From time to time, you will hear people inexplicably say, “Gold is just a useless metal.” They claim that gold’s value is simply “a matter of faith.”
This is sheer nonsense. In fact, gold is one of the most useful metals on the planet and would probably have even more practical applications 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.
Here are 10 uses for gold beyond its function as money and a store of wealth.
Industrial demand for silver remains strong, particularly in electronic and electrical applications.
The Silver Institute highlighted the growing use of silver in electronics along with a number of technological innovations utilizing the white metal in the latest edition of Silver News.
Overall, gold used in technological applications grew 1% to 85.3 tons in the third quarter. That marked the eighth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth. Strong demand in the electronics sector helped drive overall industrial and tech demand for the yellow metal higher.
China will be a major player in the silver market in the years to come, according to a new report by the Silver Institute. The Chinese impact on silver comes from both the demand and supply sides of the equation.
China is by far the biggest silver consumer in the world. The Chinese account for about 18% of global fabrication demand and serves as a major destination for imported silver products fabricated in the US, Japan and other countries.
Meanwhile, China ranks as the third-largest silver-producing country in the world.
Technology will play a key role in driving precious metals demand in the coming years according to reports released this week by the World Gold Council and the Silver Institute.
The World Gold Council Gold Investor report for July focused on the growing use of gold in technology. According to the report, over the past decade, the tech sector accounted for more than 380 tons of gold demand annually. That’s 13% ahead of central bank purchases during the same time period. The demand for the yellow metal for tech applications logged its sixth consecutive quarter of gains in Q1 2018.
Technology is transforming the way we live, work and play, changing almost every aspect of our world, from industry to financial services to healthcare. Gold plays an integral part in this societal shift,” WGC CEO Aram Shishmanian said.
According to the World Gold Council, overall global demand for gold was soft in the first quarter of this year. But demand in the technology sector was particularly strong, marking its sixth consecutive quarterly gain.
Overall, demand for gold in technology and industry increased 4% to 82 tons year-on-year.
We think of platinum and palladium as the “industrial metals,” but in 2016, there was more gold used in industrial applications than either of these two metals.
According to a report released by the World Gold Council, demand for gold in electronics has been growing since the fourth quarter of 2016. On top of that, other emerging technologies in the health and energy sectors are also driving up the industrial demand for gold. All of this could have a positive impact on overall gold demand in the future.