The Field Centre in Nailsworth UK is a centre for education and research in diverse areas. It has for many years used colloidal gold festively and decoratively in its central atrium. This article gives an overview of modern approaches to colloids and their special relationship to the world of what Goethe called “physical colours”. Social and cultural perspectives on the element gold in the finely diluted colloidal form are related to its uses by the Field Centre. The wider chemical and biochemical contexts in terms of metal chelations are described alongside experimental details in the appendix.