Gold

Currency, Jewellery and Industrial Applications

Desired for its beauty and scarcity gold has adorned mankind through the ages and has played an integral role in the monetary system for nearly as long. Its unique properties also make it ideal for many technological and scientific applications in the modern economy.

Wherever found, gold has always been fashioned into jewellery to be worn as a status symbol or given as a sign of love to be passed on from one generation to the next. The earliest gold jewellery dates from around 6,000 years ago and today its production consumes 60% of the gold mined.

Prior to 2000 BC gold weights were used to trade in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and China and it has been a medium of exchange and integral part of the global monetary system since. While inflation steadily erodes the value of the world’s currencies, gold has demonstrated its role as a store of wealth, maintaining its purchasing power over the years. Contributing to its allure as a medium of exchange is its scarcity and the fact that it does not corrode or tarnish and is highly malleable. As no-one’s liability gold lacks credit risk and can provide a crisis hedge to preserve wealth through financial turmoil.

Although financial markets are subject to constant innovation, gold remains a permanent fixture. It is held by Central Banks as a reserve asset and complements equity and fixed income assets in investment portfolios. The creation of products like exchange traded funds have provided a secure and easy way to add gold to investment portfolios and benefit from the countercyclical diversification that it provides.

While best known as a store of wealth, gold’s unrivalled properties – it combines high conductivity with corrosion resistance, and can be physically manipulated as it is both highly malleable and ductile- means it is often the material of choice for many industrial applications. For instance, in the electronics industry gold bonding wire is used to ensure reliability of the ubiquitous microchip that runs everything from the internet to your smart phone. Gold’s diverse applications include its use in diesel catalytic convertors to lower emissions, in bacteria resistant implants for the inner ear , in coatings on architectural glass to reduce energy consumption, and in fuel cells and jet engines. Gold has also played a key role in space exploration such as the layer of gold on astronauts’ helmets to provide protection from deadly doses of radiation.

Information presented in this website was accurate at the time of posting; however, some information may be superseded by subsequent disclosures. The reader is cautioned to review all postings to ensure they are aware of any updated information.

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