How much gold do computer circuit boards contain?

The global gold mining industry has been a significant and lucrative sector, with an estimated value of around $135 billion per year. Gold has been historically valued for its use in various applications, including jewelry, investment, and electronics. Approximately 2% of the total global gold production is used in electronics. While it may seem like a small percentage, the amount of gold used in electronics can still be substantial due to the large scale of gold mining and production. Electronics manufacturers utilize gold primarily for its excellent electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance, making it ideal for applications where reliable electrical connections are crucial, such as connectors and other critical components. Gold is used in computers in very small quantities, primarily in the form of gold plating on certain connectors and components. The gold used in computers is typically not in the form of jewelry-grade gold with a specific karat rating. Instead, it is usually in the form of electroplated gold, which is applied to specific areas for its excellent electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion. The gold used in computers is generally referred to as “electronic gold” or “gold plating.” It is usually a thin layer of gold applied to the surface of connector pins, edge connectors, and certain circuit board traces. This gold plating helps ensure reliable electrical connections and prevents oxidation and corrosion, which could affect the performance of the computer. The amount of gold used in a single computer is very small, often just a few grams or less. Due to the small quantities involved and the specialized use for electronics, the gold used in computers does not carry a karat rating like jewelry-grade gold. It’s important to note that while gold is used in computers, the overall amount is relatively insignificant compared to other materials like silicon, copper, and various metals used in electronic components and circuitry. The use of gold in computers is primarily to enhance the device’s reliability and performance in critical areas where reliable electrical connections are essential. And most computers have a gold content of just 3-5ppm, not enough to extract gold from. And indeed, Amiga computers do not incorporate gold in their circuit boards, chips, or other internal components. Most of the electronic components in Amiga computers are made from materials like silicon, copper, aluminum, and various types of plastics. While gold is used in some high-end electronics for specific purposes, it is not a standard material found in consumer-grade personal computers like the Commodore Amiga. And it would be sad to destroy any remaining Commodore Amiga computers for any possible small amount of gold.

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