Being a part of the multicultural and diverse South Asian community, we all have incorporated the use of gold in our daily lives. The amount of gold owned by the women of the house often defines the status of a family. However, there are multiple uses of gold that not many of us are aware of.
In this article, we’ll not only be discussing the uses of gold but will also be getting into some facts about gold that you have never heard before. The chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79 is the only true yellow metal on the planet Earth.
5 Facts About Gold You Never Knew Before
1. Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity
One of the many facts about gold is that as a metal, it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity; however, not being as good as silver or copper. Metals conduct electricity depending on how well their atoms share electrons easily.
Gold being resistant towards oxidization and corrosion continues to move electrons even if occasionally exposed to the atmosphere, which is why various electrical contact surfaces are plated with microscopic gold.
2. A single ounce of gold can be stretched to a 5 miles long thread
Gold is extremely ductile, which means that it can be deformed without losing toughness, making it pliable and not brittle. This is one of the primary reasons why gold jewelry and products are not made out of 100% pure gold.
The thing that you might not know as facts about gold is that gold products we see in real life are usually formed from a mixture of gold, copper, silver, platinum, nickel, and zinc, mixed in different proportions.
Note: Gold threads are used for embroidery.
3. All the gold in the universe probably came from colliding neutron stars
One of the unique facts about gold that not many are aware of is that the yellow metal is thought to be a product of the collision of neutron stars in supernova nucleosynthesis and to have been present in the dust from which our Solar System was formed.
In 2017, the spectroscopic signatures of heavy elements, including gold, were observed by electromagnetic observatories in the GW170817 neutron star merger event, after gravitational wave detectors confirmed the event as a neutron star merger.
4. Gold is odorless and tasteless
High purity gold metal is entirely odorless and tasteless because of its unreactive nature. Gold is a noble metal that is relatively unreactive and resists degradation by air, moisture, and acidic conditions. Usually, the metal ions give flavor and odor to their metallic elements and compounds.
5. Gold is extremely malleable
Malleability is measured by how easily a matter can be hammered into thin sheets. Gold is an extremely malleable element. 1 ounce of pure gold can be beaten into a 300 square foot sheet easily and can further be made thin enough to be transparent. Very thin sheets of gold might appear greenish blue because gold strongly reflects red & yellow.
What is Gold used for – 8 Unique Uses of Gold:
1. Medicinal & Dental
One of the oldest uses of gold has been seen in medicinal practices like dentistry. Gold’s properties of being extremely unreactive metals are what make it the best filling for cavities, crowns, bridges, and other orthodontic appliances. Additionally, due to gold’s ductile and malleable nature, it is easier to mold it into any shape and size.
Surprisingly, what you might not know is that the uses of gold go beyond dentistry in medicine. It is also used as a drug to treat a few medicinal conditions like arthritis and other related diseases.
2. Computers and Electronics
We already know that gold is a great conductor of electricity, which is why it is used in small portions as a base conductor for many electrical devices like mobile phones. Gold can carry electrical charges easily. Gold’s chemical properties make it useful for manufacturing computer parts and electronics.
3. NASA’s use of gold in Space Exploration
One of the unique uses of gold tat many are not aware of is its use by NASA is tasks of space exploration. Metals like gold and platinum have been used in mirrors of space telescopes, with a protective layer of some other material.
These reflectors help control temperature in environments high in radiation. NASA’s pieces of equipment are covered in gold sheets as it acts as a shield against radiation and heat from the sun, helping keep the astronauts and instruments cool in the space.
Other unique uses of gold include that in the form of edibles. The use of edible gold in your food serves as a display of your wealth and status, especially in countries like India and Asia, where the gold is gently pressed or brushed on their sweets. The golden leaf is also added in bottled liquors like Goldschläger to add a glittery touch to it.
But what is gold used for in edibles? Do they hold any health benefits? The truth is, as long as gold is consumed in its pure form, your body can’t absorb or digest it, and it is just used as a way to showcase your expensive taste.
Some popular edible uses of gold include:
- Indian sweets
- Over exotic chocolates
5. Investing and Finances
Gold holds a high and standard return value, which is why it has been regarded as a form of currency for centuries. Even today, gold is considered a safe asset, and individuals buy gold bars as a source of investment. It is the most preferred investment, which has raised the precious meal’s place in the market.
6. Statues and medals
Gold is widely used in the making of medals and trophies for sports championships, leagues, and other awards. It is considered to be highly auspicious and a precious metal, which makes it a symbol of victory over other metals like silver and copper used for runner up position in sports. In places like India and Thailand, there are multiple idols of gods that have been made out of gold that is used in temples and households.
Gold is the most widely used for creating jewelry, especially in places like South-Asia, where gold jewelry stands as a symbol of femininity and wealth. Statistics claim that over 80% of the total gold is converted into jewelry and is regarded to bring prosperity and wealth in most cultures. Different cultures indulge in different kinds of jewelry. While some use it mainly in the form of a necklace and rings other cultures create gold jewelry in the form of,
- Kamar band
- Toe rings
- Anklets, and more
Some of you might be surprised to hear this, but yes, uses of gold are made in some forms of buildings and architecture. Not only is gold used on the surface of many religious buildings, but it is also used in building naturally lit skyscrapers through glass surfaces. Gold sheet is often used as a surface reflector for such windows and skyscrapers that help limit the heat & glare of the sun while breathtaking naturally lit interiors.
Gold symbolizes prosperity, affluence, and success, but at the same time, people are not aware of the uses of gold for things other than jewelry and statues. We hope this article helped you gain knowledge about the multiple uses and facts about gold that are not known to the common public. So the next time someone mentions the importance of having gold to show off your wealth and status, talk to them about the other uses of gold, and spread the knowledge.