Gold is the most ductile and malleable pure metal on our planet
Gold can be hammered into sheets so thin that it appears transparent and is so pliable that it can be made into sewing thread. An ounce of gold can be stretched over 50 miles – that would stretch the span of the Golden Gate Bridge just under 30 times.
Gold is chemically inert
Very few chemicals can attack gold which explains why it never rusts and does not cause skin irritation. Even when buried for 1000’s of years, gold will still keep its shine.
Gold is one of the fastest conductors of electricity—next to silver
Gold’s conductive properties and resistance to corrosion means it is an essential component in many things we count on every day from electronics and computers to cables and wires.
Gold is extremely rare
It is harder to find a one ounce nugget of gold than a five carat diamond. In fact, there is more steel created per hour than there has been gold dug up throughout history.
Gold is money
Beginning in 550 BC, gold circulated around the world as currency before the introduction of paper money. Gold works well for this purpose because it has a high value, is durable, portable and easily divisible. Today, gold is the only currency that cannot be debased or printed.
Gold has a wide range of uses
Due to gold’s unique properties, the metal has been revered by nearly all cultures. You may be surprised by how much you interact with gold every day in some way, shape or form.
- Jewelry: Because of its natural beauty, malleability and durability, gold is recognized around the world as the most popular metal for jewelry. In fact, jewelry sales make up the majority of consumer demand. Gold is also an integral part of cultural traditions and religious beliefs in many regions. For example, Indian families buy gold for various celebrations, ceremonies and festivals, as it is seen as a representation of wealth and blessings
- Technology: Being an efficient conductor of electricity that does not corrode, trace amounts of gold are found in nearly all electronic devices such as smart phones, televisions, vehicles, GPS, and computers. Interestingly, gold is also extremely valuable in the aerospace industry. Gold is used in aeronautical circuitry, as a lubricant for mechanical parts, and as a liner in space suits and shuttles to protect astronauts from the sun’s radiation and heat.
- Dentistry and Medicine: Gold is known to have been used in dentistry since as early as 700 BC. Today, gold is the industry’s first choice for replacing broken or missing teeth, filling cavities, and inserting crowns and bridges as it is relatively easy to insert, chemically inert and nonallergenic. In the medical field, gold is used as a drug to treat specific medical conditions. For instance, small amounts of gold isotopes are used in certain radiation treatments and diagnosis.
Source: World Gold Council.