A gold compact disc is one in which gold is used in place of the super pure aluminium commonly used as the reflective coating on ordinary CDs or silver on ordinary CD-Rs
Gold CDs can be played in any CD player. Blank gold CD-Rs are also available. They can be recorded in any CD recorder and played in any CD player.
The advantage of the gold reflection layer is its increased resistance to corrosion, in contrast to the ordinary aluminium layer found on normal compact discs. Due to concerns over the incidence of CD rot on early CDs (mainly manufactured by PDO UK), gold CDs were thus seen as a potential solution.
In 2014, Audio Fidelity, an American publisher of audiophile CDs, announced that it was abandoning the gold format and moving to the hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) format for future releases. 
Since 2016, the Australian division of Sony Music have been reissuing back catalogue CDs as budget-priced (under $10) issues with gold CDs under the "Gold Series" branding.