All that bling weighing you down?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying… go for the gold!
Gold LITE, that is!
You heard right! Raffaele Mezzenga’s team from ETH Zurich have created lightweight eighteen carat gold. This new form of gold weighs nearly TEN times LESS than conventional gold! How did it reach featherweight class? The secret is in its composition.
Conventional eighteen carat gold is three-quarters gold and one-quarter copper. Mezzenga’s team replaced the copper with plastic-like material. They embedded tiny gold crystals into a special pattern made of protein and latex. This pattern also has tiny invisible pockets of air, making it lightweight.
Gold lite’s insides are similar to plastic, but the outside shimmers just like regular gold. And that’s not all! Less heat is needed to make lovely baubles and trinkets, which means higher efficiency.
It’s mechanically strong, eco-friendly and most importantly… affordable! Scientists hope to use this gold in modern jewelery, watches, and electronic components.
So, I guess all that glitters is STILL gold, after all! But does it come in pink?