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Gold is considered the ultimate in precious metals, perhaps the most valuable substance of all. Aurum, its Latin name, means Dawn of the Sun. Many ancient cultures have worshiped the sun and gold’s bright color associated it with divinity, royalty and good fortune. So it is not surprising that, along with frankincense and myrrh, it appears in the story of the Wise Men honoring the birth of the King of Kings. 

Civilizations from China to India, the Aztecs, Egyptians, Persians and Greeks all valued gold in coinage and artwork. The study of alchemy, a metaphysical practice shrouded in mystery,  attempted to change other metals into gold. Gold jewelry has always been prized and wearing it is said to be beneficial for arthritis by helping to relieve joint pain, stiffness and reduce swelling

In Ayurveda, the 5,000 year-old medicine of India, gold ash has been used to heal conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. The gold is burned multiple times and treated with various herbs and compounds as it becomes ash. Because of this process, nanoparticles of the ash can enter the cells and effectively address disease. In Chinese medicine it was used by physicians and surgeons to treat various ailments: smallpox, joint and lung diseases, seizures, palpitations and skin infections.

Gold nanoparticles are currently used as a targeted delivery system for drugs. Recently gold injections have been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Because gold is non toxic and malleable, in modern times it has been used in middle ear reconstruction, voice prostheses and dentistry. The same properties of biocompatibility and malleability make gold desirable for dental restorations. 

Although porcelain has become more popular for their natural appearance, gold is still in use under crowns (sometimes called caps) and for back teeth when more support for the bite is necessary. Gold will generally last twice as long as porcelain. Because gold is not considered hard enough for dental restorations, other metals like platinum are mixed in to harden it. While gold and platinum are both non toxic, other substances that may be added in may not be.