Of all the minerals mined from the Earth, none is more useful than gold. Its usefulness is derived from a diversity of special properties.
Gold conducts electricity, does not tarnish, is very easy to work, can be drawn into wire, can be hammered into thin sheets, alloys with many other metals, can be melted and cast into highly detailed shapes, has a wonderful color and a brilliant luster.
Gold is a memorable metal that occupies a special place in the human mind.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF GOLD
When Spanish explorers first arrived in the “New World” they met the native people of South America. These two cultures had been separated by a vast ocean, they had never touched one another, they spoke different languages and lived entirely different lives.
Yet they had one thing in common – they both held gold in highest esteem and used it to make some of their most important objects.
Throughout the history of our planet, almost every established culture has used gold to symbolize power, beauty, purity, and accomplishment.
Today, the usefulness of gold for our most significant objects is often: wedding rings, Olympic medals, Oscars, Grammys, money, crucifixes and ecclesiastical art. No other substance of the same rarity holds a more visible and prominent place in our society.
15 IMPORTANT USEFULNESS OF GOLD
1. IN SPACE
Gold plays a key role in protecting astronauts from harmful infrared rays from the sun. The visor on their helmet is coated with a thin layer of gold which acts as a filter.
Gold is also used on space vehicles to help reflect infrared radiation and stabilize core temperatures. With such vast sums being invested into space research, reliability is key, so the high cost of gold isn’t a deterrent to its usage.
Money/finance( as far back 8,000 years ago gold pieces were used as forms of exchange for goods, but overtime size of these pieces became standardised into coins to enable smoother transaction.
Even when the first paper money was introduced, gold was kept as collateral to guarantee its value.)
Jelweries (by the jewellery industry with countries such as India and China continuing to fuel this massive demand. The long history of gold being highly valued and representing success and power, has contributed to it being the preferred choice for jewellery.
Along with ancient tradition, gold’s ubiquity in various religions has led to vast populations expecting important objects and jewellery to be made of gold.
The usefulness of Gold has been a popular commodity for centuries and is viewed by investors as a safe haven and an excellent store of wealth.
Due to the fact that it is a tangible commodity with a long history of market performance, gold is often purchased by investors seeking to protect themselves against the risks of inflation and downturns in the economy.
The most common form of gold investment is usually gold bullion bars or coins. You can also purchase gold exchange funds on the stock exchange.)
5. COLLATERAL FOR A LOAN
In some countries, like India, China, England, Portugal , France, Australia, America for example, gold is considered very precious and can be used as a collateral against loans, so the usefulness of gold is unquestionable.
As we move towards a more digitised financial system, tangible assets such as gold or silver become more important and using gold as collateral.)
Gold has played an important role in the dental industry for nearly 3,000 years, and is often used in crowns,chairs and others royal instruments, fillings and bridgework.
Gold is non-toxic and can be placed in contact with the body without causing harm. The fact that it is also such a durable metal and doesn’t corrode in the mouth makes it perfect for use in dental treatment.
The usefulness of gold in dentistry began to decline in the late 1970s due to the rising gold price. Alternatives were developed, but we’ve recently observed a renaissance in gold usage due to worries that lees inert materials may impact long-term health.
The unique properties and uses of gold has meant it’s been used to treat a variety of medical conditions since around 2,500 BC.
Chinese physicians originally used pure gold to treat conditions such as smallpox and skin ulcers. The ancient Romans also used gold salves to treat a variety of skin problems.
Today gold is still used in medicinal treatments, particularly the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, where injections of a gold solution are sometimes administered in particularly severe cases.
Since gold is very resistant to bacteria and non-toxic, it is also frequently used in bodily implants where there may be a risk of infection, such as inner ear implants. Use of gold nanoparticles for cancer treatment
Colloidal gold nanoparticles are increasingly being used to help the delivery of chemotherapy. Their minute size and non-immunogenicity make their molecules ideal for targeted drug delivery systems.
Drug molecules and tumor-specific ligands can be attached to the gold nanoparticles to pursue the tumour without redeploying through the body.
8. MOBILE PHONES
Not many people know this, but gold can be found in the electronics of every single mobile device in the world. a single phone can contain up to 50 milligrams of gold.
This may not seem like a lot but when you consider the number of mobile phone’s there are in the world, it all adds up to a pretty impressive amount of gold. It’s all to do with the types of elctronic devices and gold’s high resistance to rust and corrosion.
This is particularly important with solid state electronics which use very low currents and voltage. Examples of these are light-emitting diodes (LED) and liquid crystal displays (LCD) which are based solely on semi-conductors. Obviously, this technology predominates in today’s smartphone screens.
With such low voltages, the slightest corrosion at the contact points will disrupt the flow of current, so gold is utilised for its reliability. That’s why gold is a feature of high-end speaker cable connectors.
The usefulness of Gold is also frequently seen in other electronic devices such as laptops and computers.
It is one of the best natural conductors of electricity which is why it is often found in computer chips, allowing your computer to pass on, and receive information more easily.
Some particularly up-market restaurants use gold shavings or gold leaf to decorate their more extravagant dishes.
Gold is non-toxic and can be eaten without consequence, however it can’t be digested and passes straight through the body.
Gold also has no taste so the use of gold in food is purely for decorative purposes.
The usefulness of Gold is frequently seen in manufacturing due to its ability to conduct heat and reflect light.
It can also be used as lubricant in any number of engineering applications due to its resistance to cold welding.
Some particularly grand buildings often feature some form of gold decoration. Gold leaf in particular, is frequently used to adorn important features on buildings all over the world.
Some of the most famous examples include St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kiev, whose golden domes can be seen from miles around, and the Criterion Restaurant in London with its extravagant gold leaf ceiling.
Why is gold leaf used so widely?
Apart from gold’s obvious status symbol amd incredible aesthetics, its maleability is the key to it adorning so many prestigious buildings. Gold leaf is created when gold sheets are beaten to an incredibly thin 3 millionths of an inch in thickness.
This amazing feat means the gold leaf is very versatile to gild and emboss non-uniform surfaces. It also reduces the cost of material dramatically, allowing larger areas to be gilded. The largest cost is, in fact, the skilled labour required to apply the specialist leaf.
Gold’s anti-corrosive and anti-bacterial qualities also make it a popuular choice to use on certain internal and external building surfaces which need to be protected. Gold’s easy marriage with other metals creates the opportunity to gild buildings with a wide variety of gold leaf colours and shades.
Despite this versatility, the recognisable yellow of high carat gold is usually selected due to its conspicuous nature.
Less onvious is the use of gold in glass production. It is utilised to create a red hue to the glass and is pivotal for climate control in speciality glass.
Whether added to the glass compound or coated onto its surface, the addition of gold helps reflect the sun’s glare and heat while also acting as insulation in the winter.
Palaces and religious buildings use gold leaf to decorate domes
Gold is frequently used in the cosmetics industry and has been hailed as a revolutionary ingredient in everything from topical skincare creams to lip balms and moisturisers.
Its many properties are said to help improve skin tone and elasticity as well as providing significant anti-aging benefits and improving blood circulation.
Gold Nano-particles have been used in the products of some pretty influential names in the beauty industry including L’Oréal and Dior.
Gold ink is becoming increasingly popular with printing companies since photos printed in gold can produce high quality and long lasting images. CD’s and DVD’s that have been coated in printed gold can also resist scratches and last longer.
More recently, there’s a growing trend to use gold in 3D printing. The reduction in the cost of 3D printers and becoming more widespread has led to a number of materials being experimented with.
Essentially using a cast system, gold is increasingly being chosen due produce unique and desirable one-off objects.
Gold is a sign of power and status. Wealthy individuals have always been keen to show off their wealth in the form of gold, whether it’s by wearing a luxury wristwatch or piece of fancy jewellery.
Today gold is used to decorate iPhones, cars and was even used to create an exclusive credit card created by a bank in Kazakhstan. The card was made using gold, diamonds and mother of pearl.
Gold’s high esteem is also reflected in sport. Gold medals and trophies are synonymous with winners. King’s and queens still adorn crowns made of gold, rather than stronger metals, simply because of its global status.
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