While gold is mostly bought for investment purposes these days, gold is also an incredibly fun precious metal. It’s not just something that can be used as economic protection, even though you will find it in most government repositories the world over.
From conducting electricity to being the easiest method to transfer wealth, gold has many interesting uses, and a storied history. Here’s some interesting facts about everyone’s favorite metal.
– More steel is produced per hour than the amount of gold dug up throughout human history. This makes it an incredibly valuable metal, due to its scarcity. Most of the gold produced today comes from South Africa, who produces ⅔ of the world’s supply.
– 25 tons of gold is found in every cubic mile of sea water. While this amounts to a staggering 10 billion tons of gold just floating in the ocean, there is no economical way to recover it.
– The weight of gold is heavily deceptive, with a single cubic foot of it weighing half a ton.
– The largest gold bar in the world weighs 250 kg (551 lb). The largest gold nugget found “in the wild” was in California in the United States, which weighed 195 pounds.
– Not only is gold edible, but the human body contains about 0.2 milligrams of gold — mostly in the blood stream.
– Gold, when chemically liquified, is used in treating rheumatoid arthritis victims. Seven out of 10 cases of rheumatoid arthritis victims have reported success with gold treatment.
– A hotel opened the world’s first gold vending machine in May 2010. The vending machine, naturally, is covered in 24-carat gold.
– Fort Knox held 649.6 million ounces of gold in 1941 when the United States currency was backed by gold. With the United States no longer on the gold standard, today, Fort Knox only holds about 147.3 million ounces. Switzerland itself was the last country to switch away from the gold standard in 1999.
– Gold is incredibly malleable, with a single ounce of it being able to be hammered into a wire 60 miles long. A single ounce can also be hammered into a sheet that is 100 square feet.
– Gold is also used in astronaut helmets, being incredibly important for allowing astronauts to remain cool thanks to its ability to dissipate heat.
– Three Olympic swimming pools can hold all the gold ever mined in the world.
– All the gold humanity possesses can be compressed into an 18-yard cube — which is roughly 1/10 the size of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
– More gold is held by Indian housewives than the currency reserves of the United States, International Monetary Fund, Switzerland, and Germany put together. Mr. T, on the other hand, holds a gold collection worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The first gold coins were created by King Croesus of Lydia in 540 BC, but gold has been around since before recorded history. In that time, as you can tell, it has become a valuable commodity for humans. Even more importantly, gold has remained a fun, and useful metal.
Have your own fun facts about gold you’d like to share? Have at it!