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Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.

Gold is a high-value, relatively common metal. The only ore of gold is native gold, which when mined yields gold nuggets. Gold bars can be made at a smelter or magma smelter by a dwarf with the furnace operating labor activated. Gold is one of the three metals (with copper and silver) used to mint coins for the Dwarven economy and has the highest value of the three.

Gold may be combined with other metals at a smelter or magma smelter to form different alloys. The following is a list of alloys involving gold:

None of the gold alloys have a greater material value than gold itself, but if gold nuggets (material value 30) are smelted directly with a low-value silver ore such as galena (material value 5) or tetrahedrite (material value 3), it will produce two bars of electrum (material value 20) for a net gain in value.

Native gold has the same material value as the refined metal, so in some cases it may be advantageous to make crafts and furniture directly from gold nuggets rather than gold bars, since it requires no fuel and uses labors that are easily trained. To use native gold for furniture and the like, you should place a stone stockpile allowing only native gold near your Mason's workshop (native gold furniture, blocks, etc.), Craftsdwarf's workshop (native gold crafts), or Mechanic's workshop (native gold mechanisms) and enable "gold nuggets" (not "gold") using the z : Stone menu. To avoid wasting gold nuggets, it may be wise to suspend all other stone-using jobs until your native gold furniture/crafts are complete, and then re-enable the restrictions.

Note that a dwarf who has a preference for gold metal will not be particularly impressed by items crafted from native gold nuggets, and vice-versa.