The evolution of gold’s many uses has come a long way. Gold proved itself like no other metal. Check out these extraordinary gold factoids and see if you knew at least 3 out of 10!
- The age old quest of Alchemy to transform lead into gold was finally achieved in 1972, when Soviet physicists discovered a reaction that turned the lead shielding of an experimental nuclear reactor into gold.
- Gold rush in space? Eros, the asteroid studied by NASA in 1999 contains more gold than have ever been excavated on Earth. That is 20,000 million tons of gold along with similar amounts of silver, platinum just from 1 little asteroid. The potential is remarkable!
- The word “Gold“ originated from the Old English word for yellow – ‘geolu’.
- Did you know that Gold is a Lubricant? Not that kind of lubricant! Gold is often used as a lubricant between mechanical parts in space, where organic lubricants brake down due to radiation.
- There are micro-organisms that poop gold. Researchers are investigating how to genetically enhance Ralstonia metallidurans, a gold precipitating bacterium to process large quantities of gold.
- There are roughly 160 billion lbs of gold dissolved in seawater. However, the cost of extracting that gold from the ocean is higher than it’s worth.
- Gold alloy catalysts are replacing platinum and helping reduce the cost of fuel cell systems.
- Gold Water Purification. Recent research has revealed that gold nanoparticles can break down poisonous groundwater pollutants. Gold converts the toxic to non-toxic components instead of trapping them in the filter.
- Gold reflects infrared (heat) radiation better than any other metal. Astronaut helmet visors contain 24K gold film that helps to protects the eyes without interfering with vision. Gold plated mylar blankets cover many spacecraft and satellites to prevent overheating. F-16 Fighter Jets canopies are coated with gold for classified reasons, presumably to minimize radar signature.
- A radioactive isotope of gold (198Au) is used for treating cancer. When injected into the body it can specifically home in on tumor cells and destroy them with minimal collateral damage.
Every bit of recycling makes a difference. Recycling gold can be fun and profitable at the same time. If you don’t have a lot of gold jewelry lying around, that doesn’t mean that you can’t cash in on the higher prices of gold today. There are a lot of items in a common household that have gold in them – and you might not even be aware of how much gold you have, just sitting, unused, in your home or driveway.
If you want to make the most of recycling gold, here are the top 20 items you can look for on your gold scavenger hunt:
- Check your jewelry box first. Rings and jewelry are the most common things that people think of when they go looking for gold to sell.
- Fillings and caps and crowns were often gold in the past. Although most people won’t have them lying around their homes, it’s certainly not impossible to find your grandmother’s gangsta mouthpiece.
- Time to change your smoke detectors? Old smoke detectors contain gold.
- How about that old VCR? There’s some gold in there, and everything’s on DVD now, anyway.
- Have an old cell phone? There are gold connectors in it, you know.
- Have a coin collection? If you do, there may be gold coins in there, and prices for gold are insanely high right now. If you want to sell those coins, now might be a great time.
- That old junker in the side yard could be very valuable. Both anti-lock braking and airbag inflation system’s chips and contacts contain gold. Heat insulation in some cars can contain gold as well.
- Many old reading glasses have gold in them, so if you don’t use them anymore, you might be able to get a few dollars out of them.
- If you’ve won an important competition, there’s likely gold in that medal that’s collecting dust in a display case.
- Many old books have gold coating on the edges of the pages.
- Some clothing uses gold thread for embroidery.
- Gold salts can be bought for their healing properties, so if you’re into Eastern or holistic medicine you may have hidden treasure in your supplies.
- If you’re into herbal liqueur, you might have some Goldwasser around, which actually does contain gold.
- What about other old electronics like TVs, cameras, printers, and similar items? The opportunities are almost endless.
- High-end CDs have some gold in their reflective layer. If you’ve outgrown the music, don’t throw it away, recycle.
- Try looking through those kitchen cabinets. A lot of fancy mugs and plates have gold edging around them, and some silverware has gold on it, too.
- Gourmet food lover? There’s gold in many gourmet desserts.
- If you like scrapbooking, it’s possible you have some sheets of gold leaf tucked away.
- The cranberry glass in expensive decorations and some crafts contains gold.
- Like taking pictures? There’s gold in some photographic toners.
All of these items have at least small amounts of gold in them, and you can have a lot of fun digging through drawers and closets, hunting for gold you can recycle and sell right in your very own home!
Diesel emission and gold? Now does that sound like chalk and cheese? The latest news however, is that greener catalytic converters that contain gold as one of three metals will be used in diesel engines in order to control pollution. To date, a platinum-palladium blend was being used but with the addition of gold, it could mean better performance and a reduction in costs. The company that introduced this catalyst is a leader in nano particle materials and is called Nanostellar.
Will this new technology see a lot more gold being sold? Let’s look at the background. It was this very same company that introduced platinum-palladium catalysts to try and reduce the pollution that traditional diesel caused. When it was introduced in 2006, everyone was overjoyed that it would be around 30% better when it came to performance than the existing platinum catalysts. Well, now with the addition of gold to that blend, the performance is expected to be even 20% higher without costs increasing as gold prices are much less than platinum.
These catalysts have to be fitted onto every one of the two million heavy duty vehicles as well as the fourteen million light duty vehicles that are manufactured every year around the world. They are called DOCs or diesel oxidation catalysts and they are required by law so that the stringent emissions controls can be adhered to. Thus far, platinum in the catalyst meant that it was so expensive. The addition of palladium helped a bit as costs came down and now, with gold being a part of this blend, the amount of platinum can be significantly reduced. Gold, when it is used in the catalyst tends to increase the hydrocarbon oxidation activity thus reducing toxic emissions by as much as 40% when compared with the pure platinum catalytic converters and 20% when compared with the platinum-palladium ones.
What’s more, the proportions of each metal can be played around with to make it suit specific performance targets in engines. This could also be done when the price of one metal shoots up and costs need to be stabilized. Would many companies switch to this tri-metal option? It’s more than possible considering that there would be a great saving in price with performance getting better. From pure platinum to adding palladium which is one-fourth the cost to adding gold as well which is half the cost. With these additions, the performance of the catalysts goes up by around 20%. What’s there not to like in this new offering?
So if this is a new opportunity for gold sales, how much of it would be sold? Well, platinum demand for catalyst use is 250 tons so the sale of gold is also going to be a figure somewhere in that vicinity. The World Gold Council is no doubt very excited at the prospect of sales coming from a new and unexpected quarter – especially as potential demand could be huge. If that isn’t opening up a great new stream for gold, what is? Well, at Gold Kings, we keep a keen watch on all things that pertain to gold.