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Interesting Facts About Gold and Why It's a Safe Investment

16 Interesting Facts About Gold and Why It's a Safe Investment

January 06, 20242939 view(s)

You may have heard that buying gold is a great investment for the future, but did you know there are some fun facts about the history of gold? We love gold for its universal value, beauty, and shine, but there's so much more to know about this rare and precious metal.

If you're interested in learning more about investing in gold, we have some fun and interesting facts about gold to keep in mind.

Here are 17 nuggets of information to consider before you buy gold.

1. Gold Is a Rare Element

Did you know that gold is one of the rarest elements on the planet? It makes up around 0.003 parts per million of the planet's crust. 

To put this in perspective, consider that one part per million converted into time equals one minute in two years. That's rare, and gold is even rarer.

Scientists believe gold is so rare because it's hard to produce. It takes incredible heat and pressure to produce gold.

Scientists believe that the deaths of the giant stars of the universe are responsible for producing most of the chemical elements, including gold.

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2. Gold Coins Date Back to 700-650 B.C.

The Kingdom of Lydia, today's modern-day Turkey, is credited with the production of the first gold coins between 700 to 650 B.C. At first, their gold coins weren't pure.

They were made from electrum, a natural alloy from the rivers of the area. Over 100 years later, King Croesus of the Kingdom of Lydia produced the first pure gold coins.

3. Gold Is Soft at Room Temperature

When gold is 99.99% pure, it's a little like butter. It can be easily bent and formed by hand.

This is the main reason large amounts of pure gold are typically shaped into bars or ingots for transport. Pure gold in large amounts will bend and flatten during transport if it isn't properly formed and packaged.

Gold is heavy, and the weight of it would sink and settle without the proper packaging.

4. Gold Is Heavier Than It Looks in the Movies

A 400 troy-ounce bar of gold weighs 12.4 kilos. It's between 21 and 39 cm long and about 2.5 to 4.5 cm thick. The gold props in movies are usually double the size of an actual gold bar.

Stealing gold in the movies would be much less exciting if it was too heavy to carry. People who buy gold bars are often surprised by the small size yet heavy weight of the gold they purchase.


5. Gold Olympic Medals Aren't Pure Gold Anymore

When top Olympians take a bite of their gold medals for the camera, it's actually a mere 6 grams of gold and .925 grade silver.

Silver medals are .925 silver, and bronze medals are mostly made of copper. At one time, Olympic medals were made of pure gold.

The Royal Mint produced the last pure gold medals awarded in the 1912 Olympic Games.

6. The Majority of U.S. Gold Is in Kentucky

Fort Knox is an Army post in southern Kentucky and the site of the U.S. Bullion Depository. It holds around 4,600 metric tons of gold. This represents 2.5% of all refined gold and is worth about $200 billion.

Although Fort Knox holds a huge portion of the country's gold reserves, it doesn't house the gold used for making gold coins. This gold is held in New York at the West Point Mint.

7. Gold Arrived From Space

Did gold really come from outer space? Geologists think so.

They believe that the majority of gold on the planet arrived during meteorite storms over two billion years ago. The theory is there was a collision of exotic stars billions of years ago, and gold and other precious metals came about due to massive stellar explosions.

Along with gold and other precious metals, scientists think iron, silicon, and a variety of elements were also produced by stellar explosions.

8. Gold Is a Noble Metal

Gold is a precious metal. It's prized for its rarity, beauty, and resistance to degradation. It doesn't tarnish or corrode easily.

Gold is resistant to moisture, air, and other acidic conditions. Although acid can easily dissolve most metals, gold is an exception.

Dissolving gold isn't a simple process. A mix of acids called aqua regia is needed before gold can be dissolved.

9. Gold May Have Healing Benefits 

The uses for gold are far beyond bars, coins, and jewelry. Gold has been used for medicinal purposes since 1890.

Robert Koch, a German scientist, discovered gold compounds that halted the growth of Bacillus, the cause of tuberculosis. Today, gold is used to treat a variety of ailments.

Medical testing involving gold compounds is ongoing for possible treatments for arthritis, HIV, and other diseases.

10. The Space Program Uses Gold

NASA uses gold for constructing spacesuits for astronauts. They use a layer of gold for the astronaut's visors. 

Gold helps reflect the sun's rays and protect the astronauts from other infrared lights. These visors serve to shield their eyes from danger.

NASA also uses gold in its Apollo lunar landing modules. A strip of gold, along with glass, aluminum, mylar, wool, and Kapton, is placed at the top of the module to protect the astronauts from the excessive heat.

11. Gold Mining in Space

Is it possible to mine gold in space? The possibility doesn't exist today, but NASA believes gold does exist in space, especially among asteroids.

Psyche 16 is an asteroid between Jupiter and Mars. NASA is studying this asteroid for clues to further explain how Earth was formed. They believe this asteroid is carrying a fortune in precious metals, including nickel and iron.

Many believe this particular asteroid has a solid gold core and is worth an absolute fortune. If mining were possible, the value would be high enough to categorize every human being on Earth as a millionaire.

12. Gold Is in the Ocean

The ocean is a huge reservoir of gold. Gold is present in small but measurable quantities in seawater. If it was possible to filter it efficiently, you would find an estimated 20 tons of gold in each cubic mile.

Scientists think the oceans hold more gold than man has mined throughout history. Unfortunately, mining seawater is difficult and expensive. It's much easier and economical to mine for gold traditionally.

The concentration of the oceans' gold is along the scale of parts per trillion. That means it's very dilute, so miners can only dream about capturing this gold.

There is likely undiscovered, undissolved gold on the ocean floors, but it's almost impossible to get to it. You would have to get miles beneath the surface and mine through the rock before finding gold.

13. Our Bodies and Gold

Did you know there are small traces of gold in your body? A human being weighing 154 lbs has approximately .2 mg of gold in their body.

To give a visual perspective, this is similar to a small cube that measures .22mm on each side. Gold is thought to protect our joints and aid in the conduction of electrical signals throughout the body.

14. You Can Buy Digital Gold

Buying digital gold is similar to buying gold in its physical form. You can't touch digital gold, but you can buy it in seconds. 

Digitized gold is sold online, and you can store it in a certified vault. There's no need to verify its purity or find a secure storage place for digital gold.

All digital gold passes quality standards of 95.5% purity or the 24-karat Hallmark. It's a great investment option for anyone wanting to diversify their investment portfolio.

15. You Can Eat Gold

Did you know that gold is edible? It's true. In fact, in the Asian culture, gold is a staple for decorating food gifts. 

You can find gold-infused liquors throughout the world. Gold is used by pastry chefs for food decoration, especially at the pricier establishments.

Gold is found in some beauty products and medications as well. Although gold is safe to eat in very small quantities, eating more than a little can be dangerous to your health.

16. Gold Is Everywhere

People have been investing in gold for ages, and it's currently a hot trend for investors looking for a hedge against inflation. One reason gold is always in fashion is that it's all around you, even if you don't realize it.

Gold is found in your electronic devices, including phones, cameras, computers, televisions, and more. Gold is beautiful and resistant to corrosion and tarnishing. 

Gold is a rare, beautiful, and powerful natural resource. It always has been and continues to be a favorite choice for savvy investors.

Facts About Gold and Its Universal Value

It's fun to consider the history of gold and some facts about gold you may not have heard before. The more you learn about this unique precious metal, the more likely you are to want some of your own.

If you're interested in buying gold, the U.S. Gold Bureau would love to assist you. Our precious metal specialists can help you find the right precious metals to add to your investment portfolio.

If you're curious about the investment potential of gold and other precious metals, check out our free investor's guide today.

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