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Gold has eternal life

I like owning gold, knowing that almost every civilisation has used it as a form of beauty and wealth. If you are lucky enough to own items containing gold, then there’s a chance that some of the gold may have been mined by the Romans. Why? It’s because all the gold that has been mined throughout history is still in existence. This may seem weird, but the amount of gold on the planet is even stranger. Guess how much gold there is?

Gold piggy

The answer is surprising

If all gold in the world was melted down into cube it would measure around 21m on each side; a staggering fact. The cube was worked out by The World Gold Council, as they estimate that all the gold ever mined is around 187,200 tonnes; two-thirds having been mined since 1950. As gold is virtually indestructible, it means that almost all the gold mined is still being used.

Gold diggers delight

Each year, gold mining adds around 2,500-3,000 tonnes to the above cube, however, accurately estimating the amount of gold still within the ground is not easy. This estimate may change due to:

  • The price of gold (about £980 per ounce)
  • Cost of mining
  • New gold discoveries
  • Survey capabilities (what’s left in the rocks)

Mining companies will estimate how much gold remains at each mining project; split into two categories: reserves (gold that is economic to mine) and resources (economic to mine only when the gold price is higher).

Show me the gold

Thomson Reuters, US Geological Survey, World Gold Council reckon that the 187,200 tonnes of gold in world is made up of the following, including below ground stocks at 57,000 tonnes. It’s surprising to see that a fifth of all gold is owned by private investors and not owned by governments.

  1. Jewellery: 89,200 tonnes (47.6%)
  2. Private investment: 40,000 tonnes (21.4%)
  3. Official sector: 31,500 tonnes (16.8%)
  4. Other: 26,500 tonnes (14.2%)

Although all the mined gold throughout history is still in existence, the way we use gold is starting to change. Up until now, we have recycled gold, however, 12% of gold is being used in such small quantities in the technology sector (phones etc.), that it may no longer be economical to recycle it. Yes, gold is being destroyed, so enjoy the dwindling mineral and element. It remains prized by people because of its attractive colour and resistance to tarnish.

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Important: This post is by insurance professional and a gold expert. The gold prices are subject to change. If you require investment information please speak to an independent financial adviser or similar professional.



Date: 19 February 2018 by Max Robinson