A soft metallic element found in small amounts on Earth and distributed in quantities throughout the universe. Gold's rarity, attractiveness, resistance to oxidation (tarnish), and workability have made it valuable to humans for thousands of years.
Superman and Superboy deal with gold throughout their careers, as it is desirable to criminals and villains due to its high economic value and because it can therefore be exchanged for money and other gains. To criminals, gold in its refined form is available for the taking at Fort Knox. On one occasion, Superboy even retreats underground to replace the gold of Fort Knox (SB No. 59/1, Sep 1957: "Superboy's Underground Exile").
Gold is often found in the form of coins in sunken pirate ship treasure. Clark Kent searches for sunken treasure with a map given to him by the well-known explorer Warren Keynon, to find a Spanish galleon with a cargo of a million dollars in gold, which Clark wishes to donate to Kidtown to prevent its closing (Act No. 15, Aug 1939).
While investigating on the value of the Guybart gold mine stock, Lois Lane stumbles upon some mine robbers who are trying to avoid any interest on the mine where they had hidden their spoils. Superman finds the hidden gold and unmasks the leader of the bandits (Act No. 35, Apr 1941). In July 1941, Superman finds a valuable gold mine under the property of Dr. Carlstrom, discouraged by a man spreading stories that giant animals were being bred there (S No. 11/2).
In July 1958, Superman journeys to the ruins of sunken Atlantis to obtain a "flying-saucer ship" made of pure gold, one of a series of so-called "space trophies" which the Man of Steel gathers for inclusion in a time capsule that the Metropolis Museum plans to bury in the ground as a gift for the people of the fiftieth century A.D. (S No. 122/1: "The Secret of the Space Souvenirs").
In October 1961, Lori Lemaris indicates that she and her fellow Atlanteans intend to use a hoard of gold from a sunken Spanish treasure ship to fashion solid gold statues of Jor-El and Lara as a surprise gift for Superman in gratitude for his past efforts on behalf of Atlantis's mer-people (S No. 148/3: "Superman Owes a Billion Dollars!").
Superbaby once travels to Earth's past in search of gold when he overhears that Jonathan Kent "needs" it (he has misplaced a cufflink), stopping at Sutter's Mill, the time of King Solomon, and ancient Greece when the Golden Fleece existed (SB No. 120/3, Apr 1965: "Superbaby's Golden Quest!").
Sonny Vanderbilt is a wealthy young tot who is the son of millionaires and even has a solid gold toy steam shovel (SB No. 133, Oct 1966: Superbaby's First Foster-Parents!").
Perhaps because of some elemental similarities to lead, gold may help screen some of the harmful effects of kryptonite, a fact that benefits Superman and Supergirl when they use their heat vision to melt gold and cover a large chunk of kryptonite that is threatening them (Act No. 262/2, Mar 1960: "Supergirl's Greatest Victory!").
Gold is very common on Krypton and has no economic value. For example, Jor-El uses gold to construct the entire hull of an experimental anti-gravity ship for space travel (S No. 233/2, Jan 1971: "Jor-El's Golden Folly"). Indeed, the element is so plentiful it seeps in large quantities from the Gold Volcano—however, the beauty of gold is still acknowledged by Kryptonians as they visit the volcano as a popular tourist destination (for example, see Superman No. 141, Nov 1960: "Superman's Return to Krypton!"). In contrast to the situation on Krypton, gold seems to retain much of its value in the 30th century universe, as Dynamo Boy rejects Golden Boy's application to join his new Legion of Super-Heroes because Golden Boy's power to transform anything to gold would make the metal worthless (Adv No. 331/1, Apr 1964: "The Triumph of the Legion of Super-Villains!").
(See Also The Rainbow Doom)