Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum "gold") and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny metal and the most malleable and ductile metal known.Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. With exception of the noble gases, gold is the least reactive chemical element known. It has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history.