Gold-decorated silica nanoparticles were synthesized in a two-step process in which silica nanoparticles were produced by chemical vapor synthesis using tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) and subsequently decorated using two different gas-phase evaporative techniques. Both evaporative processes resulted in gold decoration of the silica particles. This study compares the mechanisms of particle decoration for a production method in which the gas and particles remain cool to a method in which the entire aerosol is heated. Results of transmission electron microscopy and visible spectroscopy studies indicate that both methods produce particles with similar morphologies and nearly identical absorption spectra, with peak absorption at 500-550nm. A study of the thermal stability of the particles using heated-TEM indicates that the gold decoration on the particle surface remains stable at temperatures below 900 °C, above which the gold decoration begins to both evaporate and coalesce.