This chapter provides an overview of current research into the synthesis and properties of gold nanorods. It outlines the origin of the shape-dependent optical properties of rods. The chapter focuses on the latest advances in the chemical synthesis of metal nanorods, in particular of gold nanorods, as well as their properties and some applications. It chapter reviews some of the key attributes of non-spherical particles. Comprehensive reviews of the optical properties of metal particles are given in a range of texts and journals that discuss electromagnetic theory, size effects, the light scattering features or the surface chemical perturbations. In 1912, R. Gans predicted that for very small ellipsoids, where the dipole approximation holds, the surface plasmon mode would split into distinct modes. This is a consequence of the surface curvature, which determines classically the restoring force or depolarization field that acts on the confined conduction electron population.