Gold is the most malleable and softest of all metals. It is often alloyed with other metals to increase its hardness, in particular in the jewellery, dental or electronic industries. It is an important component in almost all consumer electronics, such as audio equipment, mobile phones and digital cameras. Gold is used in decorative elements and is to be found on glass or ceramics. Due to its chemical stability, gold does not become dull or corroded and remains an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.
In the world market, purchasers of gold come from all sorts of commercial sectors. Gold consumption is greatest in the jewellery industry (43%), followed by the investment sector, consisting of investments in gold bars and gold coins at 29%. In addition, the gold reserves in national banks account for 12% of gold consumption. The remainder is used by the electronics industry and for dental applications.