We all know that gold is not always used for monetary purposes or in jewellery. Due to its many qualities, the precious metal has countless uses in other sectors including technology, medicine and even food supplements. What most of us may have never imaged, however, is to find gold in one of the following quite unusual products launched this year (click on each image to see it full-size):
1. Gold pills:
In a clever attempt to make a statement about excesses in the luxury industry, designer Ken Courtney and artist Tobias Wong have produced a series of extremely flashy and ridiculous products, such as these 24K, swallowable gold pills.
The 20 mm pills, created in 2005, are currently being sold for “only” $425 each.
They are part of the collection called “Indulgences,” which also includes this pair of 24K gold Nike shoes.
More affordable, but not less surprising is to see gold being incorporated into drinks, such as the popular cinnamon schnapps booze Goldschlager. Each bottle has, in fact, miniscule fragments of gold foil that can be consumed. Gold foil can be shaved to put on top of chocolates to donuts.
3. A cupcake
Not “any cupcake,” but the most expensive and made out of edible gold one. The $28,000 confection, called the Golden Phoenix, was made by Bloomsbury, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
4. Smoke your gold
And then there is the gold cigar, a real hand-rolled Dominican cigar wrapped in thin 24-karat gold leaf.
5. A shiny yellow BBQ
High-end Aussie grill maker Beef Eater made a backyard grill that has everything a normal device would have, except it is covered in 24-carat gold. The company made only one of the golden grills, for the Sydney Home Show in 2007. “It’s for the man who has everything and wants more,” wrote Peter Woodland, managing director of BeefEater, in a blog post headlined, Pimp My Grill.
6. A credit card
A bank in Kazakhstan introduced in October an exclusive credit card made of gold, diamonds and mother of pearl. You may think twice about handing this credit card to your waiter.
7. A gold-plated iPhone
Right after Apple launched its latest smart phone version, London jeweller Gold & Co. hit the market with a 24-karat gold-plated iPhone 5 for $4,380.
The visors of astronaut helmets contain gold because of the effective protection against space radiation the precious metal offers.
9. Beauty products
Chinese beauty product manufacturer Umo offers skin rejuvenation based on a 24 K gold massage, as well as creams and other products containing gold.
10. Paint and Leaf
We are not referring here about golden paint, as in the colour, but to the fact some industries use a very thin gold leaf, which is attached to the paint in the building process, and it is later to give it a unique shiny look, such as these helmets.
Gold is often used in the production of the motherboards of both desk computers and laptops. It is also the best conductor of electricity and, as such, is currently used in many electronic parts of devices from cell phones to TVs.
Gold fillings or caps for teeth risk not the most common current application of gold. The yellow shiny metal is used these days in medical implants from stents to pace makers because it is resistant to bacteria and deterioration.
Today the metal is primarily used to treat patients with arthritis. Gold salts are used to reduce swelling, bone damage and to relieve joint pain and stiffness. It’s a slow process; patients generally receive 22 weeks of gold injections before experiencing relief.
There are a few golden structures in the world, but India’s Sripuram Golden Temple is the biggest. The spiritual park is made out of 1.5 tons of gold. The gold leafing provides a durable and corrosion-resistant covering, according to GoldPrice.com.