From Our Sister Site: The Many Uses Of Gold, Part 5

We have previously discussed why gold is valuable. It’s luster, and color make it a prized possession throughout the world. Cultures throughout the history of the world have long prized gold, uniting them against language divides and time. It conducts electricity, doesn’t tarnish, is easily drawn into wires hammered into sheets, can be melted, fused with other minerals, and can be made into heavily detailed shapes.
Today we are going to examine the medial usages of gold. As with electronics, and jewelry (both of which we have previously written about, and you can read if you are interested) gold’s intrinsic properties are what makes it so valuable.

While gold is not the most economically valuable metal, per se, when it comes to dentistry it is valued for different reasons. First, the cost to prepare gold for dental use is much less than other metals. While iron would be cheaper theoretically, it does not stand up under use the way that gold does. Iron fillings would need a blacksmith just to fix your mouth, and to be removed after rusting within days. Gold doesn’t rust, and it barely corrodes. It doesn’t change the taste your mouth either, and is aesthetically pleasing. Not only does gold look better than other options, but it performs at a much higher rate than others.


Every article has touched upon another reason why gold is so vital in dentistry, and it will be touched upon here again. Gold is easily alloyed to other metals to improve its already substantial qualities. Gold alloys are thus found in fillings, crowns, bridges, and even orthodontic appliances. It is nonallergenic, and is very easy manipulated by dentists.

Gold is used, and valued, in traditional medical applications as well. It’s usage as a drug is vital in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Gold isotopes are also used in the guidance of cancer treatments as well. Gold is used to remedy conditions which cause a patient not to be able to close their eyes completely. Here, gold is implanted into a patient’s eyelids to give them added weight to close. Gold is picked because of it being chemically inert, and it’s nonallergenic properties. The usage of gold in diagnosing multiple conditions is vital to the medical field. It is used as a beta emitter in the body, helping to guide doctors on the correct path of treatment.

Finally, gold is incredibly valuable as the tools in which doctors perform surgical procedures. As we previously discussed gold is found in computers, electronics, and almost every device on Earth. The operating room is no different. Surgical instruments contain gold parts, and so do the life-support devices that assist in surgery. Gold is vital to the health of the world in this way.

What do you think about the uses of gold in medical devices and dentistry? Share this story, and let us know in the comments!

Featured Chain 1: Method Man

Featured Chain 1: Method Man

Welcome to a new series here at provided by Bullion Trading, LLC. We’re taking a look at some of hip-hop’s nicest jewelry. To kick off the series, we’re starting with Method Man:

Ice Pick, Method Man

One of the most iconic chains in hip hop, Method Man debuted his Ice Pick Chain in the year 2000. First making his name in the Wu Tang Clan, Method Man debuted his $25,000 chain when most hip hop artists were not displaying custom made jewelry. The chain itself is exactly what it says on the tin: a diamond plated ice pick. Meth’s chain hasn’t been seen in years, as it’s been rumored that he had the chain melted down into another one, but the Ice Pick Chain is an iconic chain in the history of hip-hop.

From our sister site: Fun Facts About Gold

Some of the many interesting and unique properties of gold.

While gold is mostly bought for investment purposes these days, gold is also an incredibly fun precious metal. It’s not just something that can be used as economic protection, even though you will find it most government repositories the world over.

From conducting electricity to being the easiest method to transfer wealth, gold has many interesting uses, and a storied history. Here’s some interesting facts about everyone’s favorite metal.

Gold bars NYC

– More steel is produced per hour than the amount of gold dug up throughout human history. This makes it an incredibly valuable metal, due to its scarcity. Most of the gold produced today comes from South Africa, who produces ⅔ of the world’s supply.

– 25 tons of gold is found in every cubic mile of sea water. While this amounts to a staggering 10 billion tons of gold just floating in the ocean, there is no economical way to recover it.

– The weight of gold is heavily deceptive, with a single cubic foot of it weighing half a ton.

– The largest gold bar in the world weighs 250 kg (551 lb). The largest gold nugget found “in the wild” was in in the United States, which weighed 195 pounds.

– Not only is gold edible, but the human body contains about 0.2 milligrams of gold — mostly in the blood stream.

– Gold, when chemically liquified, is used in treating rheumatoid arthritis victims. Seven out of 10 cases of rheumatoid arthritis victims have reported success with gold treatment.

– A hotel opened the world’s first gold vending machine in May 2010. The vending machine, naturally, is covered in 24-carat gold.

– Fort Knox held 649.6 million ounces of gold in 1941 when the United States currency was backed by gold. With the United States no longer on the gold standard, today, Fort Knox only holds about 147.3 million ounces. Switzerland itself was the last country to switch away from the gold standard in 1999.

– Gold is incredibly malleable, with a single ounce of it being able to be hammered into a wire 60 miles long. A single ounce can also be hammered into a sheet that is 100 square feet.

– Gold is also used in astronaut helmets, being incredibly important for allowing astronauts to remain cool thanks to its ability to dissipate heat.

– Three Olympic swimming pools can hold all the gold ever mined in the world.

– All the gold humanity possesses can be compressed into an 18-yard cube — which is roughly 1/10 the size of the Monument in Washington, D.C.

– More gold is held by Indian housewives than the currency reserves of the United States, International Monetary Fund, Switzerland, and Germany put together. Mr. T, on the other hand, holds a gold collection worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mr. T

The first gold coins were created by King Croesus of Lydia in 540 BC, but gold has been around since before recorded history. In that time, as you can tell, it has become a valuable commodity for humans. Even more importantly, gold has remained a fun, and useful metal.

Have your own fun facts about gold you’d like to share? Have at it!

Hip-Hop Themed Restaurant Open In Jersey

The menu looks dope!


A new restaurant and lounge just opened — it takes its name from Beat Street, the 1984 movie about graffiti, hip-hop, the Bronx, and breakdancing. The restaurant has a hip-hop theme.

The restaurant’s aim is capturing the feel and energy of the early days of hip-hop. KC Macias, who is teaming up with Transmission owner Howard Brunner and head chef Darryl Harmon, confirmed as much. The renowned chef calls his menu “elevated street food.”

Beat Street sits in a narrow space previously occupied by a bar and lounge attached to a nightclub, and has a dining room, murals, a lounge area, cassette-tape tables, and a grand piano. The bar sits 15, and outdoor seating wraps around the building. You can find it all on the corner of Provost and Bay street.

Brunner told .com he’d been thinking about adding a dining establishment to Transmission, but was hesitant and selective because of the narrow, unusual nature of the space. He found a solution in Harmon, who has worked in Philly, Atlantic City, and as a top chef.

The menu is pretty wild. You can find 80’s relics like Pop Rocks on the menu, but the entrees are where it’s at. You can order sous vide lobster mac and cheese, which comes with Cheez-Its. You can also order sliders that come sandwiched between tostones, and come adorned with a sofrito sauce.

Sliders and other “little bites” are popular, but a massive 42-ounce tomahawk steak, sliced tableside and served with garlic flan, is available for a cool $60.

Best of all, Macias is featuring live music every night, and isn’t charging any cover. The DJ booth has barstools surrounding it, so interested patrons can have a look at the masters at work.

Hours, for now, are Tuesday-Saturday from 5:00-11:00. The owners intend to open a little earlier to include brunch after getting the hang of things.

Think you’ll try this restaurant? Let us know!

Nicki Minaj Drops Bombshell About Her New Album

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj has been doing a fine job of keeping herself the headlines lately. Her feud with Remy is seemingly never-ending, and fans on the two artists’ Twitter pages seem hungry for more.

However, Minaj is hoping to move past the scrap, and intends to focus on what got her to the dance in the first place — the music.

With three studio albums to her name, Minaj is no stranger to putting in hard, long hours of work in the studio. Her newest effort will be a follow-up to her 2014 album, The Pinkprint.

During a recent interview with Whoo Kid, Minaj talked about the direction she wanted to take her new album in. She said she wants to revisit her roots, and intends to make an album reminiscent of classic hip-hop.

According to her, she’s making “a classic hip-hop album that people will never forget.”

Whoo Kid pressed her about her possible collaborators. Minaj admitted that Lil Wayne and Drake are both on board.

It’s worth noting that Minaj did work with Eminem on her first album, so rumor has it, she may be looking to bring Dr. Dre in on the project. When Whoo asked about this, Minaj replied, “I never thought about that. But you know what? That’s a dope idea.”

What do you think of Nicki Minaj’s new album idea? Let us know!

Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame Headed For Harlem

125th Street

Cleveland, has the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. , , has the Country Music Hall Of Fame. Now, finally, will be getting a Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame.

Fact Magazine reported that the nonprofit group working on the project has already secured the necessary approval and funding to break ground on a new facility.

Apparently, the multi-story structure will be going up in Harlem. Not a bad spot to honor hip-hop and its many legends.

The group is looking to raise $150 million. Their hope is to construct a facility with an in-house cafe, gallery, gift shop, visitor center, and coolest of all — a hip-hop museum.

Should they hit their goal, we can expect to see the Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame open sometime early next year, perhaps as early as February. Should business go well, the group plans to expand the facility into a 20-story complex, which would have more museum space, a full sports bar, a five-star hotel for guests, and a concert area.

In the spirit of hip-hop’s ability to provide inspiration and opportunities to millions of people worldwide, the group is pledging to set up educational programs designed to help thousands of New York’s students visit the museum every year.

Our eyes are on this story. Rumor has it that the new venue will be located just a stone’s throw away from the Apollo Theater.

What do you think of the new Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame? Let us know!

You’ll Never Guess Who Loved Mary J. Blige Before They Died

Mary J Blige

Every now and again, we hear something about the music industry that sounds too weird to be true.

According to a new book written by a former soldier named Will Bardenwerper titled “The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid,” Saddam Hussein was just as big a fan of hip-hop as you I.

After being captured by U.S. troops for crimes against humanity, Hussein was guarded by American guards. These guards developed a rapport with Hussein, allowing him to watch television and listen to music as a reward for good behavior.

The book alleges that Hussein enjoyed American television shows like Sesame Street, and older movies like Dracula. It also alleges that Hussein became quite the rap fan — enjoying Mary J. Blige in particular.

It’s not easy to imagine Saddam Hussein, an internationally-hated dictator guilty of unspeakable crimes, listening to Mary J. Blige.

But that’s what “The Prince in His Palace,” which drops this month, alleges.

What do you think of this claim? Share the story and let us know!

A History of Hip Hop Jewelry


We’ve talked a little bit about some of our favorite pieces of jewelry in all of hip hop right now. We’ve got more coming — exclusives on some of your favorite artists’ jewelry. Anything worth studying has a past worth studying, too. So today, we’re taking an at-a-glance look at the history of hip hop jewelry, and what got us all the way from Grandmaster Flash to 50 Cent. In particular, we’re looking at how the game has impacted the world of jewelry and vice versa.

The new sound

Hip hop isn’t a 90’s thing like you may have thought. no, it’s much older than that. You can trace the roots of your favorite genre all the way back to the same decade where Led Zeppelin reigned supreme.

When hip hop exploded onto the scene, it brought with it a sense of fashion that was as unique, catchy, and fresh as the music itself. Not only did hip hop take influence from music genres all over the world to build its new sound, but it did it with attitude. Hip hop quickly became the voice of a generation — of anyone who was marginalized, unheard, and wanted a platform to express themselves in a new and creative way.

The pioneers of the early 70’s and beyond left their mark on the world. We still hear it in the music today, and we still see it in the jewelry our modern artists wear.

Humble beginnings


By most accounts, hip hop got its start in City. More specifically, the Bronx. The area often played host to block parties. These parties would often feature DJs who used to sample beats from disco, funk, R&B, and soul music. These short beats and mashups were already popular in Jamaica, so there’s a line of thinking that has Jamaicans bringing the early hip hop style with them to 1970’s New York. Jamaican music often featured chants and short bursts of lyrical content over samples, which could have been the genesis of rap.

The Jamaican style came with it, too. The Caribbean look quickly found itself right at home in the Big Apple, which saw beaded chains, bracelets, beanies, caps, and the like surge in popularity. In particular, yellow, black, green, and red were popular colors, just like they were and are in Jamaica.

Right here at home, running suits, bell bottoms, and massive “disco” sunglasses were all the rage. If you want to see a personification of the classic Bronx hip hop pioneer look, take a gander at one of the oldest heads in the book: none other than DJ Kool Herc.

Herc’s clothes, music, and jewelry were all the rage.



As the music evolved and influenced the fashion, the rap scene became inseparable from the headlines. The block party scene was now the national look — turntables, samples, loops, beats, and searing vocals were the new “in.”

The youth of the day brought the clothes to the forefront, too. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, alongside other classic artists, started turning their baseball caps sideways or backwards. Men strapped on the largest beaded jewelry and religious paraphernalia they could. Women adopted large, gold hoop earrings. Fedoras, leather, and sunglasses (especially indoors) followed shortly thereafter.

The 80’s

The 80’s saw a number of “new school” artists hit the scene. It’s funny to think of the likes of Run DMC or LL Cool J, or even the Beastie Boys as “new school” today. They’re hip hop and rock and roll legends, having transformed the music scene and exerted influence over thousands of artists to come. Still, in the 80’s, they were brand new. Controversial, even.

These artists brought hip hop to the total mainstream. Magazine covers were accessible to the day’s hot acts, and rap’s close relationship with corporate culture (more on that in a bit) began to develop. The music kept evolving, too, often featuring guitar riffs, funky bass lines, crunching drum interludes and lyrical stylings the likes of which had never been seen. This was truly revolutionary stuff.


It’s around this time rap started its happy marriage to the sports world, too. Team jerseys and attire became regular attire for rappers everywhere. Top brands once confined to sports circles became mainstream apparel. Nike and Adidas found their products enjoying considerable popularity during this time. It’s hard to imagine the Run DMC look without their trademark Adidas sneakers and sweatsuits.

Run DMC had a big impact on sneaker culture. Many consider them to be the pioneers of hip hop shoe culture, which is just as ripe as hip hop jewelry culture. Run DMC left their marks there, too. Their rope braided dookie chains are as iconic an image as any.

Many consider the late 80’s and early 90’s to be the defining years of hip hop. Some call it the golden age of rap. The genre had never been bigger, boasting celebrity status previously enjoyed by a relatively small group of rock megastars. For the first time, and only a short decade after its inception, hip hop music found itself atop all the charts. Hip hop-only television stations popped up. There were hip hop award ceremonies, and household name recognition. Everybody knew what rap was, whether they liked it or not.

The artists of the age are icons now. We all know the names — Public Enemy, MC Hammer, A Tribe Called Quest, Biz Markie, and the Wu Tang Clan — were superstars.


Much like Jamaican culture influenced fashion sense in the early 80’s, African culture took over for the 90’s. Patterns and colors of African origin could be found on everything. The oversized hoop earrings of a few years prior weren’t oversized enough. Excess became the name of the game, with Hammer giving us baggy pants and the likes of Flavor Flav, Ice T, Dre, and Snoop gave us oversized jewelry with emblems and medallions (well, in Flav’s case, it was a kitchen clock). Rings on every finger became a popular look around this time, and still is in some circles. Thankfully, we’ve left the “hammer pants” behind.

The 90’s

As the 90’s roared on, so did the music. For the first time ever, things weren’t all good in the hood. A rivalry between East coast and West coast artists emerged, and saw the uprising of two totally different takes on everything related to rap. The way the music was done, the way the artists acted, dressed, and carried themselves were all split right down the line. Each coast developed its own unique and distinct rap culture.

Thankfully, we don’t live in the middle of a culture war anymore. Lots of people were needlessly gunned down, or otherwise lost to the struggle. It was more serious than a lot of people realize — gangs of the day took the rhetoric of the genre and ran with it, helping to establish a still standing taboo about hip hop music and crime. People really died for the music.

The decade gave us some of the biggest, and arguably most talented, artists in the history of the game. Think of Biggie, Tupac, Jay-Z, Snoop — more superstars, to say the absolute least.


Once again, the music evolved alongside the fashion. Long gone were hammer pants, leathers, and oversized beaded chains. On the West coast, in came bandanas, do rags, preppy plaid shirts (often buttoned once… at the top!), dickies, Timberlands, and Jordans. The East coast favored their hoodies, fedoras, track suits, parkas, and started going very, very heavy on the jewelry.

By now, other genres were not only the ingredients of rap culture, but were benefactors of it. Rock, punk, and everything in between took influence from rap. Bands like Rage Against the Machine started to show off a heavy favoritism toward jewelry, too.

It’s around this time that Eminem, along with other late 90’s greats, brought hip hop into the new millennium.


The new millennium changed everything, and the history of hip hop was forever cemented in stone. The craft still continues to change with every passing day.

The likes of Eminem, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nelly, and others kept rap in the mainstream. These were some of the first artists to truly capitalize on the potential of rap’s marketing power — they teamed up with corporate America and, often, became entrepreneurs themselves.


Dr. Dre became hip hop’s first billionaire after selling the rights to his headphone company to Apple. 50 Cent became Vitamin Water’s posterboy, while Kanye and Jay-Z became multi-hyphenate business owners.

The fashion, while always changing, still prominently features much of the iconic imagery of the past. Chains and medallions with tons of flair are still the “in” item, and may always be.

There’s no telling where the rap game is headed next.

Got your own favorite moments from hip hop history? Let us know in the comments below.