Gold(I) cyanide

Gold(I) cyanide is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula AuCN. It is the binary cyanide of gold(I). It is an odourless, tasteless yellow solid.[4] Wet gold(I) cyanide is unstable to light and will become greenish.[4] Gold(I) cyanide itself is of only of academic interest, but its derivative dicyanoaurate is an intermediate in gold cyanidation, the extraction of gold from its ores.[5]

Gold(I) cyanide
Structure of AuCN (ICSD CollCode85782).png
Other names
Gold monocyanide
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.007.318 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 208-049-1
  • InChI=1S/CN.Au/c1-2;/q-1;+1
  • [Au+].[C-]#N
Molar mass 222.985 g·mol−1
Appearance dark yellow powder[1]
Density 7.12 g·cm−3[2]
P6mm (No. 183)
a = 340 pm, c = 509 pm[2]
GHS labelling:[3]
GHS06: ToxicGHS09: Environmental hazard
H300, H310, H330, H410
Related compounds
Other cations
Copper(I) cyanide
Silver cyanide
Related compounds
Gold(III) cyanide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).


Solid gold(I) cyanide precipitates upon reaction of potassium dicyanoaurate with hydrochloric acid:


It can also produced by the reaction of gold(III) chloride and potassium cyanide.[2]


The solid dissolves to form water-soluble adducts with a variety of ligands: cyanides, hydroxide, ammonia, thiosulfate and hydrosulfide.[2]

Like most gold compounds, it converts to metallic gold upon heating.[citation needed]


Gold(I) cyanide's is a coordination polymer consisting of linear chains of AuCN such that each Au(I) center is bonded to carbon and nitrogen. The structure is hexagonal with the lattice parameters a = 3.40 Å and c = 5.09 Å.[2] T[6]


  1. ^ Sigma-Aldrich Co., product no. 254088.
  2. ^ a b c d e O. Glemser; O. Glemser, H. Sauer (1963). "Gold(I) Cyanide". In G. Brauer (ed.). Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Ed. Vol. 2pages=1064. NY, NY: Academic Press.
  3. ^ "C&L Inventory". Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 1888: Goldcyanid
  5. ^ Rubo, Andreas; Kellens, Raf; Reddy, Jay; Steier, Norbert; Hasenpusch, Wolfgang (2006). "Alkali Metal Cyanides". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.i01_i01.
  6. ^ Bowmaker, Graham A.; Kennedy, Brendan J.; Reid, Jason C. (1998). "Crystal Structures of AuCN and AgCN and Vibrational Spectroscopic Studies of AuCN, AgCN, and CuCN". Inorganic Chemistry. 37 (16): 3968–3974. doi:10.1021/ic9714697. PMID 11670511.