Buttle's World

6 April, 2011

All the Gold in the World

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 13:42

Today’s moment of clarity brought to you from the back of Dr. Lane Molpus’ envelope.

  • All the gold ever mined in the world throughout history, if gathered into one place, would form a cube about 60 feet on each side [1].
  • (60 foot x 12 inch/foot x 2.54 cm/inch)^3 = (1828.8 cm)^3. That works out to be about 6,116,438,900 cubic centimeters of gold in the world.
  • Gold weighs 19.32 gram/cc [2]. The spot price of gold right now is $46.95/gram [3].
  • Thus, all the gold in the world is worth: 6,116,438,900 cc x 19.32 gram/cc x $46.95/gram = $5.54 x 10^12, or $5.54 trillion.
  • The U.S. National debt [4] is 14.2 trillion = $14.2 x 10^12.

The bottom line? All the gold in the world could only pay off 39% (5.54/14.2) of our national debt.

[1] Theodore Gray’s book “The Elements”, page 181.
[2] www.lenntech.com/periodic-chart-elements/density.htm
[3] goldprice.org/gold-price-per-gram.html
[4] www.brillig.com/debt_clock


Craig here: I found another estimate of 1.656 x 10^11 grams total gold ever mined, which still adds up to only $7.75 trillion, or about half the national debt.


Sleep tight.


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