Twelve astonishing things about gold
As gold coin makers, we get to work with one of the most amazing materials in the Universe.
Here are 12 astonishing features we’ve found cited about precious gold:
- Gold is made in supernovas – massive cosmic explosions that hurl out materials which gather together to form planets.
- Most of Earth’s gold is buried too deep to be recoverable.
- Gold nearer the surface is the result of meteorites storms that bombarded Earth after it was formed.
- The abundance of gold in the Earth’s crust is 0.004 parts per million.
- The world’s oceans are estimated to hold up to 15,000 tonnes of gold.
- Since the dawn of humankind, less than 172,000 tonnes of gold have ever been mined.
- Every tonne of recovered gold would fit into a box of 20 metres cubed.
- These days, it is not unusual for 10 or more tonnes of rock to be mined to get 1oz of gold.
- Gold is extraordinarily dense – a cubic foot weighs half a ton, making it almost twice as heavy as lead.
- Gold is highly malleable and ductile – 1oz of pure gold can be beaten into a sheet measuring nine square metres or drawn into a wire 80 kilometres long.
- Gold nanoparticles thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair are used in medicine.
- The average human body contains 7 milligrams of gold.
Insiders’ guide to precious metal coin production
In this article we explore some of the techniques and equipment The Perth Mint’s Coining department uses to make exquisitely finished precious metal coins.