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Precious Metals in the Medical Field

Many people do not understand the fascinating overlap between Precious Metals and the medical industry. The healing properties of Precious Metals have been a closely held belief among humankind for millennia. Cleopatra is rumored to have slept in a Gold face mask for beauty and in the 16th century French noblewoman Diane de Poitiers drank so much Gold that when modern scientists analyzed a lock of her hair, it contained more than 500 times the normal levels of the Precious Metal. These were privileged and intelligent women of their times and their belief in the healing properties of Gold is indicative of the commonly held beliefs of their societies. Fascinatingly, humankind still turns to Gold and the other Precious Metals in matters of health, but the applications have definitely evolved.

Precious Metals in Medicine

There are many legitimate applications of Precious Metals in medicine. The antimicrobial properties of Gold and Silver, for example, mean Silver is the active ingredient in popular burn salves and Gold is used in fashioning certain types of implants. For example, facial prosthetics are often attached via implanted Gold apparatus. Platinum is sometimes used in cancer treatments and Gold is sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. As fascinating as these medicinal uses of Precious Metals may be, they are not the main occurrence of Precious Metals in the medical industry. For that, we must look at a different area of medicine.

Precious Metals in Medical Equipment

The leaps and bounds made in medical equipment in the last few decades have been thanks in large part to the amazing strides made in electronic technology. If you often browse the APMEX site, you may know how much the electronics industry owes to Precious Metal. Think of the vast field of medical equipment and you will realize it encompasses everything from the Gold wires in pacemakers to the Platinum in the catalytic converter of the ambulance. X-ray film depends on Silver, laboratory crucibles and tongs are often made of Platinum and electrophysiology catheters are tipped in Platinum. The medical applications of Gold, Silver and Platinum in the medical field impact the demand for these Precious Metals. There is so much Precious Metal tied to various pieces of medical equipment that there are commonly lists to help hospital administrators strip decommissioned hospital equipment of recyclable Precious Metals! Just think of all the circuit boards in every heart monitor, ultrasound machine and computer in your local hospital… it’s staggering when you realize what all of that Precious Metal may amount to if pooled together.

We at APMEX spend a lot of time thinking about how Precious Metal may enrich us financially. We look at Precious Metal investment to secure future comfort and stability, but we should also recognize the other ways Precious Metal enriches our lives. The strides made in healthcare that depend on the application of Precious Metals in medicine and medical equipment must not be overlooked, as good health is also part of a secure and comfortable future.

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