How Rare Is Gold And Platinum?
The Velvet Rocket has noted before just how precious the precious metals actually are…
Gold might seem ubiquitous, as it is found on the hands of millions of brides, but approximately 161,000 tons of the yellow metal have been mined over the entire history of mankind. That’s sounds like a lot, but gold is heavy. In reality, it is barely enough to fit in two Olympic-sized swimming pools, a shockingly tiny amount when you consider the size of the earth and the billions of people who live and work on it.
It starts to make gold at a recent $1,000 an ounce seem cheap!
Platinum is even more rare. All the platinum ever mined in history would fit in the average American living room.
A Scarce Resource? Visualize It…
All the gold mined in history would barely fit in two Olympic-sized swimming pools:
And all of the platinum mined in history would just fill this living room:
I am really impressed… shocked. Especially regarding the Platinum facts. No wonder why Platinum is so much more expensive than gold.
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From the Wall Street Journal…
Since at least late 2010, commentators have been pointing to massive buying of gold by the Chinese as another prop for the barbarous relic. Much of the chatter has focused on solving the apparent enigma of why China would want to buy so much gold.
But a look back into history shows that there’s no mystery here. There is a long tradition, in China’s imperial dynasties, of hoarding vast quantities of gold. According to an article in the May 1942 issue of The Journal of Economic History by Homer Dubs, a scholar at Duke University, the treasury of Emperor Wang Mang held roughly 5 million ounces of gold around A.D. 23.
An earlier emperor, Wu, had amassed 1.6 million ounces, reported Dubs.
For comparative purposes, Dubs estimated that the ancient Persian empire controlled barely 1% as much gold and that the Roman imperial treasury at its peak had amassed only about 8% as much gold as the ancient Chinese did.
The entire stock of gold in medieval Europe, reckoned Dubs, amounted to 3.7 million ounces, while all the gold mined during the Spanish exploitation of the Americas from 1503 to 1660 totaled 5.83 million ounces.
Thus, the ancient Chinese imperial treasury may have held one of history’s greatest single concentrations of gold in one place.
So there is ample precedent for the hoarding of gold by a Chinese government.
One warning note: Wang Mang ended up controlling so much gold, noted Dubs, by forbidding his empire’s citizens from owning it. In the year 6 A.D., the emperor essentially nationalized the ownership of gold, confiscating it for the exclusive use of the government – much as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the U.S. in 1933.
Gold might go up from here, or it might go down. But the Chinese aren’t the newest big player in this market. They’re the oldest.