Here's How The World Actually Uses Gold

donald trump holds gold

Gold sceptics often warn that the yellow metal has no intrinsic value.

But that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

In addition to its use in jewellery, gold has many practical real world uses too.

The folks at U.S. Global Investors put together this slideshow to illustrate some of the uses of gold.

Thanks to U.S. Global Investors for allowing us to feature this presentation.

Gold is coveted by many

Gold's qualities make it one of the most coveted metals in the world. Not only can it be beautifully shaped and sculpted, the yellow metal conducts electricity and does not tarnish. These qualities make it the metal of choice for a wide variety of industries. Let's take a look at some industrial, medical and technological uses of gold, some of which are truly amazing.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

It's been used by dentists for 3,000 years

Gold has been used in dentistry for nearly 3,000 years. The first book published on dentistry, entitled Artzney Buchlein, appeared in 1530. The book suggests dentists fill cavities and rotten teeth with gold leaf.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

Gold is not toxic

Thousands of years later gold is still being used for fillings, crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances. Gold is a bio-compatible metal, meaning it can be placed in contact with a person's body and not cause harm to one's health.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

Gold's a great conductor of electricity

Gold is a highly efficient conductor of electricity and is used in most electronic devices, including cell phones. Gold contained in connectors, switches and relay contacts allows phones to remain free of corrosion.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

You can find 50 cents worth of gold in every cell phone

According to the World Gold Council, a single mobile device contains up to 50 milligrams of gold. That's a tiny amount but nearly 1 billion cell phones are produced each year. With a gold value of about 50 cents in each phone, that adds up to $500 million dollars in gold each year!

Source: U.S. Global Investors

Gold is found in most computers

Gold can also be found in most standard desktop and laptop computers. The precious metal is used in a CPU's memory chip and motherboard, allowing parts of your computer to receive power and communicate with each other.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

It's great for rapidly transmitting data

Gold acts as a reliable conductor, allowing for the rapid and accurate transmission of digital data from one device to another. In fact, only silver and copper are better conductors of electricity.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

Gold has been used in medicine for 4,500 years

The earliest medical use of gold can be traced back to China in 2500 BC. Chinese physicians used pure gold to treat furuncles, smallpox, skin ulcers and to remove mercury from skin and flesh, says GoldBulletin.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

Nowadays, it's used to treat arthritis

Today the metal is primarily used to treat patients with arthritis. Gold salts are used to reduce swelling, bone damage and to relieve joint pain and stiffness. It's a slow process; patients generally receive 22 weeks of gold injections before experiencing relief.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

Gold can be flattened into extremely thin sheets

Gold is highly malleable and flexible. Gold can be beaten into thin sheets, only a few millionths of an inch thick. These sheets, known as gold leaf, are displayed on buildings throughout the world, such as St. Michael's Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

This structure is made of 1.5 tons of gold

India's Sripuram Golden Temple is the world's largest golden structure. The spiritual park is made out of 1.5 tons of gold. The gold leafing provides a durable and corrosion-resistant covering, says GoldPrice.com.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

Gold is used in space to reflect radiation and stabilise temperatures

It's truly a gold universe. Space vehicles are fitted with gold-coated polyester film to reflect infrared radiation and to help stabilise core temperatures, says Geology.com. Without gold, darker coloured parts of spacecraft would absorb significant amounts of heat.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

It's also found in space suits

NASA also protects its astronauts using gold. Astronauts' helmets are covered by the extravehicular visor assembly. The visor is coated with a thin layer of gold to filter out the sun's harmful rays, according to NASA.

Source: U.S. Global Investors

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