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Fun on Friday: Some Truly Odd Uses for Gold

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People love gold!

It is well known for its use as money and jewelry. But over the years, people have found some truly odd uses for the yellow metal.

I’ve shared some of these with you in past Fun on Friday columns. For instance, we had the golden toilet. And remember when the gold toilet was stolen?  Or how about mixing gold with your coffee? It pairs nicely with a gold brownie.

Well, today I’ve got some other strange uses for gold for ya.

How about gold pills.

Designer Ken Courtney and artist Tobias Wong produced 24K, swallowable gold pills. This was back in 2005. The pills were filled with gold leaf and cost $425 at the time. The point was to make you poop gold. I’m not sure there has ever been a worse use for gold.

That advertising was priceless though.

Sh!t glitter. It’s a little gold pill that will, yes, literally make your sh!t glitter. This little pill is dipped in gold and filled with 24-karat gold leaves and will make your poo all glittery and sparkling.”

So — there ya go.

I didn’t make that up. That was the ad.

OK. You don’t want to poop gold. How about smoking your gold? You can get a hand-rolled Dominican cigar featuring gold leaf. Quite a bargain at just around $140. But this also seems like a waste of gold to me – but not quite as bad as pooping it.

So, let me ask you this: would you feel better about cleaning your house if you could do it with a gold vacuum cleaner? Because that’s a thing. Go Vacuum made a 24K gold carpet sweeper. The company only manufactured 100 of these vacuums and sold them for $1 million back in 2012. Somehow, I think if you can afford a $1 million vacuum, you probably aren’t doing a lot of vacuuming.

These luxury items made from gold actually reveals a truth. Gold has intrinsic value. You’d never sell a plain old vacuum for $1 million. But cover it in gold, people view it as special.

Here’s a much more practical use for gold. Did you know the yellow metal is used to help keep airplane windows clear? A very thin gold plate over the glass is electrically charged which de-ices the window at high altitude.

And how’s this for a techie use of gold? An Australian company called NanoLipo uses gold nanoparticles and infrared light to “melt” fat. It’s an alternative to liposuction.

NanoLipo uses a solution of gold nanorods injected into fat, where the particles diffuse through the fat because they are so tiny. An infrared laser beam is then applied to the area from outside of the skin, which heats the gold and bursts the fat cell. This creates the melting effect, which is actually burst fat cells with their liquid contents released. The liquified fat is then suctioned out with a needle.”

That sounds painful. And expensive.

Even if you’re not in the market for weird gold products – or liposuction – you should still consider buying gold. As I type this, the yellow metal is knocking on the door of its all-time record price in dollar terms. And I think it has a long way to run up. For more on that, you can email a SchiffGold precious metals specialist at [email protected]

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.


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About The Author

Michael Maharrey is the managing editor of the SchiffGold blog, and the host of the Friday Gold Wrap Podcast and It's Your Dime interview series.
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