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Fun on Friday: Wanna Take My Bet?

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I bet you have gold within arm’s reach right now — even if you aren’t wearing any jewelry.

Wanna take my bet?

It’s in your cell phone!

If your cellphone is within arm’s reach, so is a little bit of gold.

According to the US Geological Survey, the average cell phone has about 0.034 grams of gold inside. That equals about 0.001 troy ounces and is worth roughly $1.86. So, no – I don’t recommend busting into your phone to get the gold. But it’s there.

On a side-note, your phone also contains about 0.35 grams of silver.

Now, before you start getting all cocky thinking you won the bet because you’re reading this on a computer, not a cell phone — well, you still lose. The average laptop contains about 0.1 grams of gold.

Checkmate.

Now obviously, that’s not a whole lot of gold. But it adds up. Think about all of the cell phones and computers in the world.

In fact, through the first half of 2020, over 139 tons of gold had been used in technological and industrial applications, according to the World Gold Council. Gold is not just being used in electronics. It is becoming an extremely important metal in the medical field.  Gold nanoparticles serve as an excellent vehicle for targeting medications to very specific areas of the body. Gold is also useful in medical imaging and testing.  In 2018, a team of Chinese researchers announced they were able to partially restored the sight of blind mice by replacing their deteriorated photoreceptors – sensory structures inside the eye that respond to light – with nano-wires made of gold and titanium.

This seriously undercuts the notion that “gold is just a useless metal.”

Yes. People actually say silly things like this.

In fact, last year, CNBC commentator Jim Leventhal said gold has no uses as a metal — on national TV. I mean, that’s just embarrassing. Maybe he needs some of those gold photoreceptors the mice got so he can see more clearly.

Look, Leventhal isn’t dumb.  He has a degree in molecular biology from Princeton, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, and he’s a CFA. But that statement – sorry – dumb.

Peter called him out on his podcast at the time.

This guy has got a mind. Yet he knows nothing about one thing and that’s gold … I’m like, ‘What?’ Gold has no uses as a metal? I mean, as a matter of fact, gold has more uses than any other metal on the planet. It is the most useful metal that exists. If you don’t believe me, just Google it yourself and you’ll find out. And yet, this guy doesn’t think it has any uses as a metal.”

I’ll save you the trouble of Googling. You can read about 10 important uses for gold right here.

The bottom line is gold is an extremely important metal. It would probably have even more uses if it wasn’t so rare and expensive. The truth is gold did not become money because it wasn’t useful for anything else. Its role as money actually evolved because it is so valuable and has so many uses.

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.

Get Peter Schiff’s key gold headlines in your inbox every week – click here – for a free subscription to his exclusive weekly email updates.
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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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