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Interesting Facts


Numbers and facts

Some of the more extraordinary statistics which gold has accumulated across the centuries and around the world.


  • 79

    The atomic number of gold, which means there are 79 protons in the nucleus of every atom of gold.

  • 49

    The 40,000 miners who joined the California Gold Rush in 1849 were called “49ers”. Only a very few ever got rich.

  • 50

    One ounce of gold can be stretched to a length of 50 miles; the resulting wire would be just five microns wide.

  • 7.2

    Million - the number of times that all of the existing gold in the world, turned into 5 micron wire, could wrap around the planet.

  • 9

    One ounce of pure gold could be hammered into a single sheet nine metres square.

  • 1064

    Gold melts at 1064 degrees centigrade.

  • 2808

    ...And only boils at 2808 degrees centigrade.

  • 171,300

    This is the total number of tonnes of gold mined since the beginning of civilisation.

  • 20

    ... all of which would fit into a crate of 20 metres cubed.

  • 90

    Over 90 percent of the world’s gold has been mined since the California Gold Rush.

  • 100

    million people worldwide depend on gold mining for their livelihood.

  • 31.103

    The number of grams in a troy ounce of gold.

  • 400

    The number of troy ounces in a “London Good Delivery Bar”.

  • 200

    Julius Caesar gave two hundred gold coins to each of his soldiers from the spoils of war in defeating Gaul.

  • 4,600

    Fort Knox holds 4,600 tonnes of gold.

  • 6,200

    And the US Federal Reserve holds 6,200.

  • 37

    The temperature of the human body is 37 degrees centigrade. Because of gold’s unique conductivity, gold jewellery rapidly matches your body’s heat, becoming part of you.

  • 1

    It is rarer to find a one ounce nugget of gold than a five carat diamond.

  • 60

    The percentage of gold mined today that becomes jewellery.

  • 394

    The % increase in the price of gold from Dec 2000 to October 2010.

  • 750

    The number of parts per thousand of pure gold in 18 carat gold.

  • 95

    In 95 BC, Chinese Emperor Hsiao Wu I minted gold commemorative piece to celebrate the sighting of a unicorn.

  • 53

    The largest gold coin ever minted, a 2007 Canadian $1,000,000 Maple Leaf is 53cm in diameter.

  • 1922

    Howard Carter made his famous “tiny breach of the top left hand corner of the doorway” to reveal the first glimpse of Tutankhamun’s tomb on 26 November 1922.

  • 15,000

    Even at only 10 parts of gold per quadrillion, the world’s oceans are estimated to hold up to 15,000 tonnes of gold.

  • 2316

    The largest ever true gold nugget weighted 2316 troy ounces when found at Moliagul in Australia in 1869. It was called the “Welcome Stranger”.

  • 55

    In November 2010, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) fund, a World Gold Council sponsored exchange traded fund, held over $55 billion assets under management.

  • 60

    World Gold Council members collectively represent around 60% of all corporate mining activity.

  • 35

    The number of times gold has reached a new high in 2010


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