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Osmium and Gold – Comparison – Properties

This article contains comparison of key thermal and atomic properties of osmium and gold, two comparable chemical elements from the periodic table. It also contains basic descriptions and applications of both elements. Osmium vs Gold.

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Osmium and Gold – About Elements


Osmium is a hard, brittle, bluish-white transition metal in the platinum group that is found as a trace element in alloys, mostly in platinum ores. Osmium is the densest naturally occurring element, with a density of 22.59 g/cm3. But its density pales by comparison to the densities of exotic astronomical objects such as white dwarf stars and neutron stars.


Gold is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold is thought to have been produced in supernova nucleosynthesis, from the collision of neutron stars.

Osmium in Periodic Table

Gold in Periodic Table

Source: www.luciteria.com

Osmium and Gold – Applications


Due to its rarity and hence expense, osmium has only a few industrial uses. It is used to produce very hard alloys for fountain pen tips, instrument pivots, needles and electrical contacts. It is also used in the chemical industry as a catalyst. Finely divided osmium metal can be used as a catalyst e.g. in the process of forming ammonia by combining hydrogen and nitrogen.


Gold is used extensively in jewellery, either in its pure form or as an alloy. About 75% of all gold produced is used in the jewelry industry. Pure gold is too soft to stand up to the stresses applied to many jewelry items. Craftsmen learned that alloying gold with other metals such as copper, silver, and platinum would increase its durability. The term ‘carat’ indicates the amount of gold present in an alloy. 24-carat is pure gold, but it is very soft. 18- and 9-carat gold alloys are commonly used because they are more durable. Gold’s high malleability, ductility, resistance to corrosion and most other chemical reactions, and conductivity of electricity have led to its continued use in corrosion resistant electrical connectors in all types of computerized devices (its chief industrial use). Gold is also used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, and tooth restoration. Only 10% of the world consumption of new gold produced goes to industry, but by far the most important industrial use for new gold is in fabrication of corrosion-free electrical connectors in computers and other electrical devices.

Osmium and Gold – Comparison in Table

Element Osmium Gold
Density 22.61 g/cm3 19.3 g/cm3
Ultimate Tensile Strength 1000 MPa 220 MPa
Yield Strength N/A 205 MPa
Young’s Modulus of Elasticity N/A 79 GPa
Mohs Scale 7 2.75
Brinell Hardness 3900 MPa 190 MPa
Vickers Hardness 4140 MPa 215 MPa
Melting Point 3045 °C 1064 °C
Boiling Point 5030 °C 2970 °C
Thermal Conductivity 88 W/mK 320 W/mK
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 5.1 µm/mK 14.2 µm/mK
Specific Heat 0.13 J/g K 0.128 J/g K
Heat of Fusion 31.8 kJ/mol 12.55 kJ/mol
Heat of Vaporization 746 kJ/mol 334.4 kJ/mol