Specific Heat of Gold – In Various Units, FAQs


The specific heat of gold measures the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of gold in a solid state by one degree Celsius. This article provides the particular warmth of gold in standard units and answers common questions regarding it.

Commonly Asked Questions

Does Gold Have a High Specific Heat?

The densest of all metals is gold, allowing it to effectively conduct heat and electricity. Additionally, it is the softest, most malleable, and ductile of the elements. Gold was one of the first metals to draw human attention because it is aesthetically beautiful, usable, and does not tarnish or corrode.

Artisans from the ancient Egyptian, Minoan, Assyrian, and Etruscan cultures left behind examples of their intricate gold work many of which are still in practically pristine condition. Gold is still a material that is highly prized for making jewelry and other beautiful items.  In fact, gold has always been the only currency accepted by all countries as payment for goods and services due to its special characteristics.

The specific heat of gold is 0.03 cal/(g°C). The amount of heat energy in changing the temperature of a substance depends on what the substance is, how much of it is under heat and what rise in temperature occurs. Keep in mind that materials with high specific heat capacities require a lot of heat energy, taking a long time to warm up and cool down.

Natural Gold Crystal
Courtesy: Mindat

Gold, for example, has a specific heat nearly 30 times lower than water. In other words, when heated identically, a kilogram of gold will increase in temperature from 20°C to 90°C, whereas water will only increase in temperature from 20°C to 22°C. 0.031 calories per gram per degree Celsius.

In summary, metals like gold often have low specific heat. whereas that of water is relatively high.

Which Metal Has the Highest Specific Heat?

lithium bar
Courtesy: La French Fab

Lithium is an effective heat transfer medium because it has the largest specific heat capacity of any solid element (3.489 J/g mol at 20 °C). This is because the melting and boiling points are very far from each other, the temperatures being 180.54°C, and 1342°C, respectively.

With a density that is almost half that of water, lithium is the lightest metal. It is exceedingly caustic in its purest form. It easily burns flesh and ignites when it comes into touch with water. The main applications for lithium are in the manufacture of batteries, ceramics and glass, greases, medicinal compounds, air conditioners, and aluminum.

Which Metal Has the Lowest Specific Heat?

With 0.12 J/g K, uranium has the lowest specific heat, but it is still used to power electricity-generating commercial nuclear reactors. Uranium is also of use to create isotopes for use in industry, medicine, and defense all over the world.

With an atomic number of 92, uranium is a metallic chemical element in the periodic table that is silvery-white. The chemical symbol for it is U. There are 92 protons and 92 electrons in an atom of uranium, of which 6 are valence electrons. The atomic weight of uranium is the greatest among all naturally occurring elements.

The next group, with 0.13 J/g K, includes bismuth, gold, indium, lead, osmium, platinum, plutonium, thallium, thorium, and tungsten.