Metallivores can eat gold items, except for the Candelabrum of Invocation; in practice, this is usually limited to rock moles eating any gold they encounter while tunneling through the dungeon, though it can also factor in eating gold rings. Gold golems are generated randomly in the dungeon, and may be created as the result of polypiling enough gold items. A noncursed scroll of gold detection will reveal all gold pieces and gold golems on the level; a blessed scroll will additionally detect items made of gold.
Variants often add other items made of gold, and the object materials system used in many of them incorporates gold as a potential material for metallic objects. Leprechauns in some of these variants can also steal items made of gold as well as the player's money. Croesus is often given a set of gold armor, and sometimes a gold weapon as well.
In GruntHack, gold armor will have a -2 penalty to base AC, with a minimum of 0.