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Gold Bulletin

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 305–317 | Cite as

A review on fulminating gold (Knallgold)

  • Georg Steinhauser
  • Jürgen Evers
  • Stefanie Jakob
  • Thomas M. Klapötke
  • Gilbert Oehlinger
Open Access
Scientific Papers

Abstract

Expensive and explosive! The reaction of ammonia and gold(III) compounds leads to explosive products known as “fulminating gold”. Gold scientists should be aware of the potential hazards involved in the reaction of these starting materials. Herein, a historic and scientific review on this fascinating substance is presented. Fulminating gold has been known since medieval times, but cannot be fully characterized due to its polymeric and heterogeneous character. Magnetic measurements confirm previous EXAFS analyses that the gold atoms have a square planar coordination environment (AuN4-moieties that are party connected and form a 3-dimensional network). The explosive properties and resulting safety instructions are discussed in detail as well.

Keywords

aurum fulminans explosives gold-nitrogen bond safety alchemists 

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Copyright information

© World Gold Council 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Steinhauser
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jürgen Evers
    • 2
  • Stefanie Jakob
    • 2
  • Thomas M. Klapötke
    • 2
  • Gilbert Oehlinger
    • 2
  1. 1.Atominstitut der österreichischen UniversitätenVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryLudwig-Maximilians University of MunichMunichGermany

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