Gold is an ancient metal of wealth, commerce and beauty, but it also has a number of unique properties that make it invaluable to industy. These properties include:
- Resistance to corrosion
- Electrical conductivity
- Ductility and malleability
- Infrared (heat) reflectivity
- Thermal conductivity
Gold’s superior electrical conductivity, malleability, and resistance to corrosion have made it vital in components used in a wide range of electronic products and equipment, including computers, telephones, cellular phones, and home appliances.
Gold has extraordinarily high reflective powers that are relied upon in the shielding that protects spacecrafts and satellites from solar radiation and in industrial and medical lasers that use gold-coated reflectors to focus light energy. And because gold is biologically inactive, it has become a vital tool for medical research and is even used in the direct treatment of arthritis and other intractable diseases.
The demand for gold in industry is steady and growing. The supply of gold from stored inventory and from mining operations is limited and will remain so. Demand from investors who want to posses this precious metal is steady, and increases during periods of world crises or instability. The result is a market with much more upside potential than down.
Gold is an excellent hedge against inflation, and protects earnings for the future. Modern investors can invest in gold the traditional way — by purchasing gold bullion in the form of bars or coins — or they can trade in gold or gold futures electronically, or by investing in gold mining or refining companies.
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