We show that gold nanoparticles are able to perform the direct oxidative coupling of nonactivated aromatics with O2 as the only co-reagent. In this reaction, the aromatic acts both as reactant and solvent. Biphenyl, for example, can be obtained from benzene with high selectivity and a turnover number (TON) of 230 per pass. Similarly, several substituted biaryls can be prepared. Pd performs only one TON and even when a second catalytic functionality is introduced, together with strong acidic conditions, TON is always lower than 100. Other catalysts require iodine for performing the reaction, leading to 2 kg of waste for 1 kg of biphenyl formed, whereas no waste is created by the oxidative coupling with gold nanoparticles.