Out of all minerals found on Earth, none can surpass the extent of gold’s usefulness. Its usability is derived from the diversification of special properties, such as gold does not tarnish, conducts electricity well, and is very easy to work with. Also, it can be drawn into wire, hammered into thin sheets, melted and cast into highly detailed shapes, alloys with many metals, and has magnificent color and brilliant luster.
In essence, gold is a notable metal that occupies a special place in the human mind. To further discuss the value of gold plus its intended applications, here’s a list we prepared just for you.
Jewelry as the Main Use of Gold
Gold is utilized to produce jewelry and ornamentals for thousands of years. Gold nuggets found in a stream perhaps were one of the first metals used by us humans. Today, most of the newly mined or recycled gold is utilized to manufacture jewelry. About 78 percent of the gold consumed each year is used in jewelry production.
The unique properties of gold make it ideal for producing jewelry. These include its desirable color, which is yellow; lustrous feature; tarnish resistance; and malleability. These are all attractive metal properties that are easily worked into beautiful objects by jewelry vendors.
However, pure gold is too soft to stand up to the stresses applied to many jewelry items. Fortunately, craftsmen learned that alloying gold with other metals such as copper, silver, and platinum would increase its durability. Since then, most gold applied to create jewelry is a combination of gold with one or more other metals.
Since gold is highly valued and limited, it has been used as a medium of exchange or money. In fact, the first known utilization of gold in transactions was way back 6000 years ago. Early transactions were made using pieces of gold or silver. The usefulness, rarity, and desirability of gold make it a substance of long-term value. Gold works well for this intention since it is portable, durable, has a high value, and easily divisible.
Moreover, gold is used as a financial backing for currency, which is often held in the form of gold bars, or called “gold bullion.” The use of gold bars kept production costs to a minimal level and allowed convenient handling and storage. Today many governments, individuals, and institutions hold investments in gold in the convenient form of bullion.
Gold in Electronics
The most crucial industrial application of gold is in the production of electronics. Solid-state electronic equipment and tools utilize very low currents and voltages which can be quickly interrupted by corrosion or tarnish at the contact points.
Gold is an efficient conductor that can carry tiny currents while remaining free from corrosion. Also, electronic parts that are made with gold are highly commendable. These include the breakers, switches, connectors, contacts, soldered joints, connecting wires, and connection strips.
Did you know that a tiny amount of gold is applied in almost every sophisticated electronic device. This includes mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), calculators, global positioning system (GPS) units, and other small electrical devices. Most large electronic appliances such as computers and television sets also contain gold.
Gold in Dentistry
Even at much higher expense, surprisingly, gold is used in dentistry because of its superior performance and aesthetic appeal. Gold alloys are used for crowns, fillings, bridges, and orthodontic appliances. It is used in dentistry since it is non allergenic, chemically inert, and convenient for the dentist to work with.
Medical Uses of Gold
Gold is also used as a drug to treat a minute segment of medical conditions. Injections of weak solutions of sodium aurothiomalate or aurothioglucose are sometimes applied to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, particles of a radioactive gold isotope are implanted in tissues to serve as a radiation source in the treatment of certain cancers.
What’s more, small amounts of gold are used to remedy lagophthalmos, a disability where an individual can’t close their eyes completely. This situation is designed by embedding small amounts of gold in the upper eyelid. The implanted gold provides weights on the eyelid, and the gravity force helps the eyelid close completely.
Uses of Gold as Symbols of Status
What type of metal is utilized to produce a crown worn by a king? Of course, gold! This metal is chosen because gold is used as the metal of highest esteem. Gold is selected to build a king’s crown due to its association with a high status.
Another thing connected with gold is purity. This is because gold is the metal of choice for religious objects. This includes crosses, holy communion ware, and other religious symbols.
In a nutshell, most ways of utilizing gold at present were only developed during the last two or three decades. As our society needs more reliable and sophisticated materials, our need for gold will surely increase. This trend will likely continue for years to come.