Researchers believe they have discovered a way to add gold and silver to nail polish to create a durable, tined and perhaps even antibacterial nail coloring, extending the precious metals’ ancient uses for fashion in the form of jewelry.

Related: World’s Second Largest Gold Coin Stolen From Berlin Museum


The research, published in the ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, highlights how modern techniques depend on pigment powders and additives. Scientists, investigating nano-particles in polishes, discovered they can make nail polish more durable, in the case of silver nanoparticles, treating fungal toenail infections.

To break silver, gold and platinum alloy, they shot lasers into gold in short bursts for periods of fifteen minutes. They learned that this resulted in colored, transparent polishes with a metallic sheen. Researchers used laser ablation to create a master batch of metal nanoparticles in ethyl acetate, a polish thinner, which could then be added to individual bottles of polish.

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