Q: The ionisation energy of the coinage metals fall in the order Cu > Ag > Au.Why?
Solution: In all the 3 cases an s-electron in the unpaired state is to be removed. In the case of Cu a 4s electron is to be removed which is closer to the nucleus than the 5s electron of Ag. So I.P. decreases from Cu to Ag. However from Ag to Au the 14 f electrons are added which provide very poor shielding effect. The nuclear charge is thus enhanced and therefore the outer electron of Au is more tightly held and so the IP is high.