10 Bizarre And Unusual Uses For Gold
Gold has been one of the most sought after materials on the planet throughout human history. Everyone from the rich and the powerful to ordinary members of the public have felt the pull of its allure. The fact that it has a distinctive and pleasing look, is soft so can be easily molded into shape, and is relatively rare has made gold valuable. While it is most commonly used as a form of currency or to create jewelry because of these properties, the element also has some far stranger uses that you may not know about.
While many medical implants will be made of strong materials that is designed to mimic the properties of bone or muscle, gold is occasionally used in things ranging from pacemakers to eyelid implants to help those with paralysis. The metal is particularly useful in surgeries simply because it is very resistant to bacteria and doesn’t erode quickly, meaning infections are much less likely and parts won’t have to be replaced.
Gold has been used in all kinds of cosmetic and beauty treatments for hundreds of years. In fact, the process dates back to at least ancient Egypt and China, where people would rub thin flakes of gold into their skin. They believed it helped to eradicate wrinkles and keep skin looking young, something that many people today still also think considering the number of spas that offer similar treatments.
Food & Drink
The allure of gold is so strong that some companies have even included it in their food and drinks. Several alcoholic beverages, such as champagne and vodka brands, include gold flakes mixed in to create a unique visual presentation. Meanwhile, the same flakes are also used in cooking to decorate cakes and desserts as the thin gold is edible.
Certain properties of gold make it an ideal conductor of electricity. This has made the material an essential part of wiring, circuits and almost any computer chip that has ever been made since the 1930s. It’s even possible to buy special cables with gold plated connectors that stores claim will improve signal strength and quality.
As a precious metal, gold is often used as something of a status symbol amongst the rich and the powerful. It should come as no surprise then that some companies have created expensive vanity products for clients with certain tastes. This has even spread to cigars that sell for up to $500 each that are wrapped in 24-carat gold. Called the Black Tie, they are only available in exclusive Las Vegas hotels and casinos.
New printing techniques have been developed in the past few years that utilize gold in various forms. One of these is the use of gold plated photo paper that can provide a high quality image that will last for longer than those printed on more traditional mediums. Additionally, some printers have now been made to work exclusively with gold infused ink.
NASA and other space agencies have long used gold in a variety of ways for their missions away from planet Earth. The visor on the suits worn by astronauts are coated in gold to prevent radiation and heat from the sun from hitting the person inside, while rockets and spacecraft are similarly coated in the metal to ensure they don’t overheat.
The Royal Bank Plaza Towers in Toronto, Canada have a very distinctive look thanks to the fact that every single one of the 14,000 windows has been coated in 24-carat gold. The thin layers uses approximately 2,500 ounces of the metal and is estimated to be worth $1 million. Oxford Properties completed the project in order to insulate the building, providing significant energy saving.
Abu Dhabi has seen the introduction of several Gold To Go ATMs over the past few years. Rather than allowing customers to withdraw cash, they actually pay out in gold bars. The machines also offer a variety of engraved coins and plates that can be purchased as souvenir. The price for the gold bars and coins is calculated via a computer that is connected to the internet and can look up the current market prices for the metal.
For many of the same reasons that gold is used in medical implants, doctors also use the metal when treating victims of prostate cancer. Tiny pieces of gold, that are only as big as a single grain of rice, are inserted into the prostate to act as a marker for the surgeons. This gives a clear and accurate idea of the size and shape of a tumor, giving medical personnel a good idea of how to proceed with treatment.