Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Gold and silver are some of the oldest rare metals known to man and have been used for varying purposes throughout history. Today, Gold and Silver are used widely in industry amongst other applications.
Gold is increasingly finding usage in industry due to its range of favorable properties. Gold has been used in dentistry, jewelry as well as in the manufacture of industrial applications. The use of Gold has been necessitated by favorable properties such as:
•Its resistance to corrosion
•Efficient electrical conductivity.
•Gold has suitable Thermal Conductivity
•High Ductile and Malleable
Today, Gold is used in a variety of industrial applications such as manufacture of electronics components, equipment such as computers, mobile phones and home appliances. These applications have been made possible by Gold’s superior electrical conductivity, high malleability and resistance to wear and corrosion.
With a high infrared reflectivity, Gold has found suitable usage in the manufacture of shielding used to protect spacecrafts and satellites from the effects of solar radiation. In addition, industrial and medical lasers also make use of a Gold coated reflector that focuses light energy. In medical research, Gold is extensively being used as it portends no harm to the body. Gold has traditionally been used in the treatment and management of arthritis amounts others intractable diseases.
There has been a steady growth in industrial demand for Gold. Currently, most of the world’s gold supply goes into the Jewellery industry.
Silver has been used historically for various purposes, ranging from medicine, coinage to industry. Silver has the best electrical conductivity properties of all metals and does not corrode. Silver has widely been used in the production of coins and silverware. However, recent years have witnessed a fall in global silver supply, as demand from industry continues to grow.
Silver use in industry has also been made possible by the metal’s favorable properties. Today, the US leads in overall global silver consumption. The photography industry also takes a considerable amount of the overall silver supply globally. Silver is used in the manufacture if color film used in shutter cameras.
However, the advent of the digital camera has somewhat affected the uptake of silver in the photography industry. Silver demand is also driven by the electronics industry. Electronics manufacturers prefer silver due to its high electrical conductivity per unit volume. However, its high price and unavailability has seen silver replaced by Copper.
Silver is also used in the manufacture of switch and relay contacts for vehicles and automotive window heating systems. Today, a very small amount of silver is used in coinage. Major silver miners in the world include Peru, the US, Canada, Spain, Australia and Mexico.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Gold Numbers and facts
Some of the more extraordinary statistics which gold has accumulated across the centuries and around the world.
•79 protons - The atomic number of gold, which means there are 79 protons in the nucleus of every atom of gold.
•49ers - The 40,000 miners who joined the California Gold Rush in 1849 were called “49ers”. Only a very few ever got rich.
•50 miles - One ounce of gold can be stretched to a length of 50 miles; the resulting wire would be just five microns wide.
•7.2 Million - The number of times that all of the existing gold in the world, turned into 5 micron wire, could wrap around the planet.
•9 metres square - One ounce of pure gold could be hammered into a single sheet nine metres square.
•1064 degrees centigrade - Gold melts at 1064 degrees centigrade.
•2808 degrees centigrade - ...And only boils at 2808 degrees centigrade.
•165,000 tonnes - This is the total number of tonnes of gold mined since the beginning of civilisation.
•20 metres cubed - ... all of which would fit into a crate of 20 cubic metres..
•90% - Over 90 percent of the world’s gold has been mined since the California Gold Rush.
•100 million – 100 million people worldwide depend on gold mining for their livelihood.
•31.103 grams - The number of grams in a troy ounce of gold.
•400 troy ounces - The number of troy ounces in a “London Good Delivery Bar”.
•200 gold coins - Julius Caesar gave two hundred gold coins to each of his soldiers from the spoils of war in defeating Gaul.
•4,600 tonnes - Fort Knox holds 4,600 tonnes of gold.
•6,200 bars - And the US Federal Reserve holds 6,200.
•37 degrees - The temperature of the human body is 37 degrees centigrade. Because of gold’s unique conductivity, gold jewellery rapidly matches your body’s heat, becoming part of you.
•1 oz - It is rarer to find a one ounce nugget of gold than a five carat diamond.
•60% - The percentage of gold mined today that becomes jewellery.
•394% increase - The % increase in the price of gold from Dec 2000 to October 2010.
•750 parts per thousand - The number of parts per thousand of pure gold in 18 carat gold.
•95 BC - In 95 BC, Chinese Emperor Hsiao Wu I minted gold commemorative piece to celebrate the sighting of a unicorn.
•53cm - The largest gold coin ever minted, a 2007 Canadian $1,000,000 Maple Leaf is 53cm in diameter.
•1922 - Howard Carter made his famous “tiny breach of the top left hand corner of the doorway” to reveal the first glimpse of Tutankhamun’s tomb on 26 November 1922.
•15,000 tonnes - Even at only 10 parts of gold per quadrillion, the world’s oceans are estimated to hold up to 15,000 tonnes of gold.
•2316 troy ounces - The largest ever true gold nugget weighted 2316 troy ounces when found at Moliagul in Australia in 1969. It was called the “Welcome Stranger”.
•US $55 billion - In November 2010, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) fund, a World Gold Council sponsored exchange traded fund, held over $55 billion assets under management.
•60% - World Gold Council members collectively represent around 60% of all corporate mining activity.
•35 - The number of times gold has reached a new high in 2010.