Letter | Published:

Constitution of Aurous Compounds: Gold Mirrors

Nature volume 140, page 583 (02 October 1937) | Download Citation



THE volatile aurous compounds described by Dr. F. G. Mann and Dr. A. F. Wells1 provide further examples of the fact that, in its aurous compounds, gold is always 2-covalent. Constitutionally analogous sulphur and nitrogen compounds are also known. It is significant that whenever gold is in solution in the aurous condition, the metal is always present in a complex ion. This is shown in the cases of such typical compounds as potassium aurocyanide, KAu(CN)2, and hydrobromoaurous acid, HAuBr2. Like the auric ion, the aurous ion appears to be incapable of existence, and some investigations2 have shown that the probable constitutions of the aurous halides and of aurous cyanide are respectively: Thus, even in its simplest compounds, aurous gold appears always to be 2-covalent, while auric gold is always 4-covalent and the four valencies are coplanar with the gold atom3.

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  1. 1.

    NATURE, 140, 502 (Sept. 18, 1937).

  2. 2.

    J. Chem. Soc., 860 (1934); 219, 1024 (1935).

  3. 3.

    and , J. Chem. Soc., 1635 (1936). and co-workers, forthcoming publication.

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    and , J. Chem. Soc., 2532 (1930).

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    NATURE, 140, 279 (Aug. 14, 1937).

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  1. Chemistry Department, I Guy's Hospital Medical School, London, S.E.I. Sept. 20.



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