Gold is a chemical element so it can only be found, not manufactured. It is largely inert, which means:- (i) It is almost totally immune to decay, (ii) it is not very useful in any industrial/chemical processes which use it up and (iii) it is easy to store cheaply for long periods.

It is remarkable for its rarity, density, softness, and its very good electrical conductivity.

Gold finds a small number of industrial uses arising from its physical qualities. It is used in dentistry and in the manufacture of some electronics which require high quality non-corrosive contacts.

However its genuinely practical uses are numerically insignificant. Of all the gold dug from the Earth the bulk of it us used in these three ways:-

  • As a personal adornment, where its colour and its relationship to wealth contribute to its use in jewelry manufacture (~60% of the global supply)
  • As a public store of wealth - backing monetary systems (~20% of the global supply)
  • As a private store of wealth (~15% of the global supply)

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