The Most Useful Metal
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.
Jewelry: The Primary Use of Gold
Gold has been used to make ornamental objects and jewelry for thousands of years. Gold nuggets found in a stream are very easy to work and were probably one of the first metals used by humans. Today, most of the gold that is newly mined or recycled is used in the manufacture of jewelry. About 78% of the gold consumed each year is used in the manufacture of jewelry.
Special properties of gold make it perfect for manufacturing jewelry. These include: very high luster; desirable yellow color; tarnish resistance; ability to be drawn into wires, hammered into sheets or cast into shapes. These are all properties of an attractive metal that is easily worked into beautiful objects. Another extremely important factor that demands the use of gold as a jewelry metal is tradition. Important objects are expected to be made from gold.
Financial Gold: Coinage, Bullion, Backing
Because gold is highly valued and in very limited supply it has long been used as a medium of exchange or money. The first known use of gold in transactions dates back over 6000 years. Early transactions were done using pieces of gold or pieces of silver. The rarity, usefulness and desirability of gold make it a substance of long term value. Gold works well for this purpose because it has a high value, is durable, portable and easily divisible.
Uses of Gold in Electronics
The most important industrial use of gold is in the manufacture of electronics. Solid state electronic devices use very low voltages and currents which are easily interrupted by corrosion or tarnish at the contact points. Gold is the highly efficient conductor that can carry these tiny currents and remain free of corrosion. Electronic components made with gold are highly reliable. Gold is used in connectors, switch and relay contacts, soldered joints, connecting wires and connection strips.
A small amount of gold is used in almost every sophisticated electronic device. This includes: cell phones, calculators, personal digital assistants, global positioning system units and other small electronic devices. Most large electronic appliances such as television sets also contain gold
Use of Gold in Computers
Gold is used in many places in the standard desktop or laptop computer. The rapid and accurate transmission of digital information through the computer and from one component to another requires an efficient and reliable conductor. Gold meets these requirements better than any other metal. The importance of high quality and reliable performance justifies the high cost.
Uses of Gold in Aerospace
If you are going to spend billions of dollars on a vehicle that when launched will travel on a voyage where the possibility of lubrication, maintenance and repair is absolutely zero, then building it with extremely dependable materials is essential. This is exactly why gold is used in hundreds of ways in every space vehicle that NASA launches.
reply to post by liejunkie01
I think that it has worth in today's society. But I think that in a SHTF scenario, it's practically useless, as mentioned in another thread -- actually, my thread.
Copper is more versatile and practical than gold that is a fact without copper the modern world would grind to a halt so in real terms copper is more valuable than gold thankfully it is far more plentiful most of golds value is down to its rarity not its applications.
Gold is too high value and thus impractical for bartering in SFTF scenarios unless you have lots of it and don’t mind swapping a Krugerand for tinned potatoes.
reply to post by Sremmos80
If the SHTF then I must remember to deal in scraps of flimsy chain of questionable purity instead of easily identifiable sterling coins thanks for the great advice.