So you think you know about gold, but do you really? Let me tell you some stuff that maybe you never knew. After all, everyone loves gold don’t they?
Gold is sexy after all.
Let’s start with its name. The word ‘gold’ is actually a progressive derivative of the old English word ‘geolu’ which actually meant ‘yellow’. It may also have come from the Indo-European word ghol meaning bright.
How about this one: Only around 19% of all the gold on earth has been discovered. The other 81% remains buried underground or suspended in minute quantities in our oceans. - Gold is literally everywhere and has been found on every continent.
Bet you didn’t know that on average every human has around 0.25 milligrams of gold in their body. (A lot of it is found in your blood cells).
Lots of people have a clinical fear of gold. – This may be a throwback to a time when having a lot of gold usually meant you also had a lot of power. – Perhaps people were afraid of such power. Fear of gold is called Aurophobia.
You probably know that ‘alchemy’ was originally described as ‘the process of turning base metals into gold’, but did you know that people have tried to turn other stuff into gold as well? – In the 1670’s a German chemist - called Hennig Brand - conducted an experiment in Hamburg in an attempt to turn human urine into gold. He ‘amassed’ over 1500 gallons of Urine and boiled it until it turned into a syrupy mass. When it solidified, he heated it up again to high temperatures and eventually distilled it.
He was actually looking for the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ – a mythical artifact that could turn things into gold.
However, when he tried to distil it, it burst into flames and burned with a white incandescent flame. – He had actually discovered Phosphorus!
Another one for you: Gold is the only metal that is ductile (can be stretched). An ounce of gold can in theory be stretched into a gold yarn (thread) that is 30 miles long. (Ideal for modern electronics manufacturing).
The melting point of gold is around 1063 degrees C. – Compare this to the melting point of Platinum (1,768 degrees C) and Lead (328 degrees C).
Gold is molecularly quite dense (albeit with loose atomic bonds) and as a result it is heavy. – A cubic foot of gold weighs around half a ton.
Did you also know that gold is edible? – Many top restaurants serve dishes with gold shavings that are there to be eaten.
Bullion is a term used to describe gold which has not been fashioned into an added value item (like coins or jewelry). Gold bullion is valued purely by its weight and the price of gold at that point in time.
Nearly 50% of all the world’s gold is held by governments and central banks and is usually in the form of gold bars.
Fancy getting into gold mining? – The deepest gold mine in the world is in South Africa. The Mponeng mine in Gauteng province is 2.5 miles deep. The temperature at the bottom of the mine reaches 67 degrees C and has to be cooled by pumping in a ‘slurry’ of ice to bring the temperature down to 30 degrees C.
Got an old mobile phone? – One ton of old mobile phones will yield more gold than a ton of gold ore. (Now where did you put all your old phones?)
The Eucalyptus tree is the only tree to contain gold within its leaves. – Maybe Koala bears are smarter than they look!
For all you budding Trekkies; NASA believes that the near-Earth asteroid ‘Eros’ may hold billions of tons of gold. – Warp factor 8 anyone?
Scared to go to the dentist? – In the USA alone, over 12 tons of gold is used each year to fill teeth. (Aren’t dentists expensive enough!)
A word on Karats and Carats: A Karat is a measure of the purity of gold. 24 Karat is pretty much pure gold while 18 Karat is 75% pure gold and 14 Karat is 58.3% pure.
A Carat on the other hand is a measure of weight. One Carat equals 200 milligrams. – Oh yes and a Carrot is a root vegetable that contains carotene which might help you spot gold on a dark night. (Ok that was poor).
Seriously though there are lots more fascinating facts about gold. One of the best ways to find out more is to go and speak to an expert.
I’ll post some more when I have time.
I am an entrepreneurial retailer and wholesaler with a strong track record of achievement and success in E-Commerce within a B2C environment.
For over 30 years I have successfully founded, created and operated businesses within Men’s High St retail and online optical. I’ve built successful, high-performing teams – both technical and non-technical and always enjoyed developing profitable, long-term relationships with clients.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing. I’ve learnt some hard lessons along the way that have shaped my ‘people first’ approach. I have a laser focus when it comes to margin, I believe profit tops turnover, cash is king and putting the customer first builds the right reputation. I’ve worked extensively with clients and suppliers all across the globe – giving me a truly international perspective in understanding cultural nuance and sensitivity.
By the very nature of my career to date, I have a very broad business experience and perspective. From developing international supply chains, merchandising and store design to raising VC funding, negotiating with banks and property agents and building high performance E-commerce sites – I believe I can bring value and insight to solve a broad range of business challenges.
Throughout my business career hindsight would have been a wonderful thing. I feel that I’m now able to share my knowledge and experience with others and help them avoid pitfalls and overcome the challenges that I’ve faced over a thirty-year career. In addition I believe my e-commerce knowledge and experience is very much at the cutting edge – enabling me to not only support ‘traditional’ small business – but also add value to those looking to establish themselves in the digital economy.
E-commerce business seeding and transformation
I am also a Director of London Gold Bullion.