Gold Facts

Gold:

  • Gold is one of the densest of all the chemical elements.
  • It also the most malleable metal.
  • One ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire about thirty miles long.
  • Gold is chemically related to copper and silver
  • It is highly resistant to chemical change and cannot be dissolved in common acids
  • Gold does dissolve in aqua regia and cyanides.
  • If the current volume of fiat dollars was converted to gold it would exceed $50,000 per oz.

Details:

  • AU—the chemical symbol for gold
  • Gold’ atomic number is 79 and its atomic weight is 196.967
  • Gold melts at 1064.43 Centigrade
  • Gravity for Gold is 19.3, meaning gold weighs 19.3 times more than an equal amount volume of water.
  • Tinsel Strength 11.9
  • Hardness (Brinell)=25
  • Occurrence of gold in Earth’s crust= .005 parts per million

 Standard Bar Sizes

400 troy ounces (12.5 kilos)

32.15 troy ounces (1 kilo)

100 troy ounces (3.11 kilos)

 *Wide varieties of bar sizes are traded on the market, but are not deliverable to an exchange as the bars above.

Fineness and Karat Weight

Percent Gold European System Karat System
100% 1000 fine 24 karat
91.7% 917 fine 22 karat
75.0% 750 fine 18 karat
58.5% 585 fine 14 karat
41.6% 416 fine 10 karat
  • Of the 92 natural elements in the earth’s crust, Gold ranks 58th in rarity.
  • Every state in the U.S. has some gold deposits.
  • When gold is legal tender, governments try to regulate or manipulate its value, and that’s always difficult… when Roosevelt raised gold from $20.67 to $35 in 1934, it immediately devalued the dollar by 40%.
  • But from 1786 to 1933, the U.S. government only allowed the price of gold to rise from $17.92 to $20.67. A 15% increase in the official price of gold in 141 years. In the same span, U.S. GDP grew about 28,000%.
  • Among the worst debasers of gold coins were Henry VIII, Diocletian and Nero. Debasement is a hidden tax. Henry added base metals to coins. Nero reduced silver content and made the gold coins smaller.
  • In 1542, Francisco Pizarro took more gold from the Inca in a week than European miners produced in a year. The conquistadors brought so much gold from the New World to Europe that they increased supply by 500% and started the first gold-induced inflation. Other inflations caused by sudden gold supplies happened during the U.S. and Australian gold rushes in the 19th century.
  • When used in trade, gold coins wear out in about 18 years.
  • It is believed that most of the gold coins used in trade between the U.S. and the West Indies before the U.S. Revolution were 15-20% “light.” Crooks and traders put coins in a coarse bag and shook them to create gold dust—called sweating the coins. They traded the coins at full value and made money on the dust.
  • For years, banks sent gold coins to England from the U.S. and back again to maintain trade balances. In each trip, $178 in value from every $1 million in gold shipped, rubbed off during transport, according to an 1894 book on banking practices.
  • An ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire 80 kms (50 miles) long.
  • Gold is not only precious, but pure gold is also very, very soft. So soft, in fact, that a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of one square meter! If you ever get some pure gold to play with (you wish, eh?), remember the following sciensational fact:
  • Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be moulded with the hands
  • Seventy-five percent of all gold in circulation has been extracted since 1910.
  • A medical study in France during the early twentieth century suggests that gold is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Gold is so pliable that it can be made into sewing thread. An ounce of gold can be stretched over 50 miles.
  • Gold is edible.
  • The largest gold nugget ever found is the “Welcome Stranger” discovered by John Deason and Richard Oates in Australia on February 5, 1869. The nugget is 10 by 25 inches and yielded 2,248 ounces of pure gold. It was found just two inches below the ground surface.
  • Gold is chemically inert, which also explains why it never rusts and does not cause skin irritation. If gold jewelry irritates the skin, it is likely that the gold was mixed with some other metal.
  • One cubic foot of gold weighs half a ton. The world’s largest gold bar weighs 200 kg (440 lb).
  • The Incas thought gold represented the glory of their sun god and referred to the precious metal as “tears of the Sun.” Because gold was not yet used for money, the Inca’s love of gold was purely aesthetic and religious.
  • Around 1200 B.C., the Egyptians used unshorn sheepskin to mine for gold dust from the sands of the Black Sea. This practice is most likely the inspiration for the “Golden Fleece.”
  • There are more than 400 references to gold in the Bible, including specific instructions from God to cover furniture in the tabernacle with “pure gold.” Gold is also mentioned as one of the gifts of the Magi.
  • The Greeks thought that gold was a dense combination of water and sunlight.
  • During the fourteenth century, drinking molten gold and crushed emeralds was used as a treatment for the bubonic plaque.
  • In 1511, King Ferdinand of Spain coined the immortal phrase: “Get gold, humanely if possible—but at all hazards, get gold.”
  • Both Greeks and Jews begin to practice alchemy in 300 B.C. The search to turn base metals into gold would reach its pinnacle in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • The San Francisco 49ers are named after the 1849 Gold Rush miners.
  • Gold and copper were the first metals to be discovered by humans around 5000 B.C. and are the only two non-white-colored metals.
  • The world’s largest stockpile of gold can be found five stories underground inside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault and it holds 25% of the world’s gold reserve (540,000 gold bars). While it contains more gold than Fort Knox, most of it belongs to foreign governments.
  • The “troy ounce” of gold comes from the French town of Troyes, which first created a system of weights in the Middle Ages used for precious metals and gems. One troy ounce is 480 grains. A grain is exactly 64.79892 mg.
  • Gold is higly reflective: Since this metal completely reflects infrared rays, it is used widely for radiation reflection and is a good conductor of thermal energy.