Everyday Math

Math and the Consumer’s Money

What are some interesting gold and numbers facts?

Gold and numbers go together for many reasons. The following lists some interesting gold and number facts from the World Gold Council:

  • The 40,000 miners who joined the California Gold Rush in 1849 were called “49-ers”; only a very few ever “struck it rich.”
  • One ounce of gold can be stretched to a length of 50 miles, with the resulting wire just five microns wide.
  • One ounce of pure gold could be hammered into a single sheet covering 9 square meters (96 square feet).
  • Gold melts at 1,064 degrees Celsius (1,947 degrees Fahrenheit) and only boils at 2,808 degrees Celsius (5,086 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Over 90 percent of the world’s gold has been mined since the California Gold Rush.
  • The number of grams in a troy ounce of gold: 31.103.
  • Fort Knox holds 4,600 tonnes of gold (10,141,264.06 pounds); the U.S. Federal Reserve holds 6,200 (13,668,660.25 pounds).
  • There was a 394 percent increase in the price of gold from December 2000 to October 2010.
  • There are 750 parts per thousand of pure gold in 18-carat gold.
  • The largest ever true gold nugget weighed 2,316 troy ounces (158.8 pounds) when found at Moliagul in Australia in 1969; it is called the “Welcome Stranger.”
  • Even at only 10 parts of gold per quadrillion, the world’s oceans are estimated to hold up to 15,000 tonnes (33,069,339.33 pounds) of gold.

Gold, surprisingly, is not as rare an element as many people believe, and, despite some industrial uses such as in circuitry, is not as useful as other, stronger metals. What gives it its worth is that people perceive it to have great value, as well as the fact that it is a very pretty substance.


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