Nanoparticle-based magnetic resonance imaging T-2 negative agents are of great interest, and much effort is devoted to increasing cell loading capability while maintaining low cytotoxicity. Herein, two classes of mixed-ligand protected magnetic-responsive, bimetallic gold/iron nano particles (Au/Fe NPs) synthesized by a two-step method are presented. Their structure, surface composition, and magnetic properties are characterized. The two classes of sulfonated Au/Fe NPs, with an average diameter of 4 nm, have an average atomic ratio of Au to Fe equal to 7 or 8, which enables the Au/Fe NPs to be superparamagnetic with a blocking temperature of 56 K and 96 K. Furthermore, preliminary cellular studies reveal that both Au/Fe NPs show very limited toxicity. MRI phantom experiments show that r(2)/r(1) ratio of Au/Fe NPs is as high as 670, leading to a 66% reduction in T-2 relaxation time. These nanoparticles provide great versatility and potential for nanopartide-based diagnostics and therapeutic applications and as imaging contrast agents.