13 Interesting Facts About Gold You Probably Didn't Know

The Spotlight

4 minutes read

Aug 2, 2022

a cartoon man teaching 13 interesting facts about physical gold you probably didn’t know

Did you know that gold came to Earth from outer space and grows on trees? If not, take a look at some interesting facts about the shiny metal. Some of them sound too unbelievable to be true.

Gold has been with us for ages.

Throughout human history, men have waged wars and conquered for gold.

The shiny metal has been used for coinage, jewelry, and arts. And it once was the foundation of our monetary system.

But there’s more to gold than meets the eye.

Here are 13 surprising facts about gold that you probably didn't know.

1. Gold comes from the outer space

gold is extraterrestrial as it formed from meteorites that hit the earth 200 millions years after it was formed.

It is exactly what you think it is. Gold is an alien. 👽

Almost all of the gold discovered today did not originate on Earth. Instead, it came from meteorites that hit our planet 200 million years after it was formed.

2. All the gold ever mined can fit into a 68-feet cube

all gold ever mined could fit into a 68-feet cube which is the size of a 6-storey building

To put it another way, that's roughly the height of a 6-story building.

If you want to know more about investment gold, read our beginner’s guide.

3. Gold is 6 ten-billionths of the Sun

there are gold atoms in the sun as shown in the picture of the yellow dwarf star

Apparently, all those songs and poems about the golden sun is not just a lovely poetic expression.

A careful examination of the Sun's spectrum reveals that about 6 ten-billionths (0.0000000006) of the mass of the Sun consists of gold atoms.

4. Gold grows on trees

gold particles can be found in eucalyptus trees as discovered by Australian scientists

Money does not grow on trees, but gold does!

Australian scientists discovered that Eucalyptus leaves contain gold.

Eucalyptus roots can reach depths of up to 130 feet underground in search of water. Because gold deposits are found in water and underground, the Eucalyptus tree absorb microscopic gold particles, which are then transferred to the leaves via photosynthesis.

5. Medieval Europeans thought drinking molten gold with crushed up emeralds might cure the Bubonic Plague

molten gold and crushed emeralds were used as a cure to fight the devastating plague known as Black Death

This emerald-gold concoction was one of the strange cures used during the devastating plague that killed about 25 million people in Europe.

6. That’s huge! The largest gold bar in the world weighs 250 kg

the biggest gold bar in the world was made by the Mitsubishi Materials corporation and is now displayed in the museum in Japan

It was made by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation in 2005. Based on current price of gold, this gold bar is worth more than $14 million.

The funny thing is, the bar could easily fit into the ordinary shoe box. Its dimensions are 17.9 inches by 8.9 inches by 6.7 inches.

You can see and even touch it at Japan’s Toi Gold Museum.

7. There are 20 million tons of gold in the ocean

gold can be found in the ocean but is extremely difficult to extract because its burried deep underwater and encased in rocks

In search of gold? Well, now you know that the oceans are a good place to look.

Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to extract. The ocean is deep, meaning that gold deposits are buried a few miles underwater. And when you get to the ocean floor, you'll discover that gold deposits are also encased in rock and must be mined through.

8. There’s an asteroid close to Earth that holds 20 billion tonnes of gold

psyche 16 meteorite is believed to contain gold but scientists have recently discovered that it might have more rocks than precious metals

Rejoice, people of Earth!

The asteroid called Psyche 16 is thought to be packed full of gold and precious metals, and worth eyepopping $10,000 quadrillion. That is far more than the global economy, which is valued at approximately $103 trillion.

Sounds amazing, right?

But new studies suggest Psyche 16 may actually be less heavy metal and more hard rock.

Whatever the situation is, astronomers may soon have a better understanding of this mysterious asteroid.

9. The first use of gold coin as money was in Lydia, 6th century BC

The oldest gold coin was found in Lydia, around 6th century BC.

During Croesus' reign, these coins were made from electrum, a gold and silver alloy found in the region's rivers.

The gold coins featured a lion or bull on one side and a seal on the other.

10. An average adult human body weighing 70 kg contains about 0.2 milligrams of pure gold

gold can be found in human body including hair, blood and brain as shown by the picture of a golden man

We are golden. ⭐

Traces of gold can be found in human body in several different places. These include heart, brain, blood, and our joints.

11. A one-ounce nugget of gold is more difficult to find than a five-carat diamond

A picture of gold and silver nuggets scattered on the table

Gold nuggets are chunks of native gold discovered in soils and stream beds. Nuggets are typically 70 to 95 percent gold, with the rest being mostly silver.

12. Switzerland has the highest amount of gold per capita in the world

Switzerland has the most gold per capita than any other country in the world as shown by the picture of a vault with the Swiss flag and gold bars inside

The Swiss National Bank has the world's seventh largest gold reserves holding 1,040 tonnes of gold.

Every Swiss thus owns approximately 128 grams of the precious metal, excluding any gold bars, jewelry, or other personal items made of gold that they may have stacked away.

13. About one-fifth of all the gold held by the world’s governments is in London

a gold vault underneath London Threadneedle Street

A hidden gold mine lies under London's streets.

It spans more than 300,000 square feet beneath the City of London, the financial district in the heart of the U.K. capital.

There is a maze of eight Bank of England gold vaults beneath the pavement of Threadneedle Street, each stacked with gold bars worth a total of around $200 billion…

… and that’s it for now!

Of course, there are many more amazing gold facts to be included in this list. But, if left uninterrupted, it might continue into eternity. 🙂

But stay tuned for more intriguing gold stories, including one about the golden secrets of Fort Knox, one of the most secret places in the United States.


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