Melting point of gold

The melting point of gold - 1,064 degrees Celsius - is one of the many properties that make it a unique, desirable, and versatile metal. Below we discuss the various key numbers related to the melting point of gold, as well as the implications of them.

What is the melting point of gold?

The melting point of gold is 1,064 degrees Celsius or 1,943 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of the highest melting points of any metal, and it is because of this resistance to heat – as well as its conductivity – that gold is used so prolifically in electronics.

Defining the melting point of gold however is not always so simple...

Melting temperature of gold

When the melting point of gold is stated at 1,064 degrees Celsius, this refers to pure gold, or 24ct (99% pure) gold. This is what can be found in most gold bullion, such as coins or bars. Gold is heated until it turns to liquid and is then poured into blanks for coins, or cast into moulds for bars.

Pouring liquid gold.
A lot of other gold products, such as jewellery, do not use pure gold due to how soft it is. Instead, it is mixed with other metals to improve the strength of the material, creating a gold alloy. The inclusion of these other metals means the melting temperature for gold in these instances may actually be lower. For 18 carat gold this is around 926 degrees Celsius, and 14 carat gold melts at around 879 degrees Celsius, but this can vary based on the other metals used in the alloy.

Boiling point of gold

Occasionally, gold is used in gas form to make incredibly thin gold coatings. This is done in the electronics, medicine, and space industries. Given gold’s high melting point, it is perhaps unsurprising that gold also has an incredibly high boiling point. The boiling point of gold is an extreme 2,856 Celsius or 5,173 Fahrenheit! Getting gold to reach this temperature is usually done with High Electron beams as even industrial arc furnaces don’t typically reach temperatures high enough to boil gold.

Smelting gold

Melting gold in a crucible for smelting

Smelting gold for refinement – the removal of impurities – can be done at home but given the extreme temperature, it is recommended to use professional services. A crucible, usually made of graphite carbon or clay, is necessary to contain the liquid gold, and needs to be able to withstand the 1000 degrees or more necessary for gold to melt. Tongs of high heat-resistance must also be used, and protective gear must be worn at all times.