Precious metals are needed all around the world. Precious metals are chemically inert elements that occur naturally. Currently, the natural elements considered as precious metals are gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. There are companies that do exploration for these important metals, and investors buy stock in companies like OTCMKTS:PALDF. Despite the various distinct uses of precious metals, they are commonly used as jewellery, coinage, and art. What are the common uses of precious metals in this day and age?
Store of Value
Precious metals are scarce to find and hence considered as being of high value. Due to this factor, they are viewed as an asset or store of wealth. Nowadays, the public can buy shares of precious metals that are traded on the stock exchange.
Many reasons make this type of investment suitable. Firstly, commonly traded precious metals, i.e., gold and silver, are hedged against inflation and economic downturn. On the other hand, the most widely used means of storing wealth, cash, is pegged to the dollar. Hence, while the value of precious metals is protected, currencies are exposed to adverse fluctuations. Ultimately, inflation hurts your investment. As a result, many investors opt to save their wealth in the form of precious metals.
Most precious metals have a unique exquisite and aesthetic appearance. Despite being expensive, precious metals ensure that the owner of the jewellery gets an outstanding appearance. For centuries, gold and silver have been sought after by customers who want top-notch jewellery. They are easily malleable into different pieces of jewellery, such as necklaces and earrings. All precious metals are famed for their durability hence will not wear out after constant use.
All precious metals are good conductors of electricity. Thus, they are suitable for use as vital components of electric equipment. For instance, silver electrodes are utilized in the manufacture of high-definition Plasma televisions. Most devices with a touch-screen have a flat membrane switch behind the screen made of silver paste. Silver is also integrated with zinc to make energy storage reservoirs such as laptop batteries.
Platinum has properties that make it ideal for high voltage equipment. Hence, it is used in thermocouples and fine resistance wires that pass a significant amount of electric current. Platinum alloy provides a magnetic coat to hard disk drives.
Palladium is mainly used globally to manufacture catalytic converters that help vehicles reduce air pollution by cars (Hsu, n.d.). Palladium is a crucial component in the manufacture of chips and circuits found in almost all technological devices. This field prefers other metals since it achieves the same thickness as other metals while being very light.
Teeth Restoration by Dentists
Precious metals have a long history in the dentistry field. They are easily malleable into the desired teeth shape and design. Platinum and palladium are the leading precious metals used in the restoration of teeth. They are mixed with small amounts of gold or silver or some other metals in different ratios. The result is the production of solid alloys that are fixed on crowns. The alloy acts as the foundation upon which an artificial tooth is built.
Dentists prefer platinum and palladium as their alloys create robust, stiff, and long-lasting crowns.
Gold, silver, and platinum are used in medicine to facilitate cancer treatment. Various nanoparticle technologies use precious metals as part of cancer treatment strategies. Exposure of gold nanoshells to light wavelengths leads to the death of the surrounding tumor tissue. Further, these nanoshells have a thick diameter that enhances their effectiveness in the photothermal ablation of cancers. Additionally, silver nanoparticles have healing properties and also improve the effectiveness of cancer drugs. Platinum nanoparticles contain platinum ions that limit the damage cancer cells have on DNA
The most critical aspect of precious metals is that they are antioxidants. Hence, they do not easily corrode. Some metals are highly malleable, a factor that makes them the best choice for use as utensils. A good example is silver metal.
Many people across the globe use silverware because of its distinctive, beautiful look. Apart from silver being a symbol of wealth and class, it has multiple health benefits. For starters, eating food with silver utensils increases hemoglobin levels in the body. The utensils also aid in ensuring that food and water remain fresh over a long time. Utensils made of silver can maintain food freshness for close to four hours, while other materials only last for half an hour.
Soldering and Brazing
Precious metals are used in connection strips and wire, soldered joints, relay contacts, and switches. Their high strength, elasticity, and malleability capabilities make them a good choice for soldering and brazing.