6 Uses Of Gold You Probably Didn’t Know About
You’ve probably noticed gold jewelry on people. Or maybe, if you are lucky enough to be wealthy, you have some yourself. But did you know that there are 6 uses of gold that are not for jewelry?
Well, it’s true. Here are six ways that people put this precious metal to use.
Gold is a major part of investment portfolios. It has been used to hedge against the market, even during times when stocks are performing well. Investors invest in gold because its value may increase while other investments decrease in value.
An ounce of gold was worth $600 in 2001, and $1250 by 2012. Currently, an ounce is around $1670-1800 dollars. This makes it profitable to buy low and sell high so that you can make money off of the fluctuating prices while still holding onto the tangible commodity itself. Investing in a gold IRA account is an attractive prospect since buying or selling large quantities of gold can be difficult depending on your needs at the time. Also, there are multiple options available for you should you choose to purchase or sell any amount of this precious metal. Gold IRA is not your only investment option related to gold. You can invest in gold stocks or funds, trade gold options in the commodities market, or simply buy bullion, coins, or gold nuggets and store them on your own (be prepared to pay to insure them, though).
2) Jewelry Market
Many people purchase gold for the purpose of reselling it, but they don’t stop there. Gold is used in manufacturing and jewelry making, so a lot of companies buy scrap gold and turn it into jewelry. The price of gold depends on its caratage, which means how much other metal has been mixed with the pure 24k gold. 22k gold contains more alloy than 18k or 14k and therefore has less value than those two caratages. Because the price of 24k gold is higher than any other caratage, this is usually where most investors go to buy their bars and coins.
3) Dentistry and Medicine
Gold is one of the main materials used in dentistry due to its malleability and antimicrobial properties. Gold alloys can also be stronger than steel and biocompatible making them suitable in dental implants and other biomedical devices. In toxicology, gold salts are given subcutaneously to treat certain tumors; intravenously for some autoimmune diseases; topically as an antimicrobial; sublingually (under the tongue) for thrush (a yeast infection); and intranasally (inhaled through the nose) if inhaling smoke.
Have you ever wondered how a gold-plated connector works? Well, gold is a great conductor of electricity. It doesn’t corrode or oxidize relatively easily, which makes it perfect to use in connectors that connect circuits together because if the metal terminals did corrode almost no current would flow through them. In layman’s terms: it keeps the power flowing. Electronic components such as printed circuit boards may contain up to 60 percent of gold! On a larger scale, high-speed computer chips (such as graphics cards) contain gold, silver, and copper components that allow for faster processing.
Gold is a good conductor of electricity and has a stable structure which is why it’s used to create wires that conduct electricity in electronic devices such as phones, computers, and set-top boxes. More importantly, though, the element is also used in cryptography to keep data secure with coding machines during electronic transactions.
6) Solar Energy
One of the most interesting phenomena that have been observed through nanotechnology research is that gold nanoparticles can act as catalysts for changing chemical reactions. That’s right, though it seems hard to believe given the metal’s status as a precious commodity, gold can actually help in the process of doing work! In fact, researchers often use these nanoparticles in solar cells to assist with the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.
More specifically, when exposed to sunlight, gold nanoparticles have been shown to react with electron-deficient molecules present in water (such as I 2 and Br 2 ) and help facilitate a reaction that results in the formation of either elemental iodine or bromine, which then go on to participate further reactions. This reaction is extremely exothermic; it releases more energy than is required for each reaction cycle. This means that if this reaction were to be used in solar cells, less light would need to be absorbed before the solar panel could begin producing electricity.
There are many uses for gold outside of jewelry manufacturing. The metal has been used in many industrial applications, with dentistry being one of the most important. Don’t toss out that gold just yet. Now that you know what it’s used for, you can decide if its value outweighs the amount of money you’d get from recycling it.