Colloidal Gold - Gold 101

Colloidal Gold is a suspension of gold in a fluid. The fluid used is typically water. Colloidal gold can also be called nanogold. The color of colloidal gold depends on the size of the gold particles in the solution. The fluid will have a red hue if the gold particles are smaller, or if the particles are larger the fluid will be a yellow shade. The gold particles in colloidal gold can come in many shapes. The most common ones are spheres, rods, cubes, or caps.

Originally gold suspended in fluid was used as a means of staining glass. Depending on the concentration of the gold in the solution, it would turn the glass anything from yellow to red to mauve. Colloidal gold has been traced back to the Ancient Romans in this use. Later, during the mid 19th century, colloidal gold was used in a photographic process to record images on paper. The first pure sample of colloidal gold was created in 1857 by Michael Faraday. He called it activated gold and was the first to note that the color of the solution came from the size of the tiny gold particles.

Modern day applications are greatly researched and colloidal gold is already used in areas such as electronics and nanotechnology. It has been successful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Experiments have also shown that colloidal gold may have success destroying the plaque that is linked with Alzheimer’s disease.  It is believed that colloidal gold may have applications in various drugs and cancer treatments as well.

The two most common methods of producing colloidal gold are the Turkevich method, which was later refined by G. Frens. This process was first established during the 1950s. The refinement of the method happened 20 years later. The Turkevich system is the simplest method available to create colloidal gold. It produces gold particles of the same size, weight, and shape.

Another, later method was designed by Brust and Schiffrin. They developed their colloidal gold technique during the 1990s and it allowed gold nanoparticles to dissolve in organic liquids that do not mix in all proportion like water does.

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Gold was first discovered thousands of years ago in its natural state, in streams, which lead to mining all over the world. Its brilliance, natural beauty, great malleability and resistance to tarnish made it enjoyable to work with. Gold gave rise to the concept of money itself. Today gold is used for jewelry fabrication, industrial application, and medical uses, by governments and central banks and by private investors.

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