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Gold and Precious Metals

Why is gold not magnetic?

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October 19, 2009 9:09PM

Gold is not magnetic because it does not produce a magnetic filed of it's own. Ferros metals, eg. iron, nickle and cobalt, are able to create their own magnetic field due to their atomic structures.

Each molecule of an element has a specific atomic structure. This is comprised of atomic shells, which can hold a total of 8 ions in each shell. The number of ions is denoted by the element's atomic number, eg. calcium's atomic number is 20, meaning that the atomic shell structure of a calcium atom is 2 (max. on inner shell), 8, 8 (8 is max in outer shells) and finally two left over in the final outer shell.

This last outer shell is the important part. The ions left available in this shell will be attracted to other shells of other elements that are not at their max ion capacity of 8. This is also true for iron atoms which have 2 in their outer shell also, causing it to be attracted to other elements and more volitile as a result.