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Applications and Uses for Gold

Pure gold is too soft for ordinary use and is hardened by alloying with silver, copper, and other metals. Gold and its many alloys are most often used in jewelry, coinage and as a standard for monetary exchange in many countries. Because of golds' high electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion and other desirable combinations of physical and chemical properties, gold also emerged in the late 20th century as an essential industrial metal.

  • Gold can be made into thread and used in embroidery.
  • Gold performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products.
  • The resistance to oxidation of gold has led to its widespread use as thin layers electroplated on the surface of electrical connectors to ensure a good connection.
  • Gold is used in restorative dentistry especially in tooth restorations such as gold crowns and gold bridges.
  • Colloidal gold (a gold nanoparticle) is an intensely colored solution that is currently studied in many labs for medical, biological and other applications. Colloidal gold is also the form used as gold paint on ceramics prior to firing.
  • Chlorauric acid is used in photography for toning the silver image.
  • Gold(III) chloride is used as a catalyst in organic chemistry. Gold(III) chloride is also the usual starting point for making other gold compounds.
  • Disodium aurothiomalate is a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (administered intramuscularly). It inhibits lymphocyte proliferation, lysosomal enzyme release, the release of reactive oxygen species from macrophages, and IL-1 production. However, it can also cause photosensitive rashes, gastrointestinal disturbance, and kidney damage.
  • The gold isotope Au-198, (half-life: 2.7 days) is used in some cancer treatments and for treating other diseases.
  • Gold is used as a coating enabling biological material to be viewed under a scanning electron microscope.
  • Many competitions and honors, such as the Olympics and the Nobel Prize, award a gold medal to the winner (with silver to the second-place finisher, and bronze to the third.) Gold is seen as the peak of achievement or honour.
  • Since gold is a good reflector of both infrared and visible light, gold is used for the protective coatings on many artificial satellites.
  • Gold flake is used on and in some gourmet sweets and drinks. Having no reactivity, gold adds no taste but is taken as a delicacy.
  • White gold (an alloy of gold with platinum, palladium, nickel, and/or zinc) serves as a substitute for platinum.
  • Green gold (a gold/silver alloy) is used in specialized jewelry while gold alloys with copper (reddish color) are more widely used for that purpose (rose gold).

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