You might think that gold is basically a shiny stone that has little use other than jewelry and coins, but uses for gold much wider.
Given the ten-year highs in gold prices, it is not surprising that investors are trying to find out everything they can about the precious metal.
In addition to its history as a repository of valuables, gold has been used in a variety of applications – and the demand for things is constantly growing.
Jewelry still makes up about 50 percent of total demand but new ways of using gold are constantly being found – and these new applications are not just about the appearance of gold …
1. Gold in electronics
It turns out that gold is an ultra-large conductor of electricity, and therefore in conventional electronics it can be found in small quantities.
For example, it is estimated that a ton of phones can hold up to 300 grams of gold – which actually makes it much more efficient than traditional mining as a source of gold … if you can get your hands on one ton of old phones.
In addition to phones, it is used in computer chips because it is an excellent conductor of small currents – and because it does not rust, manufacturers often use it despite the higher price.
2. You can eat!
You’ve probably seen gold foil desserts hovering on Instagram when fashion visitors try to show off their wealth by literally eating gold.
While the verdict is to taste, there is nothing better than sprinkling gold in decadent hot chocolate to show the world that you made it.
Gold is not toxic by nature, so it can be eaten without consequences (we don’t have exact data on what will happen if you eat too much, mostly because we write for a living!).
However, what makes gold foil possible is the fact that gold is indeed quite malleable in nature – meaning that even small amounts can be rolled out into very thin sheets.
3. Gold in health
You may be well aware of the use of gold in fillings (again, it’s not toxic, so it’s a good candidate for something you should wear in your mouth all the time), but it’s also used in some next-generation medical devices.
Although it was used to treat skin diseases back in ancient China, researchers find that it is very resistant to bacteria.
Thus, it is used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions – but gold is also used used in the treatment of cancer.
There have been several cases where oncologists injected cancer patients with tiny gold-wrapped spheres (fewer red blood cells) and then snatched those gold with near-infrared light.
The light then turns into heat, and literally cooking cancer cells.
4. Gold … in space!
Remember that gold is a good reflective surface and does not cause corrosion – the same principle applies in space.
Thus, the visor of each astronaut is covered with a thin gold film that helps reflect sunlight (there are no layers of the stratosphere in space that help scatter rays).
It is also used on other space equipment to help reflect radiation.
It also absorbs a huge amount of light, which means it does not dazzle other astronauts in the area.
5. You can smear your face
Gold is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as said to improve skin tone and elasticity – so of course, such as L’Oreal and Dior, began to use gold nanoparticles in cosmetics.
Although it should be noted that the benefits of gold in giving people a golden glow much depends on who you are talking to.
However, in low concentrations it is not too harmful.
So how could cosmetic companies turn down the opportunity to offer potential customers the opportunity to literally smear their faces with gold?
It turns out the appeal of gold isn’t just about being a brilliant storehouse of valuables.
Gold is a fairly flexible metal, and the use of gold can vary – even outside of use on this list.
This content is not advice on financial products. You should consider getting independent advice before making any financial decisions.