There are many amazing facts about gold. We have produced this fun article to investigate just fifteen of them. We hope you enjoy reading this article and learning about these fascinating facts relating to gold.
1. Experts believe that approximately 80% of earth’s gold is buried underground
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According to a study carried out by Bernard Wood of Macquarie University in Australia, there is so much gold inside the Earth’s core, that if it were all to be mined and deposited on the Earth’s surface, it would be enough to sheath the entire planet with a gold covering that would be one and a half feet deep. Wood compared the composition of the Earth’s crust with that of meteorites with similar compositions. Findings from the study indicate that elements like gold, platinum and nickel were pulled toward the Earth’s iron-rich core millions of years ago when the planetary surface of the Earth had not yet formed and was a liquid mass of molten lava.
Professor Wood has pegged the amount of gold in the Earth’s core to be about 1.6 quadrillion tons! Scientists believe that it was only much later that meteorites from space deposited gold on the Earth’s surface after the complete formation of the planet and that is the gold that we mine today.
2. For every cubic mile of water, there could be 25 tons of gold in the sea
In a recent article published by National Geographic, researchers claim that there could be enough gold under the ocean beds to supply every person on Earth with nine pounds of gold each. This could possibly be an estimated $150 trillion of gold! Currently, a new project called Solwara 1 is being set up in Papua and New Guinea to undertake deep sea mining operations.
However, the project has been met with strong resistance from environmental protection groups who believe that the project and others of its kind could destroy the underwater ecosystem deep in the Earth’s oceans.
3. The world’s most expensive gold coin
The 1933 Double Eagle is an American twenty-dollar gold coin which has plenty of controversies that surrounds it. Nearly half a million of these coins were made in 1933, but none were circulated and all the coins were melted down except two. It was later discovered that twenty such coins were stolen and were therefore not melted down. Nine of these were recovered by the United States government and melted. Currently, there are only 13 in existence, out of which ten are with the US government in Fort Knox. Two are with the US National Numismatics Collection. There is only one in existence that is privately held and the collector bought it at an auction in Sotheby’s, New York for the princely sum of $7.59 million, making it the world’s most expensive gold coin.
4. Elvis, the king of rock n roll had a gold plated car
It is believed that rock n roll legend, Elvis Presley owned three cars specially made for him by the Stutz Motor Company. Elvis bought a Stutz Blackhawk on October 9, 1970, becoming the first person to own a Blackhawk. Elvis subsequently purchased Blackhawks manufactured for him by the Stutz Motor Company in 1971, 1972 and 1973. The 1973 model had all the chrome plating replaced with 18-carat gold plating.
5. The chemical symbol for gold
Most of us who have studied high school chemistry are well aware that the chemical symbol for gold is Au. However, not everyone knows that the symbol originates from the Latin word, ‘aurum’, which stands for ‘shining dawn’ in the ancient language. Gold, with atomic number 79, is a noble metal. It has some unusual properties. For example, it does not rust or get discoloured. The precious metal also does not react with air and does not form oxides when it comes into contact with air.
6. Gold can be moulded with bare hands
Pure gold can be bent with bare hands. It is considered to be the most malleable of all metals. Gold can be beaten into thin sheets that are 400 times thinner than a human hair. These sheets are called gold leaf and can are popular with artists who use it for gilding. An ounce of gold is so malleable that it can be beaten into a large sheet that covers an area of 100 square feet.
7. The world’s largest nugget of gold
Two Australians are credited with the discovery of the world’s largest nugget of gold. Christened the ‘Welcome Stranger’, this nugget was huge, measuring 10 by 25 inches until it was melted. Currently, the largest nugget in existence is called the ‘Hand of Faith’, and it was also unearthed in Australia in 1980, and can be seen on display in the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas.
8. The heaviest gold coin
Austria’s Philharmonic is the heaviest gold and weighs 1000 ounces, which is 31.1 kg. This is equivalent to 69 troy pounds. It has a diameter of 15 inches and is listed in the Guinness Book.
9. Gold can be drawn into really thin wires.
As a metal, gold is so ductile that it can be drawn out into a wire that is five-millionths of a meter in width. The wire can be stretched to a distance of 50 miles (80 km).
10. South Africa used to once produce 75% of the world’s gold – now produces only 6%
South Africa’s rich gold mining industry that once produced two-thirds of all the gold in the world has now imploded and produces just 6%. One-third of the industry’s 180,000 miners were fired since 2004 and falling international demand and depleted reserves in the major mines have hit the country’s once burgeoning economy with a double whammy.
11. The world’s largest consumption of gold happens in China
China is today the world’s largest consumer of gold, importing close to 975 tonnes annually. In comparison, India imports around 700 to 800 tonnes each year and is the world’s second-largest consumer. It is interesting to note that South Asian jewellery is purer and is made of 22-carat gold.
12. Gold is a disease-modifying drug
Strange as it may seem, gold is considered to be a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). The injections consist of sodium aurothiomalate, contains gold and is injected into the muscle to reduce the progress of auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They also reduce inflammation. The injection usually starts taking effect three months after it is administered.
13. The world’s first gold coins were minted 5000 years ago
Lydia, now in modern-day Western Turkey is credited with having produced the world’s first gold coins under the reign of King Croesus (561-547 BC). The coins were not made of pure gold, but an alloy of gold and silver was used.
For insight and advice, watch our video “How to buy gold”.
14. There is a vending machine that gives out gold bars!
The world’s first gold vending machine was inaugurated in 2010 and is situated in the lobby of the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. It delivers gold bars to customers who wish to purchase them. The machine is run by a German company called TG Gold Super Markt.
15. A 100-kilo Canadian gold coin was stolen from a German museum!
A 100-kilo gold coin called the ‘Big Maple Leaf’, the only one of its kind was minted by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. It was stolen from a numismatic exhibition at Bode museum in Berlin in 2017 by thieves who took it away in a wheelbarrow!
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