A new synthetic strategy was devised leading to the formation of complexes, such as [Au(IPr)(CH2COCH3)]. The approach capitalizes on the formation of a decomposition product observed in the course of the synthesis of [Au(IPr)(Cl)]. A library of gold acetonyl complexes containing the most common N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands has been synthesized. These acetonyl complexes are good synthons for the preparation of numerous organogold complexes. Moreover, they have proven to be precatalysts in common gold(I)-catalyzed reactions.