Fun facts about gold

Gold has always fascinated people, due to its scarcity but also for some other characteristics, such as that it never oxidizes. Below you will find some less well-known facts about gold.


  • Compared to other metals, gold is much softer. One can beat 1 gram of gold to a 1 square meter sheet and light would shine through that sheet.
  • Very few chemicals can attack gold, so that’s why it keeps it shine even when buried for 1000’s of years.
  • A total of eighty-eight thousand tons of gold have been extracted from earth ever since. This means all the gold that has been dug up so far in history would, if melted, make a cube measuring approximately 25x25x25 meters.
  • 75% of all gold ever produced has been extracted since 1910; much of the gold mined throughout history is still in circulation in one form or another.
  • Gold is very rare compared with diamonds.
  • Gold is one of the heaviest metals in the world. For example, it is 19,3 times as heavy as water. One cubic meter weights some 19.300 kilogram.
  • The biggest gold nugget that has ever been found weighed approximately 90 kilogram and was unearthed in Australia.
  • Out of one ounce of gold (app. 31 gram) one can make a wire almost 100 kilometer long.
  • The word Gold derives from the Old English word Gelo meaning yellow.
  • The world's oceans hold a vast amount of gold, but in very low concentrations (perhaps 1-2 parts per 10 billion, which means every cubic kilometer of water contains 10 to 20 kg of gold).
  • In 2008 China overtook South Africa as the world's largest gold producer, the first time since 1905 that South Africa has not been the largest.
  • Switzerland was the last country to tie its currency to gold; it backed 40% of its value until the Swiss joined the International Monetary Fund in 1999.
  • Although the price of some platinum group metals can be much higher, gold has long been considered the most desirable of precious metals and its value has been used as the standard for many currencies in history.
  • Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be moulded with the hands.
  • According to some, there’s enough gold in the Earth’s crust to cover the entire land surface knee-deep.
  • No one is completely sure where gold comes from. The relative average abundance in our Solar System appears higher than can be made in the early universe, in stars, and even in typical supernova explosions. Some astronomers now suggest that neutron-rich heavy elements such as gold might be most easily made in rare neutron-rich explosions such as the collision of neutron stars. Since neutron star collisions are also suggested as the origin of short duration gamma-ray bursts, if you own some gold it is possible that you have a souvenir from one of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
  • It is estimated that at the end of 2009 there was a total of 165,446 tonnes of gold dug up. That boils down to some 25 grams of gold per person on the planet. According to calculations the total amount of gold yet to be retrieved from the Earth is about 100,000 tons.
  • At price of $1205.5 an ounce, the value of all the gold in the world is $6,412,310,567,488 or $958 for each person on the planet.

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