The preparation and application of gold powder have a long history in China. The ancient Chinese had a deep understanding of the morphology and size of naturally occurring gold powder. In the early stages, the technology for making gold powder probably involved grinding gold on a special stone. Later, the technique of making gold powder from gold foil was developed in the second century AD. The amalgamation technique was also invented in the 2nd century AD. In ancient China, gold powder was used for a number of applications, including in medicine and for paint and printing silk and paper etc. The techniques used for the application of gold powder in ancient China were the most advanced in the world at that time.
Gold powder and gold sheets are also used for soldering semiconductors. Other applications where gold powder is used are to create ceramic colours, or to metallize solar cells.