Gold is often compared to crypto-currency for holding intrinsic value but most people don’t really get where the true monetary value of gold comes from, just like with silver. At best it’s pushed as a store of value to guard against inflation but the reason it’s perfect for that lies in more than the fact that it happens to be a very pretty metal.
Gold occurs in the Earth’s crust in free elemental form as nuggets and grains in rocks, veins and alluvial deposits. Miners do the work of unearthing, sorting and washing the gold to yield something they can then melt down into whatever shape they want, usually bars to start for sale.
From there the uses are numerous and more are being found every day.
1) Food: Very thin gold leaf has been decorating food and drink for a long time. It isn’t digestible but is also non-toxic making it the perfect decadent food decoration. There are also gold leaf infused rolling papers sold.
2) Glass: Used as a colorant in glass, it produces a rich ruby color. In artistic glassblowing, gold fuming is a technique used to add ghostly pinkish hues to otherwise clear glass. In construction, glass tinted with gold is used for climate controlled buildings.
3) Currency: One of its oldest uses is currency in coins or other forms. It has more value density for its weight meaning you can store a lot of value
4) Investment: It’s not just good for currency but for use as a long term investment. It’s a good store of wealth to guard you against things like inflation. Central banks store gold because of its value density.
5) Jewelry: The number one use for gold is jewelry.
6) Electronics: Much like silver because of its high conductivity, it’s heavily used in electronics like your cell phone and computer.
7) Gold Leaf in Construction: Surprisingly non-corrosive and durable, gold leaf makes a decent outer layer to a building.
8) Cosmetics: It’s anti-aging properties as well as it’s ability to help with blood circulation make it useful for cosmetic products.
9)Medicine: It’s used in medicine for everything from helping with the treatment of cancer to arthritis to general diagnosis.
10) Dentistry: Being non-toxic and non-corrosive, it’s been used in dental fillings.
11) 3D Printing: People have been doing 3D printing with gold.
12) Aerospace: It’s used in space travel equipment because of its ability to reflect radiation and its usability in electronics.
New uses for gold are being developed all the time. What gives gold it’s value is not just its appearance but the fact that it serves many uses in addition to that. The main reason crypto-currency is compared to gold is because the fact that they both have many uses as well as a limited availability. The combination makes them valuable!