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Interesting Facts About Gold

Gold is one of the most treasured precious metals in the world. From the moment it was first discovered, this metal has intrigued us and made us want to own as much as possible.

Gold is the only metal to become a symbol of wealth. Until 1971, the American dollar was backed by pure gold in the Federal Reserve Bank and its monetary and symbolic value has remained consistent over the years.

Facts about gold

Attention Americans 50 and Over:

Did you know that gold was given the chemical symbol AU which is from the Latin word “Aurum?”. There are probably many other facts you are unaware of – and some of them are quite shocking!

Facts You Never Knew About Pure Gold

After you learn about these facts, you will never look at that gold ring on your finger the same. We have gathered some of the most amazing facts about gold and put them together in one place so you can learn about this incredible metal and how it relates to other metals. We even have an entire page on the history of gold!

How Much Gold Does the World Hold?

If you put all the gold ever mined in the world in one place, there would be approximately 171,300 tons. Can you imagine how much gold jewelry that would make?

The Oceans Are Full Of It

Did you know the oceans are full of this precious metal? In fact, Ancient Greeks thought gold was a combination of golden sun and water because it was often discovered in bodies of water.

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The Largest Nugget

The largest gold nugget on record was discovered in Moliagul, Australia, back in 1869. This nugget was named “Welcome Stranger” and was found by John Deason and Richard Oates. The nugget weighed 2,520 ounces. Gold nuggets of this size are rare.  Did you know there’s a better chance of finding a five carat diamond than a one troy ounce nugget of gold?

Where Did It Come From?

Where did this metal come from and how did it get here? Scientists believe all the gold we have on earth comes from space. They believe the world's gold supply came from meteorites crashing into the earth.

How Large Is the Earth's Supply?

When reading interesting facts about gold, it is shocking to learn the entire earth's supply could fit into a 68-f00t box. This is about the same size as a six-story building.

What Is Special About Gold?

Another fun fact about this metal is that it is very malleable. You may be shocked to learn an ounce of gold can be stretched into a thread that reaches five miles!

Scientific Information About Gold Atoms

Chemistry buffs may remember The Periodic Table of Elements. On this table, gold has a chemical symbol of AU. Gold's atomic number on the Periodic Table is 79 and its mass is 196.96655 amu.

Found In Water

As we mentioned, a lot of Earth's gold is found in water. Gold metal flakes sifted from water are called alluvial gold.

Gold Attributes

The purest gold is odorless and tasteless. Speaking of taste, did you know this metal is edible in small amounts?

Many fancy restaurants serve unique desserts draped in small amounts of gold leaf. Metal ions confer flavor, helping you taste other flavors better.

When Does It Melt?

This metal begins to become molten gold at 1,947.97°F. When reading facts about gold, that one is quite interesting. Can you even imagine that kind of heat?

Gold Alloys Are Found All Over the World

Gold deposits have been found in every single part of the world. The biggest supply of gold deposits has come from South Africa.

In fact, around half the world's supply of gold ever mined has been discovered in Witwatersrand, South Africa. How many gold coins have been made from this source?

What About Olympic Medals?

Many people mistakenly believe Olympic gold medals are made of solid gold. The truth is they are required to be 92.5% silver and plated with at least six grams of high-purity gold. Have you ever seen a medalist bite their medal?

The reasoning behind this was to test its purity. Since gold is malleable, teeth marks should be left behind on the medal. Since medals are no longer made completely of gold ore, this test no longer works, though it has not stopped athletes from partaking in the bite.

One of the Toughest Metals

Gold is a noble metal. This means it is practically indestructible. Scientists have discovered an ounce of gold does not rust, does not respond to acid, and does not oxidize. Despite its toughness, it remains the most malleable element and is extremely ductile.

It Grows on Trees

While money might not grow on trees, gold sure does! When you read 1,000 facts about gold, it is crazy to learn that eucalyptus leaves contain this metal. These tree roots descend deep into the earth's crust and pick up microscopic gold particles.

Asteroids Contain an Emerald Gold Concoction

We have already mentioned scientists believe tons of gold came from outer space. There is an asteroid called Psyche 16 that is quite close to Earth.

Scientists believe this asteroid may contain as much as 20 billion tons of gold particles. Further exploration is necessary by NASA.

The First Coin

The first gold coins were used in the 6th century in Lydia. These coins were made from electrum, which is a gold and silver alloy that was found during the reign of Croesus. We are unsure of the gold price of these coins, but it leads to an interesting discussion.

Earthquakes Unearth These Precious Metals

Did you know earthquakes can expose gold found deep within the earth's crust? Earthquakes create immense pressure that causes flash evaporation. After an earthquake, gold deposits are often found along fault lines.

gold nuggets

The Beauty of Gold Thread

Gold bullion can be spun into gold threads. This most popular precious metal thread was once used to create amazing works of embroidery. Today, some are reviving this old art form using gold bars.

Most Valuable Gold Coin

Have you ever wondered what is the most valuable gold coin in the world? The Brasher Doubloon is one of the most valuable, and one sold for 9 million dollars in 2021.

World's Largest Bar

The world's largest gold bar weighs an astonishing 551 pounds! There are no other gold bars that come close to this one that was manufactured by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. Can you imagine how much gold thread this bar could make?

The Gold Rush

Have you ever heard of the California Gold Rush? This event happened in 1848 when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. An estimated 300,000 people came to the area looking for investment gold.

What Is Native Gold?

Have you ever heard of native gold? This gold contains silver, making the metal paler than other metal alloy options.

A Cure for the Bubonic Plague?

In medieval times, Europeans believed they could drink molten gold mixed with crushed emeralds to cure the Bubonic Plague. This plague killed around 25 million people.

Unfortunately, this concoction did not work. Not even a single ounce of gold could stop the death march of this plague.

Which Country Buys the Most Gold Jewelry?

China is the country that buys the most gold jewelry. When reading 10 fun facts about gold, you will be shocked to learn in 2016 alone the country bought more gold than the United States and India combined.

FAQs About Gold

Gold is a fascinating metal that tantalizes the world. Many people invest in gold to hedge against inflation.

Even though you have learned a lot about gold, we understand you probably have further questions. The following are some of the top questions people have about gold.

  1. One cubic foot of gold weighs half a ton.
  2. If gold causes you to itch, it is not pure.
  3. The average human body contains 0.2 milligrams of gold.
  4. The word gold originates from Greek and means “shining dawn.”
  5. Gold is the 75th most abundant metal on Earth.

The ocean has 20 million pounds of this metal.

  • Human bones contain small amounts of gold.
  • Pure gold is so extremely soft you can mold it by hand.

Gold and Other Precious Metal Never Fails to Disappoint

Now you know the answer to what are 3 interesting facts about gold. We have shared some of the most amazing data about this precious metal, and we encourage you to continue to research to learn more.

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