Gold is an elemental metal, and in its purest form, only comprises gold atoms. The metal is orangish-yellow in color or has a buttery yellow hue. In its natural form, gold also features a high luster and is malleable. This means that it can be stretched easily with certain tools, hammered, and be scratched easily. That being said not all gold is created equal and that's why one may come across different terms, e.g. gold clad.
Have You Heard of Gold Clad?
You might already know what gold-plated means. Gold clad means the same thing but is just another fancy name. Gold clad coins, for example, are nothing more than regular coins that feature a worthless layer of coating. In other words, cheap metal and a minute amount of gold are bonded together. Anything that is gold clad is practically worthless.
Why You Shouldn't Bother with Hyped Gold Clad Coins
Gold clad coins are all hype and they are no different from the proverbial Snake Oil Salesmen tactics. Some of these collectibles are hyped as Just Released or Finally Released. An example is 24kt, 0.09mm gold clad coins. One may think that these thin coins are completely gold, but that's not accurate. They are only clad in a thin layer of gold. Beneath that super thin layer of gold, lies a much cheaper metal.
The United States Mint Doesn't Produce Gold Clad Coins
The U.S. Mint does not produce and sell anything that is gold clad. Any product that has been marketed this way, raises a red flag. One should always beware and only purchase authentic gold coins that are minted by U.S. Mints. If not, you will be buying something that's worth less than the actual purchase price.