Back to home page
Back to numeric index


A naturally occurring, dense, lustrous, yellow precious metal widespread in low concentrations in all igneous rocks. Its abundance in the Earth's crust is estimated at about 0.005 parts per million.

Four countries, South Africa, Russia, the United States, and Australia, account for two-thirds of the gold produced annually throughout the world, (South Africa, with its vast Witwatersrand mines, produces about one-third of the world's gold) with Canada and Brazil also having substantial deposits.

There are numerous methods of recovery depending on the type of deposit.

As a food additive it is used solely for external decoration where it can be found on chocolate confectionery, in the covering of dragées and the decoration of sugar-coated flour confectionery.

Chemically, gold is very inactive and therefore virtually harmless, however as there is no dietary requirement it is probably best avoided.

Not permitted in Australia.