: containing gold
The mining company has discovered many auriferous deposits throughout the region.
"Development … on the east flank of the Huachuca Mountains occurred after the 1911 discovery of a gold nugget weighing 22 ounces, probably originating from auriferous quartz veins found in the granite beds upstream." — William Ascarza, The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), 26 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
Students in chemistry class learn that the chemical symbol for gold is Au. That symbol is based on aurum, the Latin word for the element. In the 17th century, English speakers coined auriferous by appending the -ous ending to the Latin adjective aurifer, an offspring of aurum that means "containing gold" or "producing gold." (The -fer is from ferre, a Latin verb meaning "to produce" or "to bear.") Not surprisingly, auriferous is a term that shows up in geological contexts. Some other descendants of aurum include aureate ("of a golden color" or "marked by grandiloquent style"), auric ("of, relating to, or derived from gold"), and the noun or ("the heraldic color gold or yellow").
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