I recently added gold (Au) wire to the materials in the Wire Wizard and other coil calculators. Why? There seems to be some hype here and there, and I want people to be able to check it out for themselves before they get too excited.
I don’t have an opinion on the health effects of inhaling gold particles, but the electrical properties do not look ideal to me.
The TCR of gold is 0.0034, which is fine, not too different from Titanium and NiFe. The resistivity on the other hand. At 0.69 Ω/m it about one-third of that of Ni200. In three words: This is bad.
In order to get a reasonable resistance, you will have to use very thin wire. And gold is soft, so even if you don’t snap the wire while trying to coil it, it seems you’ll be likely to deform it, so that the coil gets hot spots.
In other news, the melting point of gold is 1064 ºC (1947 ºF), and the boiling point is 2970 ºC (5378 ºF). Dry burn at your own risk.
TL;DR: To me, gold does not seem like a suitable coil material.
Of course, I may be wrong, so by all means, try it if you must. I’m fine right here on the fence for now, thank you.
Update: I added silver to the calculators too. The resistivity of silver is even worse than that of gold.