We’re all familiar with gold jewellery like gold watches, bracelets and rings. You’re probably also familiar with the gold-plating of luxury items like iPhones and cars, and you might even have come across gold leaf used for decorating or even in food preperation, but there are some uses for gold that are less well-know and a bit more surprising.

Read on to find out some surprising uses for gold.

1. Gold in pharmaceuticals

For centuries the Chinese have used gold as a vaccine, crediting it as a cure or way to ward off everything from smallpox to measles. Between the 1920’s and 1990’s gold was also a common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis with gold flakes (gold sodium thiomalate) being injected into muscles, veins and given orally. Treatments with fewer side effects are now preferred as it was unclear how beneficial the treatment actually was for patients.

2. Gold in health supplements

In Japan it has become common for their culture to ingest thin films of gold in beverages and food as a sort of “vitamin”. Similarly to this, gold is ingested as a powder or tablet in India and Egypt.

3. Gold Implants

Although the most commonly assumed gold “implant” for most people would be gold fillings or gold caps on teeth, it is also used for medical implants. The gold is resistant to bacteria and deterioration making it beneficial for use from stents to pace makers.

4. Body treatments containing gold

For hundreds of years gold has been used in all kinds of cosmetic and beauty treatments. This process dates back to (at least) ancient Egypt and China wherein people would rub thin flakes of gold into their skin. They believed this would eradicate wrinkles and keep skin looking young. Considering the amount of spas that still offer similar treatments, it is probably something that people still believe today. Food/drink – Several alcoholic drinks, such as champagne and vodka brands, now include gold flakes mixed in to create a unique visual presentation – making your drinking experience seem more luxurious. Gold flake is also becoming more popular in food, some companies and restaurants top their food (mainly desserts) with thin flakes of gold as this is edible.

5. Astronaut suits containing gold for insulation

NASA and other space agencies have long used gold in many ways for their missions. The visor on the suits that astronauts wear are coated in gold to prevent radiation and heat from the sun from hitting the person inside. Rockets and spacecraft’s are similarly coated in gold to ensure that they do not overheat.

6. Decorative gold on buildings

There are a few golden structures located around the world, such as The Royal Bank Plaza Towers in Toronto, Canada. The buildings distinctive look is due to a 24-carat gold coating on each of its 14,000 windows. The thin layers used approximately 2,500 ounces of the precious metal and is estimated to be worth $1 million.

The project, completed by Oxford Properties, was done in order to insulate the building, providing significant energy savings.

Got any gold items you want to sell?

If you have any scrap gold lying around that you do not wish to use for any of these purposes then why not come to Victoria House, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 7DB and sell it with us! We use the latest in gold testing and analysis technology to ensure your gold is priced up accurately. Why not drop in and see us or give us a call on 0161 273 2511 for more information!