Somewhat related to this question, now that we've established how useless gold is as anything (wow I was such an idiot), what about crystals? For instance, something like the diamond armor from Minecraft.
What if there were a humanoid, mobile, solid lump of crystal - how tough would it be? Would you be able to shatter it with a simple blow from a steel sword? Or would it be completely impervious to harm? Would it matter what kind of crystal it was, i.e. would diamond be tougher than emeralds?
Edit: thanks for all the suggestions in the comments! I think I may have used the word 'crystal' wrongly. I meant something more like precious stones - i.e. Sapphires, rubies, quartz etc. Also, I'm kind of imagining them pre-processed, and not as ores.
Edit #2: Don't think of it as a layer of armor - imagine if it were a solid lump all the way through. These things are completely animated by handwavium.