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An Overview Of The Most Common Uses For Gold

By Molly Mchannon

Gold has an assortment of valuable qualities that other metals lack. It can function as a conductor, be melted and thinned, is impervious to tarnish, and of course, is visually appealing. The precious metal has been used by many civilizations throughout the world in various capacities. While most people in Western societies think of gold as the basis of jewelry, it has far more potential.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the uses for gold that are still relevant today. You’ll discover that the metal is more versatile than you may have imagined.

Currency And Other Financial Uses

Gold has historically been used as a currency (i.e. unit of exchange), or in modern times, to back a fiat currency. Unlike paper currencies, the precious metal cannot be arbitrarily produced. It can be mined, but additions to the world’s store of gold are limited. Hence, gold is considered a stable store of value.

Thousands of years ago, transactions between buyers and sellers occurred by exchanging gold coins of varying weights. Today, most gold is kept in bars. Transactions occur using paper bills that technically represent IOUs with the creditworthiness of the host nation partly determined by its gold supply.

Memory Chips

Because gold is such an effective conductor, it is used in computers. The motherboards of laptops and desktop PCs rely on gold to transmit digital information quickly and seamlessly. While the cost of including the precious metal in computers is high, its contribution to the PC’s overall performance and dependability warrants it.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Medical Conditions

The use of gold is more prevalent in the medical field than many people realize. The metal is used in certain diagnostic tests as a trace material that can be tracked in a patient’s body. It is also used to treat certain ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. In the latter case, the metal is used as a seed to target radiation therapy.

Medals And Others Symbols Of Achievement

Gold has been used in medals for thousands of years. Its use ranges from gold medals presented to the top Olympians to crowns placed on the heads of kings. It is essentially a status symbol that communicates authority or rank, or an act of achievement. For example, the statuettes presented to winners at each year’s Academy Awards are made from gold-plated britannium.

Jewelry And Personal Adornments

One of the most common uses for gold – and certainly the most well-known – is for the creation of jewelry. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and other adornments have been designed with gold since its discovery. In fact, the majority of gold that is mined today goes toward the production of such decorative items.

In addition to being visually appealing, the metal resists tarnish and is easy to work with. However, because it is too soft in pure form, other metals are added to it in order to lend support and durability. These other metals include silver, copper, and palladium.

How To Sell Your Gold

If you have old jewelry hidden away, you can sell it to an online buyer. You’ll receive less than the current price of a troy ounce, but selling it is still worthwhile if you’re in need of funds. Moreover, with gold prices recently smashing through historic highs, now may be an ideal time to take advantage of the bull market. A sufficient volume of gold jewelry and other pieces of scrap gold can produce a check for hundreds of extra dollars.

Some experts feel the price per troy ounce is due for a correction (i.e. prices may drop). This gives added impetus to selling. First, determine how much gold is contained in your old jewelry and scrap items. Then, look for an online gold refiner who can offer you a fair and competitive price.

The best online resource for Cash For Gold or sell Gold Online can be found at

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mchannon, Molly "An Overview Of The Most Common Uses For Gold." An Overview Of The Most Common Uses For Gold. 4 Jul. 2010. 25 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Mchannon, M (2010, July 4). An Overview Of The Most Common Uses For Gold. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Mchannon, Molly "An Overview Of The Most Common Uses For Gold"

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