Gold for what it is
Gold a rare, soft, yellow noble metal that has since the evolution of mankind & trade been used for making of jewellery, adornment purposes and money. Found deep inside the earth's core, it gets its rare characteristic from the fact that all the gold brought above the earth's surface since evolution is still in existence in some form or the other.
An investor's safe haven, a base for currencies in the form of gold standard in the modern day world, the metal's chemical properties make it a utility metal both in electronics and dental work. The latter due to its non-corrosive nature. Gold is a stabilizer humans rely on in the face of every sociopolitical & economic crisis.
They say gold was first discovered as shinning yellow nuggets, in streams all over the world, therefore, was first introduced to Hominids. The metals brilliance , natural beauty & lustre, malleability and resistance to tarnish made it part of every human culture.
Occuring in a virtually pure and workable state, its early uses were undoubtedly ornamental, and its brilliance and permanence linked it to deities and royalty in early civilizations .
How did gold come to be a commodity, a measurable unit of value? Gold, measured out, became money. The ease with which it could be melted, formed, and measured made it a natural trading medium. Gold gave rise to the concept of money itself; portable, private, and permanent. Gold and silver in standardized coins came to replace barter arrangements. During the classic period of Greek and Roman rule in the west, gold and silver both flowed to India for spices, and to China for silk. At the height of the Empire (A.D. 98-160), Roman gold and silver coins reigned from Britain to North Africa and Egypt. Money had been invented; they called it gold; linked to countries and currencies as 'gold standard' to this day.
Uses Of Gold
Gold's malleable nature makes it easy to give it desired shape and size, making it a suitable metal for intricate and delicately designed jewellery. This is done by alloying it with other base metals to give it a harder feel. Copper, aluminium, silver being some of its alloys. Palladium or gold nickel alloy mix gives gold its white gold form. As air and moisture have no affect on it, it is the choice metal for jewellery and coins as they would not discolor or corrode. The bright yellow color makes it the obvious choice of the fashion industry.
Gold as a safe haven investment vehicle in the form of coins, bars, and bullion has caught investor fancy of late. In the year 2011, consumption of gold in these investments was witnessed to the tune of 37%. A sure indication of retail preference towards this nature of investment. The reason for this being investor's concern for safeguarding of wealth in the face of inflation or heightening financial crisis. The Asian market is also seen following the same trend, with India and China in the lead. Gold ETF's have also emerged as investment preference with a 7% end use requirement. Data reveals that 290 tonnes of gold has been absorbed by ETF investments.
Industrial use of gold in electronic items as an efficient conductor has created a huge market for this metal. A 55 % rise in gold consumption has been seen over the past decade, mainly in areas like mobile technology, handheld electronics and computers. This consumption now accounts for a total eight percent end use requirement.