Where Does Gold Come From?
Primary Gold Supply – Gold Mining
According to the World Gold Council, about 65% of annual gold on the market comes from freshly mined gold around the world. China, Russia and Australia represent the top three largest gold mining producing countries. The remainder of gold comes from “secondary” supply which is in the form of recycled gold rings, necklaces or other jewelry, or from sales of stockpiles of existing gold bullion coins and bars.
But gold can be found in many other, often strange places. Here are some of them”:
Gold In Electronics
One source of gold recycling is from electronic waste. Gold exists in small amounts in computers, smart phones and other electronics. Gold is one of the best conductors of electricity – not quite as good as silver – but it never corrodes, making it a useful component in electronic devices. Because hundreds of millions of electronic devices have been thrown away, the gold with them has also been thrown away. Companies work to collect electronic waste and to extract the gold from them. Click here to see the arduous process of how gold may be retrieved from electronics waste.
Gold In Sewage
Yes, gold can be extracted from poop. It is estimated that the sewer systems of people of one million or more can yield millions of dollars worth of gold! The NY Post estimates that in the United States alone $4.2 billion in gold and other precious metals are flushed away annually.
How does all that gold get into the sewer system? Scientist believe that trace amounts of metals like gold, copper and silver that are used in cosmetics like make-up and shampoo, food and detergents find their way into the sewer system via human excrement. Washing while wearing gold rings or jewerly may be another source as trace amounts come off in the process. Click here to see how scientists think they can mine poop for gold.
Gold In Outerspace
Gold has long been known to exist on asteroids. Meteorites that have broken off from asteroids and fallen to earth have contained large chunks of gold. Rather than waiting for the next meteor shower, companies are preparing to mine asteroids directly for gold, platinum and other precious metals. Sound like pie in the sky, or gold in the sky? Click here for an analysis of how asteroid mining might be achieved.
Scientists also believe that there might exist gold on Mars.
Gold At Archeological Sites
With improved archeological techniques, gold is often found at archeological sites. Recently a hoard of ‘Bronze Age” (6,600 years ago) gold artifacts was discovered in Bulgaria by a team of archeologists. In 2015, 2,000 gold coins dating from the 10-12 centuries were found off the coast of Israel. Generally, gold discovered from archeological excavations have an historic value higher than their gold content and are not melted down for scrap value.
Gold At Bottom of Sea
Prior to the days of air cargo, gold was shipped for centuries via ships across the ocean. Gold from shipwrecks has been found accidently. Click here to see how $4.5 million worth of gold was discovered accidentally just fifteen feet from shore!
Gold has also been found on the ocean floor intentionally through research on high profile ships that sunk that were known to be carrying gold. Salvage firms specialize in this type of gold recovery. Click here to see how BILLIONS of dollars worth of sunken gold treasure was retreived and the legal battle that ensued.
Gold IN The Sea
Besides being at the bottom of the sea, gold is also IN the sea. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Ocean Service, there is nearly 20 tons of gold in the ocean! The National Oceabn Services notes, however, that “Each liter of seawater contains, on average, about 13 billionths of a gram of gold.”
Gold can also be found in small amounts in ocean sands.
Gold Where Ever!
Gold has also been found while out walking the dog , in a toilet, in trees, in walls and many other hiding places. Gold may be nearly everywhere you just have to either find it or find a way to extract it economically.
Or, you can acquire gold the old fashion way – by buying it!
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