For centuries, gold has been desirable for its rarity,
beauty and unique properties. Since gold is highly valued and in
very limited supply, it has long been used as a medium of exchange.
Today, about 78% of the gold consumed each year is
used to manufacture jewelry, and approximately 12% of demand for
gold is from industrial uses. Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity,
is extremely resistant to corrosion and is one of the most chemically
stable elements, making it critically important in electronics and
other high-tech applications.
The most important industrial use of gold is in the
manufacture of electronics. A small amount of gold is used in almost
every sophisticated electronic device. Gold's unique properties make
it also useful in medical applications.
The following graph sets forth for the periods
indicated by the New York Commodities Exchange the price of gold in
U.S. dollars per troy ounce.