Three different forms of carbon, i.e., multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), single-walled CNTs, and soot, were decorated with gold nanoparticles by a new method. In this method C10H8− ions transfer electrons to the CNTs or soot. These electrons on the carbon surface can then reduce Au3+ species to form supported Au nanoparticles with a narrow particle size distribution. Thermogravimetric/differential thermal analyses (TG/DTA), XRD, Raman, and TEM show that naphthalene molecules remain trapped inside the Au nanoparticles and can only be removed by treatment at ca. 300 °C. Remarkable effect of the Au nanoparticles on the oxidation of carbon by O2 is also observed by TG/DTA, i.e., on-set oxidation temperature and activation energy (Ea). It is shown that as the Au particle size decreases from 25 to 2 nm a linear decrease of the oxidation temperature is observed. Au particles larger than 25 nm do not produce any significant effect on carbon oxidation. These results are discussed in terms of spillover catalytic effect where Au nanoparticles activate O2 molecules to produce active oxygen species which oxidize the different carbon supports.