Gold—that most luxurious of precious metals—is one of the most enduring symbols of opulence in the world. As well as representing opulence, this metal has a number of highly practical and unglamorous uses. Here is a very brief rundown of some of the main ways in which humans have put gold to use.
Gold has long been associated with the finest jewelry, thanks to its extreme beauty and value. Gold jewelry had a ceremonial use in many parts of the ancient world. The precious metal was often buried with powerful people, and many burial sites feature bodies laid to rest with their jewelry. Today, gold jewelry is no less important. The majority of gold mined around the world goes into the making of items for us to wear. It is likely that gold first gained its value as a form of payment due to its use in the manufacture of beautiful jewelry.
Gold is suitable for jewelry making due to its soft and malleable nature and beautiful shine. Companies such as cdocast.com specialize in recasting jewelry items so that the gold can be easily reused. Gold can be recast many times without losing its properties.
Gold has found a great deal of use in the electronics sector, which consumed 265 tons of the precious metal in 2017 alone. Gold is useful in the production of electronics for several reasons: it is malleable—allowing it to be worked into very small electronic conductive coatings; it resists corrosion—enabling designers to build longevity into electronic products; and it is highly conductive—a feature of any material that can be used as a part of a circuit.
Gold is the primary material used in the creation of high-quality wire bonding. It can also be used to make solid state flash memory devices. The use of this precious metal is slightly declining in some areas of the electronics industry due to the availability of cheaper substitute materials.
Gold is historically one of the most prominent materials used in the plating or capping of damaged teeth. Gold wire has been used in this dental setting since ancient times. Gold closely mirrors the hardness of actual human teeth, making it the perfect material to introduce to the mouth. Its resistance to corrosion also lends it credence in a dental setting.
Gold has long been used as a marker of standard monetary values. It was used in the measurement of representative currencies for thousands of years—with all money being measured out in weights of gold. Today, gold is still used as a standard factor in the maintenance of wealth, and because the price of gold is relatively stable, investing in it is a sure bet for people and organizations wanting to keep their wealth safe.
In the aerospace industry, the use of materials that resist corrosion is immensely important. This is why aircraft and spacecraft contain gold in their electronics suites, with the aerospace industry being a very keen user of gold-plated wire connectors.