Gold is a metal that has bedazzled kings and queens, enriched industrialists and formed the basis of modern currencies.
Today gold plays a pivotal role in global currency reserves, art, jewelry, industry, investing and technology. No other precious metal is so versatile or revered.
Let us show you the amazing world of gold.
The Basic Facts About Gold
We thought we’d start with some basic facts that may take you back to your school days.
Gold is an incredibly versatile metal. A good conductor of electricity and it is very resistant to corrosion.
Gold is present in sea water but in such small quantities that it cannot be extracted economically.
The Cube of Discovered Gold
Gold has been mined for over 3000 thousand years.
If you could magically bring all of the gold ever recovered from the earth to one place, how big an object would you have?
We show you the answer in our diagram below:
The cube of gold would weigh 131,300 tonnes.
The World Consumption of Gold
7.4 tonnes of gold is mined from the earth every day.
There are 3 main ways newly mined gold is put to use. See our chart below:
Here are some examples of gold volumes
Mining Gold from Cell Phones
Gold is used in the manufacture of electrical connectors in cell phones, computers and other devices. Recycling could become the modern alchemy if gold can be profitably recovered from cell phones and other electronic devices.
This news report from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) explores the possibility.
“There be gold in them thar smartphones, said the European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik last month. He didn’t use those exact words, but that was the general idea.
“The business case is clear,” he said, as he launched revised waste and recycling targets for the EU. “There’s gold in waste – literally. It takes a ton of ore to get 1g of gold. But you can get the same amount from recycling the materials in 41 mobile phones.”
Potocnik was quoting a UN report on e-waste which evaluated a range of technologies for recovering gold and other elements from electronic goods.