Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. One single gram can be beaten into a sheet 1 square meter, or drawn into a 200 meter long wire.
It can be beaten thin enough to become almost translucent. The filtered light appears greenish blue because gold strongly reflects yellow and red. Such semi-transparent sheets strongly reflect infrared light too, making them useful infrared (radiant heat) shields in visors of heat-resistant suits and in sun-visors for spacesuits.
Gold easily creates alloys with many other metals. These alloys can be produced to modify the hardness and other metallurgical properties, to control melting point or to create exotic colours.
It is also a good conductor of heat and electricity and strongly reflects infrared radiation. Chemically, it is unaffected by air, moisture and most corrosive reagents, and is therefore suited for use in coins and jewelry and as a protective coating on other, more reactive, metals. However, it is not chemically inert.
Utilizzi nell’industria e nella società
The precious metal has different uses, either in industry and in society.
It is found, for example, in jewelry, where it is used for joining different jewelry components through small soldering processes. It is also used in embroidery, as it can be made into thread.
In photography it is used to shift the colour or to increase its stability.
Thanks to its quality as a good reflector of electromagnetic radiation, it is used for the protective coatings on many artificial satellites, in infrared protective faceplates, in thermal protection suits, in astronauts’ helmets, and as a layer on some high-end CDs.
In auto mechanics, we can use gold for heat dissipation. McLaren uses gold foil in the engine compartment of its F1 model.
It is used also in some aircraft cockpit windows, since the heat produced by the resistance of the gold is enough to deter ice from forming and gold can be drawn into very thin wire that it looks translucent.
Concerning gold as an investment it is divided in two types: physical and financial. Physical gold is constituted by bars, plaques or jewelry articles. Whoever is willing to invest, gold can be bought with metal accounts, just like a current bank account. Gold can either be bought or sold even without keeping and/nor physically withdrawing it.
Financial transactions can be done with acquired gold.
Our product has the great advantage of being easy to sell since there are different sales channels.
The value of gold, as can be seen on the chart bellow, has grown significantly in the last 40 years.
The current price allows Inti Gold Global II to obtain very strong returns from the extraction and washing of gold ores. Even assuming that gold price reaches 13 euro a gram it would be in any case an interest-bearing business concerning the semi-industrial extraction.
Gold is even rarer than platinum, even if, since platinum is dispersed more regularly in the earth’s crust, it is actually more difficult to find deposits of platinum worth digging.
So gold is found more frequently in concentrations that makes the extraction convenient. The average gold concentration in the earth’s crust is 0.005 parts per million, but in some areas such mineral concentration deviates significantly constituting a favourable territory for the extraction.
Gold concentration process occurs either above and below the earth’s surface. Above the surface alluvial gold is found concentrated in the rivers as a result of the water flow. Below the earth’s surface there are lodes, often in combination with deposits of other metals, among which sulphite and pyrite.
For over 3,000 years, gold is used as a means of economic wealth. Why? The answer lies, rather than the intrinsic characteristics of gold, in its rarity. Nowadays gold is becoming harder to find and consequently to extract.
At the beginning, it was mostly used in the production artifacts and ornaments, often for sacred rituals. Many artifacts, also of fine workmanship, were produced by pre-Columbian civilisations, but unfortunately many of them were lost because of melting so that they could be carried in Spain by ship.
Following the development of many mines at the times of King Midas, gold started to be used as a coin, becoming a real alternative of barter. The first coins were minted by King Croesus of Lydia. Gold had its consecration in the form of coin in 1861 in England, with a system called “Gold Standard”. Also other nations followed (Germany in 1872 and the United States of America in 1900) and adopted this choice. Free coinage begun, in which gold had a leading role either as a coin than in a raw form, with freedom to export and import between the various countries, in a fairly stable exchange rate system.
Unfortunately the beginning of World War I disrupted the balance, and the gold system ended. It was then taken up in 1925 and in 1927 by Great Britain and France when they went back to the pre-war system, and in addition “Gold Exchange Standard” was established, that is to say the possibility of converting the currency used in gold. The market had to be regularised therefore in 1944 there was a conference between 44 countries at the Bretton Woods: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was formed and gold price was set at USD 35 per ounce.
In the Sixties, gold had an important role as store value for the first time because of the major crisis the dollar went through, and on March 17th 1968 the gold market was officially born, in which its price was based on supply and demand. In 1976, all IMF member countries decided to abolish the official price of gold, putting an end to the two-tier market, leaving the precious metal to the free market only in favour of an economic dollar-based system, just like it is today. Nowadays even the intensive use of precious metals in the main technologies pushes up their quotation.
Metals, also including rare earth metals, are increasingly used in advanced technologies and, unfortunately, they are not recycled. Recycling this metal is indeed still complex and costly, which means that the reduction of such precious metal will contribute to the price explosion in the next 20 years.
Gold is used with electronic, medical, dental, industrial purposes in the nanotechnology, aeronautics and automotive sector.
High-tech, computer, mobile and tablet producers have a constant need of precious metals, so much that in 2011 only they have used 320 tons.
It is easy to understand why gold is so popular and generally recognised as a means of capital buffer: in fact while the currencies suffer due to constant devaluation (because of the ever-more financial crisis and the provision of liquidity on the market), gold, as a precious metal, has a high intrinsic value that in the near future can only increase since the constant demand will only increase in value.
The intrinsic value of something is dictated by the material with which it is composed. A gold coin therefore will have as much value as the gold it is composed. The role of gold, in terms of long-term investment, is confirmed in the course of the last years, when we are witnessing one of the most important periods of economic crisis in history.
The Gresham law explains why. Let us make an example: having a gold coin and a few dollars (or whatever currency whose value depreciates) and having to buy something from a seller who accepts both payment methods, which medium of exchange would you choose?
Here it is the central issue: “bad” money loses continuously its value, therefore we spend it, whereas we keep the good money.
The fact that gold money is not used as a means of payment does not mean that it is lower than banknotes, quite the opposite.
Investors consider gold as a vital part of their portfolio, given the persistent macro-economic uncertainties.