most stable of these is
Au is also the only goldisotope to decay byelectron capture. The least stable is
Au, which decays by electron capture, and
Au, which has a minor β-decaypath. All of gold's radioisotopes with atomic masses above 197 decay by β- decay.
At least 32nuclear isomershave also been characterized, ranging in atomic mass from170 to 200. Within that range, only
Au do not haveisomers. Gold's most stable isomer is
Au with a half-life of 2.27 days. Gold's leaststable isomer is
Au with a half-life of only 7 ns.
Au has three decay paths: β+decay,isomeric transition, and alpha decay. No other isomer or isotope of gold has threedecay paths.
Color of gold
Different colors of Ag-Au-Cu alloysThe color of pure gold is metallic yellow. Gold,caesiumandcopper are the onlymetallic
elementswith a natural color other than gray or white. The usual gray color of metalsdepends on their "electronsea" that is capable of absorbing and re-emitting photonsover
a wide range of frequencies. Gold reacts differently, depending on subtlerelativisticeffectsthat affect theorbitalsaround gold atoms.
Commoncolored goldalloys such as rose gold can be created by the addition of variousamounts of copper and silver, as indicated in the triangular diagram on the right. Alloyscontaining palladium or nickel are also important in commercial jewelry as these producewhite gold alloys. Less commonly, addition of manganese, aluminium, iron,indiumand
other elements can produce more unusual colors of gold for various applications.
As the metal
Medium of monetary exchange