We describe the selective metallization by electroless gold deposition on pre-patterned arrays of seed particles. In the first step, highly selective deposition of seeds (gold nanoparticles) on silicon oxide surfaces is achieved using pure water. In the second step, employing an electroless seeded growth process, the isolated nanoparticles are enlarged beyond the percolation threshold to deposit conducting metal structures. We obtain patterned gold films which exhibit macroscopic conductivity values approximately a factor of three lower than that of bulk gold. The surface morphology of the films has been characterized by scanning electron microscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry. We discuss the different regimes as observed in morphological, electrical, and optical characterization in relation to each other. The free electron contribution to the optical spectra is analyzed in terms of the Drude model. Also, the formation of gold clusters during the growth process in the non-seeded area is described.