Things Gold is Used For

Gold has been valued for its beauty since ancient times and has always symbolized great wealth. The golden calf was the most valuable idol that the Israelites wandering in the desert could imagine to save them.

The legendary King Midas derived his power and fame from his mythical ability to change

everything he touched to gold. Gold was among the gifts brought by the wise men to the newborn baby Jesus. The desire for gold, and its power as a status symbol, has led to some highly unusual products and uses in recent years. Here are just a few.

Gold has become part of some of the most expensive dishes in the world in the form of edible gold leaf. Edible gold is sold in a variety of formats, including thin sheets of gold leaf and tubes of gold leaf flakes. It is sold in gourmet stores and even on Amazon.com, and it certainly makes a dish seem extravagant, though the gold itself has no taste or calories.

Still, talk about preparing a rich dish! Similarly, there are several brands of vodka that are infused with gold flakes, a cinnamon schnapps liqueur called Goldschlager, and a famous blackberry wine that also features gold flakes. Numerous brands of candy and chocolate that have gold leaf enhancements are advertised as wonderful Valentine's Day gifts, and in Japan there is a special green tea called Golden Celebration that is served with golden flakes. Another extravagant and temporary use of edible gold is the Golden Fire cigar. Cigars and gold both evoke a sense of power, and this Dominican cigar is wrapped in real gold leaf.

Beyond edible gold, owning everyday items that are covered in gold has become a status symbol for those who want to advertise their wealth. A company called Goldgenie has made its mark by gold plating IPods, IPads and IPhones among other things, while VoodooPC has created a gold-plated desktop computer. Internet searches for gold-plated items yield such extravagances as a 24Karat gold-plated sports car, a gold-plated backpack, gold and diamond ear buds, and even a gold-plated vibrator.

But perhaps the most famous and dumbfounding use of gold for an everyday object can be found in Hong Kong, in the showroom of the Hang Fung Gold Technology Group. This company has created a tourist attraction called the "Hall of Gold", and it's most popular feature is a working toilet that is entirely made of 24 Karat gold.

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