GOLD FAQ – about the metal Au
- - What is Gold?
- - Where is (was) Gold being used?
- - What is the weight of Gold?
- - How much Gold has ever been produced?
- - How much gold is being mined per year in recent times?
- - Which countries produce Gold?
- - What is a Gold Standard?
- - How do supply and demand of Gold compare?
- - How much Gold do Central Banks hold?
- - What is Troy (oz) and where does the term come from?
- - What is the melting point of Gold?
- - What is the boiling point of Gold?
- What is Gold?
Gold is a chemical element. It's chemical symbol is 'Au' (Aurum).
The atomic number of Gold is 79, which represents the number of positively charged protons.
The mass of a Gold atom is 197 (196,97) u = amu (atomic mass unit) = 79 protons + 118 neutrons.
Otherwise, in its purest form, Gold is a shiny yellow metal and hard to find, hence 'precious'.
Due to its diversity of special properties, Gold is the most useful mineral on Earth.
- Where is (was) Gold being used?
- In Jewelery 70% of annual mine production
- In (modern) Industry such as electronics being the most efficient conductor and in glass making,
being very light and radiation resistant whilst controlling temperature.
- In Medicine such as dental filling and as a drug with many applications
- In Science & Technology such as Aerospace and Medical laboratories
- In Banking & Finance as monetary value (example: Gold Standard)
- What is the weight of Gold?
Gold weighs 19,3 times more than water. Thus a cube of 10x10x10 centimers weighs 19.3kg.
A troy ounce of Gold (or oz) weighs 31.1035 grams.
- How much Gold has ever been produced?
About 177.000 tons. (Also indicated as 177,000 metric tons)
The amount of Gold ever produced can only be estimated, Gold production is based upon 'real' figures since 1835 and what may have been produced before and in very ancient times by countries like Egypt and China. The total Gold production figure prior to 1835 is based on estimate.
- How much gold is being mined per year in recent times?
It is about 2,500 tonnes per annum reaching 3,000 tons in 2013 and expected to slow in 2015.
Gold production year on year and quarter on quarter does vary and depends largely on production cost and market price.
Gold production has exceeded world population growth by about 25% during the past 100 years.
- Which countries produce Gold?
South Africa has for decades been the leading Mine production country of the world but has steadily seen its share of total world Gold production being reduced in favour of countries like the USA, ChIna, Australia,, Russia and other former USSR countries, Canada and Peru.
. China (11%) has been the biggest producer in recent years followed by
. USA 10%
. South Africa (10%)
. Australia (10%)
. Peru (7,5%)
. Russia (7%)
. Canada (4%)
. Indonesia (4%)
. Ghana (3.5%)
. Uzbekistan (3.5%)
. Others (29,5%)
- What is a Gold Standard?
A Gold Standard is a term used for countries maintaining an inventory of pure Gold almost equal compared with the value of printed paper money or coins of another metal in circulation.
A Gold Standard was first introduced by the Chinese in the 9th century.
The Gold Standard is often referred to as the 1844 British Bank Charter Act whereby BofE notes(legal tender) were fully backed by an inventory of Gold.
In the year 1900, the USA Congress passed the Gold Standard Act establishing Gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money.
Word War I, the Great Depression and WWII caused many countries, The UK as leading nation, to (temporarily) abandon the Gold Standard and allow for monetary financing of inflated government expenses. The exception was the USA.
In 1946 The Post WWII Bretton Woods agreement pegged Western currency to the dollar as international reserve currency which in turn would be backed 100% by Gold held by the USA at a rate of US$ 35 per troy ounce.
In 1970 France reduced its dollar reserves with the USA in exchange for Gold to such an extend that the USA, in view of huge expenses due to the Vietnam War, could no longer maintain the full gold backing and Gold became a free floating commodity again in 1971.
Today the value of all Gold at $ 1.000/oz is about 5 trillion dollars and is significantly less than dollar money in circulation in the USA alone.
- How do supply and demand of Gold compare?
- Demand for Gold has over the years been higher than the supply from mine production. Some or most of the difference between demand and supply was met from net selling of Gold inventory by the Worlds central banks. Official Central Banks purchases of Gold have stabilized in recent years at just over 200 tons per annum.
- How much Gold do Central Banks hold?
About 7% of the paper and coin money in circulation is held in the form of pure Gold Bars by the worlds largest Central Banks.
At the end of 2013 this amounts to approximately 32,000 tons (note: according to the official reserves reports by Central banks)
- What is Troy (oz) and where does the term come from?
Troy comes from the French city of Troyes, the ancient capital of the Champagne region. The Troy weight is 480 grains. Each grain weighing 64.79891 mg. The troy ounce weighs 480*64.79891mg = 31.1034768 gr.
There are 1.000/31.1034768 = 32.1507466 Troy ounces in 1 kilogram of Gold.
- What is the melting point of Gold?
1063 degr Celcius or 1945 degr Fahrenheit
- What is the boiling point of Gold?
The boiling point = 1542 degr Celsius or 2808 degr Fahrenheit)