Gold is a slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal. It is a relatively rare element and is considered a precious metal that has been used for coinage, jewellery, and other arts throughout recorded history.
In the past, a gold standard was often implemented as a monetary policy, but gold coins ceased to be minted as a circulating currency in the 1930s, and the world gold standard was abandoned for a fiat currency system after 1971.
The most popular of all the precious metals is Gold and is often used as a financial investment. Physical gold allows investors to diversify their investment risk and even though the gold market can be volatile, it has historically been most effective as a safe haven and hedge investment.
A total of 186,700 tonnes of gold exists above ground, as of 2015. The world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, and 10% in industry because of its good conductivity of electricity. This has led to its use in corrosion-resistant electrical connectors in all types of electronic / computerised devices (its chief industrial use).
There are many organisations that deal in Gold and other precious metals like Silver, Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium
- The Royal Mint The Royal Mint is a government-owned mint that produces coins for the United Kingdom. Operating under the name Royal Mint Ltd and is wholly owned by Her Majesty's Treasury and is under an exclusive contract to supply all the nation's coinage including Gold and Silver.
- GoldMoney has been around since 2001 and three branch locations: Toronto, Jersey and New York. The metals are held in vaults located in London (UK), Canada, Switzerland and Singapore.
- BullionVault is also located in London and was founded in 2005. It lets private investors all over the world access the bullion markets and is the world largest online Gold investment service.
- Gold is often used in jewellery like rings, bracelets and even earrings because it does not tarnish and maintains it's value over time.
- Gold is also used in electronic circuits, mainly on contacts as the connection won't degrade over time. There are now many companies that get old discarded electronics (mobile phones, smart TVs, RAM chips, etc) and extract gold and other precious metals. See photo below.