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Apple’s New Toy Features High-Tech Metal Composite

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

The buzz over the Apple Watch reached deafening proportions this week as the company loosed its latest technological marvel on the world. There was much to discuss about this expensive electronic newcomer, particularly for folks interested in the metal trade.

Frank Holmes, CEO of U.S. Global Investors, told the media earlier this month that, "even if the luxury watch contains only one troy ounce, it is still an unfathomable—perhaps even unprecedented—amount of gold for a single company, even one as large as Apple, to consume."

But word on the street is that Apple is employing a special technique to use less gold than you'd guess in its watches.

It should come as a surprise to no one that a company well established as an innovator would innovate further with its latest headline-making offering—namely, with the precious metal employed in the gold-cased luxury edition of its watch.

Apple's 18-karat hybrid of yellow and rose "Apple gold" has attracted the metals markets' attention, thanks particularly to a patent it's filed for a unique production method that makes gold stronger than the standard while using less gold by volume.

The Internet is buzzing with conjecture about how Apple pulled this trick off. The best explanations hone in on the critical detail that gold is not a pure metal but an alloy. And in the Apple smartwatch case, it contains not the standard mix of gold, silver, and copper; but gold mixed with ceramic. These low-density particles make the gold harder and more resistant to scratches without adding a lot of weight.

The world—metal workers prominent among them—will undoubtedly "watch" the developments that spring from this novelty with interest.

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