The words “wealth” and “gold” are nearly synonymous. Throughout history, gold has been considered among the rarest and most precious elements known to man. Gold has been a symbol of wealth and luxury for thousands of years; wars have been waged over its possession; poems have been written about its beauty; massive human migrations to the most remote regions of the world were undertaken just to obtain it. It is universally valuable. Heck, the term “gold standard” defines gold as without rival in value. So, man loves gold. But I bet there are a few things about Earth’s most sought after element that you didn‘t know. Prepare to be wowed – below are our top-10 facts about gold we bet you didn’t know about:
#1. Gold Was (Sorta) Used as a Treatment for the Bubonic Plague
During the fourteenth century, much of the world, specifically Europe, was ravaged by the Bubonic Plague. It is estimated that approximately one quarter of the entire European population perished as a result. Without the necessary advanced medicine and health practices needed to combat the disease, people were willing to try almost anything. While it certainly wasn’t effective, medieval Europeans concocted what must be one of the most expensive health care plans, even by today’s standards, when they opted to drink molten gold and crushed up emeralds in order to treat the Bubonic Plague. While these trendsetters didn’t find the cure they were looking for, they most definitely deserve a gold medal for creativity.
#2. San Francisco Named its Sports Team After a Gold Rush
Of-course, team names have some special meaning correlating with the city to which it is affiliated. The San Francisco 49ers is no exception. Back in 1849, foreman James W. Marshall was building a mill for Sacramento pioneer John Sutter when he stumbled upon a shiny metal. After Marshall and Sutter determined that the metal was, in fact, pure gold, it did not take much for the 1849 San Francisco Gold Rush to begin. The Gold Rush was such a big part of San Francisco lore that the city named their football team after this period in history, the San Francisco 49ers.
#3. Gold Was Among the First Two Metals Ever Discovered
Gold and copper were the first metals discovered by man approximately 7,000 years ago. Yep, you heard it here first – our rarest and most valuable metal was also the first one we pulled out of the ground.
#4. New York Has Got a Lot More Going On Than Broadway
Here are two facts for the price of one: the world’s largest stockpile of gold can be found underneath one of the world’s largest cities – New York. Five stories underground, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault holds roughly 25% of the world’s gold reserve (540,000 gold bars) – that’s more than Fort Knox! But here’s the kicker; the majority of the gold isn’t even owned by Americans. Foreign countries store it there.
#5. Oh, But it’s Worth it
South Africa used to hold the title for years as the world’s top producer of man’s favorite element. But I bet you didn’t know what it takes to actually pull that precious gold from the Earth. The mines of South Africa go down as far as 12,000 feet and reach temperatures as hot as 130°F. It takes 38 man hours, 1,400 gallons of water, enough electricity to run a large house for ten days, and chemicals like cyanide, acids, lead, borax and lime just to produce a single ounce of gold. South Africa produces about 500 tons of gold annually, and nearly 70 million tons of earth are raised and milled in the process.
So that’s it for the first 5 of our top 10 craziest facts about gold we bet you didn’t know about!
But that’s not all – at the end of the day, everyone’s favorite fact is just how much his or her gold is worth. You don’t need to go trekking through Alaska or exploring the Amazon to find out either; Buckeye Gold Company is Central Ohio’s premier gold buyer. For all of the facts, visit Buckeye Gold.