Gold is a chemical element. It is a precious metal which has been used as money. Gold is found in nature as nuggets or grains in rocks, underground and in deposits. It is a soft, shiny, yellow metal, and is normally weighed in Karats.
Gold is the basis for a monetary standard used by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
Because gold is highly conductive and very resistant to oxidation, it is vital in electronics. Gold plating is used on switch contacts, printed circuit boards, and device leads. There is enough gold in electronic devices to make it worthwhile to process discarded devices in order to reclaim the gold in them.