The Wide World of Precious Metals: From Aesthetic to Cancer Cure

by | Mar 3, 2016 | Alloys

You may immediately think of gold or platinum when it comes to precious metals, but in fact, precious metal alloys are used in a wide range of industries. Industry leaders like ACI Alloys, Inc. specialize in custom creation of these materials for different businesses, since it’s necessary to understand the different types of industry that uses them. Here are a few different types of businesses that you’ll find using precious metal alloys.

The Art of Jewelry
This is one of the most obvious industries that use precious metals, given that the type of metal used is part of the art of jewelry making. There are even patented metal alloys, such as Platinaire, which is made from silver and platinum. Metal alloys that are artificially created as well as ones that occur organically in nature are not only desired for their value, but also for the aesthetic properties they can yield. There are different colors and tones that emerge from particular types of metals, which makes these types of alloys in the jewelry business different than simply being used for practical applications. Gold is always a popular color when it comes to wedding rings, for example, but even that can change as interest from traditional jewelry turns to more contemporary alloy options.

Cancer Treatment
Recently, doctors and scientists have begun to experiment using gold to treat cancer. Smithsonian Magazine describes the process as the use of gold nanoparticles, where the tiny particles are injected into patients. They’re small enough to slip through a tumor’s blood vessels and accumulate there. This is where the unique use of gold comes in. Due to the fact that gold can absorb certain light wavelengths, the oncologist can effectively cause the gold nanoparticles to heat and destroy the tumor from the inside out. In effect, gold doesn’t have only monetary value, but also potentially holds the key to saving the lives of cancer patients.

These two applications are as different as night and day, since one centers around art, and the other around essential medical treatment. Whether you’re dealing with a precious metal or a precious metal alloy, these applications require the knowledge of experts. The last thing you want is to end up having a precious metal like gold or platinum combined into the wrong thing, particularly due to the value of each. Precision is key when it comes to working with precious metals in the world of metallurgy.

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