Fine jewellers have a predisposition for working with one precious metal in particular, namely gold. And we can’t say that we blame them — there’s something absolutely mesmerising about the shiny, warm glow of a perfectly polished piece of gold jewellery.
In fact, jewellers and their acolytes love gold so much that more than half of the world’s global gold supply goes into jewellery manufacturing. Half! That is a whole lot of jewellery.
However, jewellers are not the only people to love gold. For centuries, gold has been cherished as a ‘safe haven’ for storage of value when times were tough (more in this in another chapter). It’s therefore not surprising that the investment sector, and central banks in particular, are the next largest customers for gold, with the US Federal reserve holding $310 billion worth of gold in reserves (I find it both fascinating and slightly unsettling to imagine huge stockpiles of goldbars sitting in various bank basements around the world).
What you’ll perhaps find slightly more surprising, is how the remaining ~10% of the world’s gold supply is used. This is snatched up by the automotive industry for instance, who uses gold in catalytic converters (if you’re not a car person, this might make you revisit that). It’s also used by jet engineers, who put gold in jet engines (!). Even more surprising perhaps, gold is used for different medicinal purposes, for example to inhibit the growth of certain cancer tumours, or in the early diagnostic of HIV. And then there’s the electronics sector — did you know that your mobile phone most likely contains gold? It is used in tiny amounts in circuit boards to conduct electricity.
One thing is for sure, we like our gold in jewellery. Discover our selection of gold jewellery here.