Gold is a malleable, ductile, and dense metal found in its purest form in nuggets or fine gold particles. It has been used for centuries in jewelry, electronics, dentistry, and many other fields. Gold is also an excellent investment choice as the value of gold has appreciated over time. This article will discuss the top six uses of gold around the world.
Gold is used in the following capacities:
- Industrial Use
- Investment - coins, bars, and rounds
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Gold in Jewelry
Jewelers have used gold for thousands of years to create jewelry and other artifacts to show status or value to their position in the community. Quality gold jewelry is often passed down for hundreds of years of family generations. Gold, over time, has never lost value. The luster of the finish makes the precious metals a fine choice for jewelry.
There are different types of gold, such as white and yellow gold. These two gold types are highly valued in jewelry because they have a higher value than regular gold with a lower color. Because of this reason, yellow and white gold is considered to be more valuable.
It is because the yellow and white golds have more copper than the regular gold. Gold is a very pure and valuable metal but can also be mixed with other metals. When mixing metals in various proportions, you can get any shape or size of gold (molten or solid). It is beneficial for creating a new type of gold for jewelry. You can make many different kinds of gold with relatively low investment costs.
Gold jewelry can be used as an investment. When purchasing a one-of-a-kind item, the purity of the gold and the finish can influence the value. Based on the purity and the quality of gold, jewelry can have significant value when you combined gold with other items such as jewels.
Important to know that both the jewelry and the melt of the jewelry have value. Many local jewelry retail stores will purchase your gold or silver items. After assessment of the value, a dealer could pay you based on the item or based on the precious metals of the item.
Understanding the spot price of gold and the melt value will help you decide on a good price. In addition, with a quality piece of jewelry the value may be more in the uniqueness versus the ounce of gold.
Gold in Electronics
Gold is used to create electronics, most of which comes from South Africa, where the best grades of alloys are found. Most electronics made out of metal use silver alloys due to their higher resistivity than gold, but, with advances in electronics, new materials have been invented for electronics, such as gallium-nitride glasses and aluminum-oxide substrates for transistors which can be used for faster speeds and longer lifetimes.
Gold is also used for the connectors of a computer for it to directly connect to the processor without any additional soldering or wiring. Gold is also found in capacitors, which store electrical charge.
Over the last couple of decades, more electronic companies are using a mix of metals including gold. While difficult to extract, the value in recycling electronics includes the gold used in making the product.
Gold in Dentistry
Gold is used in dental work because of its good conductivity, which allows the electric current to pass through and complete the circuit while not affecting denture hardware. In the past, gold was used to make crowns and bridges. With the cost of gold climbing over the past 30 years, you are seeing less use of gold in dental practice.
Gold has been used in dentistry for many years. Using gold helps resist acids, bacteria, and corrosion. Not to mention gold last a long time and the use of gold will allow crowns or other dental work to last much longer than other options.
During Roosevelt's Presidency, the U.S. needed gold to back its currency and FDR took the U.S. off the gold standard. Executive Order 6102 was signed and it made it illegal to own gold coins or bars. The only industry allowed to have gold in their possession during this time was dentistry. Dentists could have 100 ounces of gold in their possession for their trade.
Gold in Medicine
Gold is beneficial when treating or preventing chronic diseases such as angina, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown gold lowers cholesterol levels and helps avoid atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart disease or a heart attack.
The benefits of using gold in medicine extend beyond just heart disease. Gold therapy can lower cholesterol levels and reduce rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis symptoms. Gold is also used in cancer therapy, as it will attach to specific cancer cells with a higher affinity for it. It will allow the gold to kill off those cells without affecting any other cells.
Gold in Industrial Use
Gold is one of the most common metals used by industry. It is mixed with iron to create springs and other pieces of metal for industrial use. Steam turbines use gold-plated turbine blades to prevent corrosion and wear. Another example of industrial use for gold would be in cement, where gold nanoparticles are added to cement mixes as they help prevent rusting on steel equipment while increasing durability and allowing concrete structures to last longer.
Gold can be found in metal alloys to prevent the corrosion of other metals such as copper, iron, and brass. It is due to gold‘s ability to quickly form a protective oxide layer on its surface when exposed to air that helps in various applications. These layers can prevent oxidation of the metal below, leading to rusting or corrosion.
Gold also has excellent conductivity, which is why it’s used in electronics and connectors. You can use it in producing glass for various applications, ranging from bullet proof glass to windows with special scratch-resistant coatings on them. It is because gold is highly resistant to corrosion and will not rub off the layer or leave any marks or residue on the glass.
Gold for Investment
Once used as currency for trade, gold coins today are used for investment purposes. Many purchase gold and silver to hedge inflation. When the dollar declines having gold will typically outpace the decline and appreciate in value.
There are several ways to purchase gold as an investment. Physical gold can be purchased as coins, bars, or proofs.
Gold bullion is typically priced at or near Spot price plus a premium. The Proof Coins are valued above bullion due to their minting and striking process. This process is much more labor intensive and therefore the price of Proof coins tends to have higher than the spot price.
Bars are a good way to acquire more gold with less quantity of items. You could have one 100-ounce coin or 100 1oz coins. The bar would be easier to transport but it could be harder to sell.
Buying as selling coins or bars can be done at your local coin shop or by purchasing from online dealers. Understanding the difference between bullion and proofs, along with bullion versus numismatic coins is important for investors.
Gold can be found most often in jewelry with a close second to investments. As one of the most popular metals for jewelry, music, medical, and dental applications. It is because it has excellent conductivity and durability. Gold has been used in these fields for many years and will continue to be among the most popular precious metals people use.
Gold has always been popular because of its durability and corrosion resistance. Gold is also an excellent electrical conductor, which is why it is used in electronics and electronic connectors.
No matter the industry you can find an application for gold. If you are in mining, you may be the exception as gold is being mined but some of the electronics and industrial uses on the mine site may already have gold.
We hope you got a little more information on the applications of gold in various industries. Gold is being mined all around the world because of the demand for gold in many applications. One such industry is investment portfolios. Investors stock up on gold and silver to hedge inflation and diversify portfolios for retirement. Since physical precious metals are not tied to the stock market we know the demand for gold is not relying on inflated market prices.
If you are looking for more information on investing in Gold with CASH or inside a self-directed IRA check out our review of the 5 Best Gold IRA Companies. These companies have some of the best ratings and reviews and provide Gold IRA investors with extensive education.