EVER since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, gold has been at the back of my mind, as I mostly wondered why the danged thing was given such importance worldwide.
After all, gold is only defined as “a yellow precious metal used especially in jewellery and decoration – and also to guarantee the value of national currencies.”
A ‘yellow, precious’ metal...? Sheesh! The adjective ’yellow’ has generally been used to describe a person who is cowardly, craven, spiritless, spineless, not brave, poor-spirited, poltroon, timid, lily-livered, faint-hearted, chicken-hearted, weak-kneed, timorous, pusillanimous, fearful, trembling/ quaking, shrinking, cowering, weak, feeble, soft, gutless, yellowbellied, wimpy/wimpish, recreant, sissy/sissified, wet, candy- assed, afraid of one’s own shadow.
So, how could/would/should a precious, valuable metal be yellow, for Gawd’s sake? Talk of Mother Nature, Father Time and the Sisters of Fate, all working in mysterious ways that are way beyond the ken of ordinary mortals like you and me! Yet; and yet... Gold has been respected, appreciated, revered and honoured from time immemorial.
The legendary Second King of the ancient United Kingdom of Israel-and-Judah, King David (circa 1000BCE) – who was the melodramatic slayer of the Philistine Giant Goliath – planned to construct the ‘Temple of God.’ In giving instructions on the project, the King directed that the Temple must be constructed and furnished using gold (and silver, bronze, iron, wood, etc.) here, there and over there... [See the Biblical 1 Chronicles 28: 1-21, et alia].
Let’s hit the F-F (Fast-Forward) button to modern times... The price of gold at the New York Mercantile Exchange reached $1,396.05 a troy ounce on July 10, 2019.
[See ‘Money Metals Exchange;’ < < “https:// www.moneymetals.com/precious- metals-charts/gold-price” \t “_blank” https://www.moneymetals. com/precious-metalscharts/ gold-price>].
The price on January 31, 2019 averaged $1,318.70 – up from $973.66 in 2009! Many people associate gold with jewellery, dental fillings and national reserves. However, if truth be told, gold is very much more than that.
There are many, many uses of the stuff in industry: medicine, computers, electronics. According to the Pennsylvania- based geologist, author and publisher Hobart M. King (), “of all the minerals mined from the Earth, none is more useful than gold.
Its usefulness is derived from a diversity of special properties: it conducts electricity; doesn’t tarnish; is very easy to work; can be drawn into wire, hammered into thin sheets; alloys with many other metals; can be melted and cast into highly-detailed shapes; has a wonderful colour (yellow? Sheesh!) and a brilliant lustre.
“Also, gold is a memorable metal that occupies a special place in the human mind...” [See ‘The Many Uses of Gold’ by H. M. King; “https://geology. com/minerals/gold/uses-ofgold. shtml” \t “_blank” https:// geology.com/minerals/gold/ uses-of-gold.shtml>]. Let’s look at a few examples of the many uses of gold...
• Jewellery: Gold has been used to make ornaments for thousands of years.
Today, about 78 per cent of the gold consumed yearly is used in jewellery. • Financial gold: coinage, bullion, backing: Because gold is highly-valued, is in very limited supply, durable and portable, it has long been used as a medium of exchange/money.
• Gold in electronics: The most important industrial use of gold is in the manufacture of electronics. Gold is the highly-efficient conductor that can carry tiny currents and remain un-corroded. It is used in connectors, switch and relay contacts, soldered joints, connecting wires and connection strips.
• Gold in computers: Gold is used in standard desktop and laptop computers. The rapid and accurate transmission of digital information through the computer – and from one component to another – requires an efficient, reliable conductor. Gold meets these requirements better than any other metal.
• Gold in glassmaking: Gold has many uses in the production of glass. It is also used in making specialty glass for climate-controlled buildings and cases.
• Gold in dentistry: Gold is used in dentistry because of its superior performance and aesthetic appeal. It is chemically inert, non-allergenic – and easy for dentists to work. Gold alloys are used for fillings, crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances.
• Gold in medicare/healthcare: Gold is used as a drug to treat a small number of medical conditions. Injections of weak solutions of sodium aurothiomalate or aurothioglucose are sometimes used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Particles of a radioactive gold isotope are implanted in tissues to serve as a radiation source in the treatment of certain cancers.
• Gold in aerospace: Gold is used in hundreds of ways in every space vehicle which the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launches.
• Gold in awards & status symbols: What metal is used to make royal Crowns? Gold is THE metal of highest esteem. Also, gold is the metal of choice for religious objects: crosses, communion-ware... First-place winners at the Olympic Games are given gold medals.
The Academy Awards Oscars, the Music Grammy Awards – and many important achievements – are honoured with Golden Awards. Now that you know the many uses of gold –