The present review deals with the chemistry of complexes of gold(I) and gold(III) with organic ligands. Compounds classified according to the type of coordinating ligands and donor atoms are considered from the point of view of their potential application as precursors in the MOCVD process, which attract considerable scientific interest. This method has undeniable advantages over other technologies (precision multi-parameter monitoring in order to control the properties of the obtained coatings, high utilization of precursors, simple equipment design, etc.) and can be used to produce thin films and gold nanoparticles with desired characteristics on different types of surfaces of complex geometries for various engineering applications. The following main results published to date are summarized and analyzed in this review: (a) chemical approaches to synthesis, structural characteristics and properties of the main classes of organic compounds of gold(I, III), (b) thermal stability of gold compounds in solid state, (c) temperature-dependent measurements of vapor pressure used for the characterization of gold compound volatility, (d) thermolysis processes of gold complex vapor on heated substrates, (e) examples of modern high-precision applications of gold precursors in MOCVD technique of metallic layers and nanoparticles. Mechanisms and growth processes of gold films and nanoparticles, their composition, structure, and characteristics are also considered. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.