shovel for some nuggets or gold flakes.

Learn more about gold with our guide Does Gold Scratch? How Easy It Is To Scratch Gold?

Jackie Palmer is a Houston-based coin journalist and fashion enthusiast. She joined Jewels Advisor’s content team after years of experience as a content strategist, managing blogs and social channels for local stores. Jackie mostly collects and studies US coins produced during the 20th century and over the years, published hundreds of articles for multiple coin publications.