As investors and SIPP holders turn to gold in times of economic uncertainty, the rarity of gold reveals why it’s a favoured asset to preserve wealth, illustrated by the fascinating graphics below
Gold Is So Rare, Mining For It Is Literally Like Looking For A Needle In A Haystack
12 Stunning Illustrations Showing Gold Is Rare
Gold is respected throughout the world for its value and rich history, which has been interwoven into cultures for thousands of years. Coins containing gold appeared around 800BC, and the first pure gold coins were struck during the rein of King Croesus of Lydia about 300 years later.
The average deposit of gold is roughly 1 gram (0.035 oz) for every tonne of earth. That’s about the mass of a small paper clip. What’s more, this small amount of gold isn’t usually in one place, being dispersed through a tonne of rock and dirt in miniscule amounts.
By comparing gold to a variety of everyday articles, the illustrations below show that gold is extremely rare and very valuable.
Smaller denominations of gold plates: 1 gram, 5 grams, 10 grams, 20 grams, and 1 troy oz of gold.
Larger denominations of gold plates: 50 grams, 100 grams, 250 grams, 500 grams, and 1 kg of gold.
This 400 oz gold bar, at USD 2,000 per oz gold, is worth the USD 800,000 cash beside it. The gold bar is extremely heavy, weighing more than three full milk jugs.
This is what one tonne of gold looks like. At USD 2,000 per oz, it’s worth USD 64.3 million.
Gold is so heavy that the suspension of an average truck would break if it held any more than pictured above. Even if the truck’s suspension broke, the load of gold in the back could buy 2,660 brand new trucks assuming each one costs USD 40,000.
Here’s 10 tonnes of gold compared to 100 tonnes of the yellow metal.
This semi-truck is carrying the maximum load it can legally carry, which is about 25 tonnes. It’s holding 24.88 tonnes of gold, worth USD 1.6 billion.
The Northrop Grumman B2 Spirit Bomber program cost USD 44.75 billion for a total of 21 units built, which averages at USD 2,130,952,380 per unit. Shown here is the amount of gold it costs to buy one unit.
Here’s the entire gold reserves of the United States government, which is 8,133.5 tonnes.
Here’s the world’s gold reserves by government in 2012. This is slightly outdated, with China and Russia both having significant increases since then.
Here’s all the gold mined in history, stacked in 400 oz bars. The 166,500 tonnes here is actually divided into four levels: the bottom level is jewellery (50.5 per cent of all gold), the second level is private investment (18.7 per cent), the third level is world governments (17.4 per cent), and the highest level is other uses for gold such as industry (13.4 per cent).
Finally, here’s an illustration of all of the world’s mined gold in one cube with dimensions of 20.5 meters. If it were melted, it would fit within the confines of an Olympic swimming pool.
Should You Hold Gold In Your SIPP?
You can learn all about SIPP gold, and how your SIPP can benefit from holding it, on the Gold page in our Members Area.
This information and the illustrations were published on Visual Capitalist, having initially been put together by Demonocracy.info. The graphics are a couple of years old and optimistically have the value of gold pegged at USD 2,000 per oz, perhaps for the ease of calculation.
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Closing 1 February 2019
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