Gold is perhaps the one precious metal that has fascinated man above any other. People have planned robberies to steal gold, there have been excavations to discover ancient gold artifacts, and pirates supposedly buried their gold on desert islands.
According to the History Channel, the American gold rush began in 1849. It was after the previous year’s discovery of some gold nuggets that thousands of prospectors descended on California in the hope of striking it rich.
Today gold is used in many ways. The most visible purpose is for jewelry, and the metal is highly popular for engagement and wedding rings. It is also used in technology in a variety of ways. And of course, it is sometimes bought merely as an investment.
Is gold still a good investment in 2022?
Precious metals are being used as part of long-term investments linked to IRAs now. Many people are choosing to plan for their retirement by putting their money into some precious metals.
As a short-term investment, gold may not be the most suitable choice. The Macrotrends 100-year gold price chart shows clearly how volatile the metal can be at times. However, it also shows that over the years, an investment in gold will generally lead to a healthy return after some time.
This chart shows significant spikes in 1980, 2011, and more recently, 2020. Although there was an alarming drop in 2001, gold has since rallied again.
Where should you buy gold from?
There are several approaches to buying gold, and it would depend on your purpose. For a gold IRA, you would need to start an account and go through the correct channels.
If you simply wanted to buy jewelry then you can do so online, or visit a local goldsmith.
If however, you wanted something a little different, then you could try another kind of gold dealer. The first Krugerrand to be minted in South Africa was in 1967. This was done to help promote and market gold from the nation.
Investing in krugerrand gold coins can be an interesting way to collect gold, and set up a possible healthy ROI in the future.
Alternatively, you could look at all your old tech lying around, and see what you have there.
Why is gold used in technology products?
Gold has been described as being the world’s most useful metal. It features in a broad range of products.
- Medals and trophies
Gold is used in technology for a number of reasons. Firstly, it has very high conductivity. It will not corrode or tarnish either. Other conductive metals such as copper and silver don’t have the same qualities as gold. Also, gold is easy to work with and is pliable.
What common technology uses gold?
While people generally think of gold as something to be worn as jewelry, and as something precious and expensive, you will likely have more gold in your home than you realize.
Granted, what gold you have is hidden away, and probably not worth as much as you may hope. But it is there.
Nearly every modern electronic device will have some degree of gold inside it. It is used for wiring as it is soft and conductive, and will also be used as decoration. Smartphones contain gold to make them work more efficiently, but some designers have gone a step further.
The Caviar Solarius Zenith Full Gold iPhone 11 Pro actually has a back made from 24-carat gold and is studded with diamonds. Nevertheless, most consumer electronics have somewhat less flashy appearances.
Common items to use gold would be smartphones, calculators, laptops, watches, televisions, PDAs, and GPS. Technology is full of small amounts of gold, and the medical world has embraced this metal too.
Gold in aerospace and the medical profession
Two industries that have overseen many of the biggest advances in technology are aerospace and the medical world.
Gold is very reflective, so it can be used to help control temperatures in aerospace technology. Also, as has been mentioned before, gold has very good conductivity making it perfect for this application.
The medical world has also found many uses for gold. Because the human body doesn’t reject gold, and it has a very low reactivity when used this way, some uses in the medical profession may be surprising. Gold is used to coat pacemakers and stents as it won’t corrode once fitted inside a patient.
Gold nanoparticle technology is also being used to treat cancer patients and has been proven to aid with quality of life and recovery.
Can you reclaim gold from old tech?
It is said that every year, tens of millions of dollars are chucked away through the disposal of smartphones and other electronic devices.
There is a potential gold mine in your drawer if you have a bunch of old mobile devices that are no longer being used. Technology can help maintain relationships, and getting some gold from your old tech may help too.
However, before you get too excited, it should be pointed out that smartphones don’t contain a huge amount of gold. It is likely you have somewhere in the region of 0.034 grams of gold in your smartphone.
You will also have platinum, silver, and copper. All of which will amount to somewhere in the region of $2.30. Hopefully, you read this before you removed the back from a healthy iPhone to get at the precious metals.
Recyclers exist though, and these people are actively mining smartphones. It takes about 40 or so phones to mine 1 gram of gold. Seeing as around 1.5 billion phones are sold each year, the potential for mining discarded devices is huge.
The use of gold is quite astounding, and technology requires this precious metal to function well. If you are looking at gold investment for beginners then you could consider becoming a smartphone recycler.
However, you’ll probably make more money by buying krugerrands for a longer-term investment. One thing worth noting though, is most wedding rings only weigh about 1 gram. So, if you happened to have 40 mobile phones lying about you could be onto a winner.