Gold and Silver atoms interact with one another to form reasonably strong metallic bonds, but surprisingly they have almost no chemical interaction with atmosphere. How can we explain it based on the atomic structure of Gold and Silver. What is so unique about its chemical structure that is not present in other transition metals that makes them noble (non-reactive)?
Copper, silver, gold. What is the energy of the highest "s" orbital versus the highest "d" orbital? Gold is a very heavy nucleus. An "s" orbital has non-zero probability at its nucleus. Special relativity effects make its "s" electrons more massive, bringing them into the atom.
A silver atom is a soft Lewis acid. It reacts well with large soft Lewis bases. Silver quickly tarnishes with sulfide. Gold is not chemically inert at all to even mild oxidation if the product cation is coordinated by ligands. Salt water plus air will tarnish gold. Dilute cyanide plus air will dissolve it (e.g., heap leaching of gold ore).
Thermodynamics proposes, kinetics disposes. Aluminum is tremendously reactive toward air and water. Anything that permanently breaches its adherent oxide coating (e.g., abrasion plus amalgamation) sets it off.