Between 10 and 15 per cent of the annual gold production is used in the industry.
From 2008 until 2009 industrial demand for gold dropped by 13 per cent.
In 2010 the gold supply stood at 4108 tonnes (2659 tons from mine production, neg. 116 tons hedging, 87 tonnes central banks sellings and 1653 gold recycling). Demand from industry was 420 tonnes, or 10 per cent. This is 287 tonnes for the electronics industry, 50 tonnes for dentistry, and 83 tons for other industrial purposes. In contrast, jewellery demand stood at 2060 tonnes.
Gold’s superior characteristics make it a well-regarded metal for industrial purposes. For example, with one ounce of gold it is possible to produce a thread of 150km, or a gold foil of 40m2.
In the industry gold is mostly used for electronics, optics and medicine.
In the electronic industry, gold is used for wiring and as electrical connectors. The advantages of this material are its highly conductivity, resistant to corrosion and lack of toxicity. Other uses are in the commercial chemistry. In dentistry, gold alloys are used in tooth restorations. In medicine, gold can be applied as a conductive coating. As gold reflects infrared light 98%, this metal is used as a coating on glasses and mirrors. Besides the increasing number of appliances for industrial gold, demand also expands due to the strong economic performance of emerging countries. Currently, only the minority of industrial gold is used in industrialized countries.
Besides these uses, gold is, or will be used for the following purposes: gold-based therapeutics, diagnostic technologies based on gold, as catalysts in industrial processes, for water purification and advanced consumer electronics.