Gold is one of the most revered and fascinating materials ever discovered. In writing about and handling gold every day, we’ve come across some interesting facts about this wonderful noble metal. Here are just a few fun facts about gold we thought we’d share:
Facts About The Discovery of Gold
Gold has been discovered on every continent on earth
It has been mined for over 5,000 years
Alluvial Gold is gold found in river beds
Gold nuggets are solid lumps of gold but are so rare they only form 2% of gold that has been found
One gold nugget weighing one troy ounce would be a rarer find than a 5-carat diamond.
The two largest gold nuggets ever found have come from Victoria, Australia. The largest is called ‘The Hand of Faith’ and can be viewed in The Golden Casino, Las Vegas. It was found with a metal detector.
An estimated 9-10 billion tonnes of gold is in the sea which is diluted so much that would cost too much to extract
The largest store of gold, though, could be in outer space. It is believed that, throughout history, most gold on earth arrived via meteores. It has been estimated that just one meteore, Psyche 16, contains hundreds of quintillions of dollars worth of gold.
Gold particles have been found in the leaves of eucalyptus trees in Austrailia
40% of all gold has come from South African rocks
In 1948, gold nuggets were found in a river bed in Sacramento, California. Many people, mostly men, flocked to the area to try to discover their fortune. The Californian Gold Rush was born.
The Californian Gold Rush was an important event in America’s history. The many men that flocked to the area in 1949 became known as the 49ers.
Nearly 90% of all gold mined has been mined SINCE the Californian gold rush
In 1885 a man called George Harrison was digging the foundations for his house in Johanessburg, South Africa when he found gold. This started the South African gold rush
The chemical element for gold is Au which comes from the Latin word Aurum
The aztec words for gold translates to “excrement of the gods”
The word “bullion” comes from the word “boil”. This is what they had to do to gold to remove the impurities
Pyrite is called “Fools Gold”, and has tricked many discoverers, but the upside was, Pyrite is often found near real gold.
Palladium is now more expensive than gold (this has only happened since 2018)
A carat (or karat) is a measure of the purity of gold against other metal alloys within a piece
Fun Facts About The Physical Properties of Gold
The melting point of gold is 1,064 degrees celsius.
The boiling point is 2,808 centigrade
Welsh Gold is considered very rare and is no longer mined
Gold is a non-reactive metal (the most non-reactive) and doesn’t rust
Gold conducts heat and electricity extremely well and is therefore used in the electronics industry
Gold is one of the only metals that is naturally yellow
Gold can be created in different colours, such as White Gold and Red or Rose Gold, by adding other metals called alloys
Can be stretched to form wire thread – one ounce can be stretched 50 miles.
Gold can also be hammered to form sheets – one ounce can be made into a sheet measuring 9 metres square
Pure gold is soft that it can be moulded by hand
Facts about Humans and Gold
The average human body contains 0.2mg gold
It is edible – but doesn’t get digested
Gold can be injected to relieve pain for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis
Astronauts helmets have a thin, transparent layer of gold over the visor to protec their eyes from the glare of the sun
Tutankhamen’s tomb contained over 1.5 tonnes of gold. His death mask was made from pure gold.
Elvis Presley had a car where most of the components were gold plated, including nuts and bots and the registration plate.
Aurophobia is a fear of gold
Facts About Gold Coins & Medals
The first gold coins were made between 700-500 BC
Julius Cesaer gave each of his soldiers 200 gold coins after they defeated Gaul in war
The 1933 Double Eagle $20 coin was created. Only 20 of these coins were made. One sold at Southeby’s in 2002 for $7.89 million. It is illegal to own one of these coins as the USA government have said it’s illegal to own something that was never released to the public. A number of them are still in existence but cannot be located.
The worlds largest gold coin is 80 cm wide and weighs a ton, was made by the Perth Mint in 2012
Gold medals were made of solid gold until 1912 when the last gold medal were awarded at the Olympics (just before the breakout of World War One). Nowadays they are made from silver but must contain at least 6 grammes of pure gold
The Nobel Prize is still made from gold. Although it was made in 23-carat gold up until 1980 it is now made in 18-carat gold and coated in 23-carat gold.
Fort Knox, in the USA, was made to hold the USA gold reserve – it houses more than 50% of the USA gold reserves. It was made of concrete, granite, reinforced steel and structural steel. It is so heavily guarded – with 30,000 soldiers, a minefield and 20-tonne vault doors as well as surveillance drones. No one single person has the combination to the safes at Fort Knox. It has never even been attempted to be broken into. Indeed, security there is so tight that only one USA President, Franklin Roosevelt, has been into the vaults.
We hope you find these facts as fun and interesting as we did. If you hear of any more fun facts about gold, please do let us know.