When so many other metals saturate our visible urban environment, you might think gold is hardly useful.
The precious metal is in fact ubiquitous in our lives if you know where to look.
Here’s a list of common uses of gold, and it’s not a short one either!
Just because we don’t often see gold statues or other gold works in our daily lives, doesn’t detract from the fact that gold remains one of the most useful metals we posses as the human race.
We tend to forget, (because its application in our lives is largely hidden) that it’s gold’s special properties that in part make it such a special, precious thing.
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Gold doesn’t tarnish easily and to no large degree, it conducts electricity, allows itself to be hammered beyond paper-thin, can be rolled into wire, and is also an easy marriage with many other metals in pursuit of alloys.
It’s a metalworker’s dream, actually.
It’s also hauntingly beautiful, lustrous, and firm, and rich in our imagination.
Common uses for gold
Golden jewelry is of course the most common application of gold, at least insofar as we glimpse gold jewelry in an average working day, and it also seems a fitting application for something we all consider valuable and precious.
That ties directly into gold in finance, in the form of bullion reserves, coinage, and backing.
Gold remains the storehouse of value for humanity, and its eminent position in the financial world is the logical manifestation of that sentiment.
Banks hold reserves (or need to now with Basel III demanding a reserve to effect gold trading), as do countries, while many investment instruments are backed by gold too.
Have you ever looked at shots of moon landers and other aerospace vehicles, and noticed the many gold sheeting applications?
Aerospace utilizes gold for its many challenging experiences, and the metal manifests its unique properties in many ways that serve the industry.
Of course, electronic goods contain gold too, and these goods surround us every day, yet the gold in them remains unseen.
Indeed, a small quantity of gold is employed in just about every sophisticated electronic device.
That means your cellphone, tablet, GPS tool, laptop, and calculator all contain gold.
TVs and other larger devices also utilize gold in their makeup.
To this day and since ancient times, medals and trophies have been made of gold and awarded to the supreme champions in their field.
By the same token of value, we bestow upon gold, it’s been an ancient symbol of achievement and success.
Dentistry utilizes gold too, for its special properties, and the field of medicine isn’t far behind.
In dentistry, it’s more than bling that promotes gold as a rebuilding material, but rather the fact that gold emulates thermally induced behavior very akin to our own teeth.
The fact that it can emulate the material behavior of our teeth makes it prized as a suitable replacement for human dentition.
Of course, it can be rendered at just the right consistency, with the right malleability and performance under gnashing pressure, hence its persistent presence in dentists’ rooms all over the world.
Did you know that gold is also prescribed in various forms to treat various ailments?
While dentistry’s use of gold is usually more visible, the greater medical fraternity uses its fair share of gold to this day.
The aesthetics of gold
Have you ever stood staring at a modern skyscraper, wondering why your windows at home don’t exhibit that lustrous amber glow when the sun strikes them?
That’s because there’s gold in those corporate windows, and the use of gold in glass-making has today become a fine art of itself.
Gold coatings on glass are more than aesthetics, however, as they provide insulation and other desirable properties too.
Finally, and again in large part because gold has the greatest malleability of any of the metals, gold is used in the gilding of statues, buildings, and other objets d’art.
“Gold leaf” is hammered gold sheeting used to cover small, fine objects, as well as the domes and other aspects of buildings at times.
Providing a superb finish that weathers immaculately over time, gold is in fact a stunning architectural material still employed today for its distinctive properties and royal finish.
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