Direct incorporation of gold nanoparticles from suspensions in 30%Bi2O3:70%B2O3 glass was achieved. This method has advantage over traditional methods where a gold salt is added to the precursor mixture and gold nanoparticles are obtained with subsequent heat treatment, eventually inducing crystallization with associated scattering of light and hence resulting in reduced optical quality of material. X-ray diffraction and differential thermal analysis were carried out in order to confirm the amorphous nature of the material and thermal properties of the prepared glasses, respectively. The size of the gold nanoparticles in the prepared glass matrix was measured using scanning electron microscopy. Optical characterization of prepared glass samples in ultraviolet–visible and terahertz regions was performed using ellipsometry, UV-VIS spectrophotometry and THz-time-domain spectroscopy. Comparison was made between glasses with and without gold nanoparticles and the effect of gold nanoparticle concentration on their optical behaviour is studied. These glasses are found to have high refractive index in the THz region making them suitable for photonic applications. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.