While there are a number of minerals mind on the planet, there is none that’s more useful and precious than gold. It boasts a wide range of special properties that contribute to its usefulness. Gold can be drawn into the wire, conducts electricity, is easy to work with, allows with numerous other metals, can be compressed into thin sheets, has a brilliant luster and wonderful color, can be melted and formed into highly detailed shapes and does not tarnish. Thus, it cannot be denied that gold occupies a special place amongst humans. Today, gold is used in plethora of industries because it can come in handy.
Some of the top uses of gold in various industries are outlined below:
The Jewelry Industry
For thousands of years, the primary use of gold is to make ornamental objects and pieces of jewelry. One of the first metals that humans ever used were gold nuggets found in a stream and they are also easy to work with. Most of the gold that’s mined these days or recycled is used for the purpose of making jewelry. It has special properties that make it ideal for manufacturing jewelry, but different qualities are used, which are judged according to ‘karats’.
The Financial Industry
Since gold is in a limited supply and highly valued, it has been used as money or a medium of exchange. The first use of gold in conducting financial transactions can be traced as far back as 6000 years. Pieces of gold or silver were used because they were portable, durable and divisible easily. From then, it moved onto being used as a financial backing for currencies or cash for gold. Now, it is not used in transactions any longer, but it is issued in specific weights and purchased for the purpose of investment. Gold coins are also issued for similar purposes.
The Electronics Industry
Gold is also used in the manufacturing of electronics. Very low currents and voltages are used by solid state electronic devices and they are easily interrupted by corrosion or get tarnished at contact points. These tiny currents can easily be carried by gold as it is a conductor that remains free of corrosion. Gold is used for making connecting strips, connecting wires, soldered joints, switch and relay contacts and connectors as electronic components made with it are highly reliable. Almost every sophisticated electronic device such as calculators, cell phones, global positioning system (GPS) units, personal digital assistants etc. contain some gold.
The Aerospace Industry
Vehicles that are designed by the aerospace industry have to travel to a huge distance to destinations where there is absolutely no possibility of maintenance, lubrication and repair. Therefore, extremely dependable materials are used in their making, which include gold. Almost every space vehicle launched by NASA contains some gold in some way. As it is a dependable conductor, it is used in circuitry. Also, gold-coated polyester film is used in several parts of the space vehicle and it is also used as a lubricant between mechanical parts.