Visualizing Gold's Value And Rarity

Tyler Durden's picture

Since Ancient times, Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins explains, gold has served a very unique function in society.

Gold is extremely rare, impossible to create out of “thin air”, easily identifiable, malleable, and it does not tarnish. By nature of these properties, gold has been highly valued throughout history for every tiny ounce of weight. That’s why it’s been used by people for centuries as a monetary metal, a symbol of wealth, and a store of value.

Visualizing Gold’s Value and Rarity

With all that value coming from such a small package, sometimes it is hard to put gold’s immense worth into context.

The following 11 images help to capture this about gold, putting things into better perspective.

1. The U.S. median income, as a gold cube, easily fits in the palm of your hand.

U.S. Median Income as a Gold Cube

2. A gold cube worth $1 million, has sides that are 2/3 the length of a typical banknote.

One Million Dollars as a Gold Cube

3. All gold used for electrical connections in the Columbia Space Shuttle would be worth $1.6 million today.

All the Gold in the Columbia Space Shuttle in a Cube

4. Trump’s entire fortune of $3.7 billion as a gold cube would be shorter than Trump himself.

Donald Trump's fortune in a Gold Cube

5. As a gold cube, the entire value of the Bitcoin market would fit in a hallway.

The Bitcoin Market's Value as a Gold Cube

6. The fortune of the richest man on Earth, Bill Gates, would take up a single traffic lane.

Bill Gates' Wealth as a Gold Cube

7. The world’s entire annual production of gold is just a 5.5m sided (18 ft) cube.

Annual Gold Production a Gold Cube

8. Take the 147.3 million oz of gold out of Fort Knox, and it’s only slightly bigger.

All the Gold in Fort Knox Visualized as a Cube

9. All gold held by the Central Banks pales in comparison to the Brandenburg Gate.

The World's Central Banks Holdings as a Gold Cube

10. All gold mined in human history is dwarfed by the Statue of Liberty.

All Gold Mined in Human History Visualized as a Cube

11. To pay off $63 trillion of global sovereign debt, you’d need a gold cube the size of a building.

All Global Debt Visualized as a Gold Cube data-recalc-dims=

Liked our visualizations of gold cubes? Check out this motion graphic video that shows how much money has been created by humans.

The Money Project is an ongoing collaboration between Visual Capitalist and Texas Precious Metals that seeks to use intuitive visualizations to explore the origins, nature, and use of money.

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Mr.Sono's picture

Let's see some silver images. I am sure it will be more spectacular.

TruthHammer's picture

I love that it uses the fake news version of Trump's net worth.  Bravo, well cucked!

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Empire Mine in Grass Valley CA, largest gold mine in US for 100 years only mined 7 cubic feet over the hundred years. You should see the tunneling, amazing for 7 cube feet of gold over 100 years.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

What's the value of gold derivatives measured in a gold cube?

mind reset's picture
mind reset (not verified) Yukon Cornholius Feb 18, 2017 5:17 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

manofthenorth's picture

I would say that that you are talking about a gold cube that is a quarter mile high. Most of the Earth's gold will NEVER be seen as the ROI would not cover the incredible cost and difficulty in mining it. The irony would be that like that gold trapped deep within the Earth's crust, the "value" of those derivatives will NEVER be realized.

American Psycho's picture

Ladies and gentlemen... keep stacking

Justin Case's picture

This site shows the US debt in paper dollar bills stacked, compared to some buildings, on tractor trailers etc.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

My grandfather and uncle worked that mine. 

Lynx Dogood's picture

"Gold in Fort Knox" LOL Slick Willy dumped it to pay off favors!!!!

Took Red Pill's picture

This article is stupid! Not just your point about Fort Knox but comparing gold to dollars. The value of gold is much higher in reality if the "paper" gold market didn't suppress it so much.

Raffie's picture

ROFLMAO.. Fort Knox....

Need to do inventory to actually SEE the gold in there. I'm willing to bet there is a little gold dust in the bottom corners of the vault.

TheEndIsNear's picture

Yes please. There is less silver above ground than there is gold, and far more silver is consumed in photovoltaics, electronics, and other uses than is gold.

BeanusCountus's picture

It is beautul. A new silver eagle would get anyone hooked. Engraving.... incredible. But they tarnish over time, Keep em in sealed tubes. Or buy the proofs. Quite amazing how they can hold up. But.... gold is the way to go for your heirs.

Mementoil's picture

There is an easy way to remove tarnish off your silver without scrubbing and damaging it:
All you need to do is to place it in a plastic container over some Aluminum foil (make sure the silver touches the foil), add a spoonful of baking soda, a spoonful of salt and cover with boiling water. The tarnish disappears like magic, and your silver is as good as new.

Muddy1's picture

I use a soft, art gum eraser and rub both surfaces and the edge with good results.

And speaking of gold, did you see this yesterday on ZH?

jomama's picture

Would be better to see how much gold there is per American.'

Also, Gates isn't the richest person on the planet, nor is Drumpf's net worth that high.

Raffie's picture

Dumble Dorf?



RAT005's picture

There is about 1oz of gold above ground for each person in the world.  You can divide US Ft. Knox claim by 300 million yourself.

flaunt's picture

President Trump you asshole idiot.

Seasmoke's picture

Well it's nice to know I would have the nicest house in MONOPOLY. 

mary mary's picture

Very helpful.  Thank you.

Dr. Engali's picture

There's gold in Fort Knox? Moar fake news.

Slippery Slope's picture

Lol, so the gold allegedly stored in Ft Knox, is bigger than Ft Knox itself?

A proven farce.

Conax's picture

Nobody has seen it for about 60 years now.

If they had all that gold in Fort Knox they would happily arrange visits by politicians and the press.

For some reason, they won't let ANYONE in. Anyone. So who owns this stuff again?

President Trump should go there for a quick look.

cowdiddly's picture

Nixon lost it in a boating accident in Cam Rahn Bay.

Why do you think Lady Bird Johnson got all the dredging contracts there?

chubbar's picture

I'm pretty sure Clinton and Rubin traded it away with China for reasons unknown. Actually it's unknown if that actually happened but there is some anecdotal evidence that t did happen, to include the tungsten delivery. Anywhere there is a pile of shit, Clinton is bound to be nearby.

Montana Cowboy's picture

If its so rare, how come we can't get a single delivery default with prices allegedly at fire-sale levels for 7 years? I said 'allegedly' because its only the coin dealers telling us the vaults are almost empty and the prices are at fire-sale levels. Remember, there is nobody prosecuting the other side of this argument because nobody has a financial interest in doing so.

I would assert that it is impossible for any commodity to be rigged down for this long without delivery defaults. With any other commodity, the absence of delivery defaults after 7 years of down-rigging would mean the price is too high. Somehow, metals are exempt because they are magical. You could actually make a better argument that the metals markets are being rigged up.

Its true that the shorts don't actually have the metals to fulfill all those short contracts. But there is a long paired with every one of those shorts. And its just as true that the longs don't have the cash to take delivery on their long position. Everyone is full of shit, not just the shorts.

Yet, I am a stacker because there are good reasons to stack.

Nobodys Home's picture

But But...Comex is real!!!!!!!!!!

Oh grasshopper Shanghai is real!

Scuba Steve's picture

"If its so rare, how come we can't get a single delivery default with prices allegedly at fire-sale levels for 7 years?"

1) Paper is unlimited but physical is affected. The net sale is a buy (ask Germany)

2) the biggest buyers move the same stacks around

 start making pensions/401k's accept physical and you would have delivery defaults within the first hour of the first day.


BeanusCountus's picture

Aaah, you look at the same things I do. But make no mistake, it is a rare element. Dont be frustrated about price. Will fluctuate. So what. Will have highs and lows. It will be a store of wealth.... Forever.

funthea's picture

The system you see before you is a well crafted deception erected to fulfill a dual purpose, to institute the illusion of price discovery for gold and silver, and to ostensibly render the mechanism of a transaction for which traders get up each morning and facilitate trades. In both instances, however, they are mealy trading paper, and by extension, discovering just that, the price of paper, nothing more.

Ryland's picture

So if the total debt is roughly 10x the value of all the gold mined in human history, doesn't that mean that gold should be roughly 10X its current price?

Nobodys Home's picture

I hope not. I'd like to buy a little more.

kahplunk's picture

same  now that it's 1200+ im pissed was hopeing to see it below 1000 before I stacked some more.  I still think the price will come down before a true bull run.

SeuMadruga's picture

12.45x if the Fed balance "shit" alone ($4trillon) would to be backed by the gold allegedly stored in FauxKnox (8,133 ton). I think figures'd be a lot higher when considering total debt (sovereign + private) and the respective gold holdings actually belonging to the issuers of theses debts.

homiegot's picture

What about all that leased gold?

Nobodys Home's picture

Pictcha Preese! Vely nice. Thank You Prese!

Jungle Jim's picture

All I know is that a few years ago I had 51-point-something troy ounces of gold, and 1,648-point-something troy ounces of silver. Now I have zero ounces of silver, and only six ounces of gold. It sure hasn't made me rich, and I won't be able to live much longer on the worth of six ounces of gold.

BeanusCountus's picture

Sorry to hear. But you were at leest able to sell it and cover expenses. Have no idea what anyone's timing might be. But it least can be converted.

BeanusCountus's picture

Sorry to hear. But you were at leest able to sell it and cover expenses. Have no idea what anyone's timing might be. But it least can be converted.

BeanusCountus's picture

Sorry to hear. But you were at leest able to sell it and cover expenses. Have no idea what anyone's timing might be. But it least can be converted.

kahplunk's picture

why you sell did you barrow money?