Interesting Gold Facts
Gold makes up 0.001 ppm of the earth’s crust, but 0.004 ppm of sea water.
Iron meteorites have been found to have gold concentrations of up to 7 ppm.
Various industries use 1,750 tons of gold per year (45.5 million ounces). Annual gold production is about 50 million ounces falling.
An average of 80 cubic yards of gravel must be sluiced to recover 1 ounce of gold.
Only 3% of gold is recovered from natural placer deposits; 77% is from load mining and 20% is recovered as a by-product of processing other metals.
Early records are incomplete, but the largest nugget recovered in California was discovered in Butte County and weighed 54 troy lbs; or 702 troy ounces.
The “Boot of Cortez” was found near the Arizona-Mexico border in 1989 with a metal detector. It weighs 389.4 troy ounces. You can buy it if you have a spare 3 million.
By contrast, the largest Alaskan nugget was found in 1998 in Ruby, AK by Barry Clay, it weighed 294.10 troy ounces; or 22.623 troy pounds! Still that is a mere pinky ring compared to the largest nugget ever found, it was in Victoria, Australia in 1869 and weighed 2,284 ounces; and unbelievable 175.623 troy pounds.
A one ounce gold nugget is as rare as a 5 carat diamond since only .1% of all gold is found in nugget form. Rough nuggets are rarer still since most get pounded into smooth lumps during their river journeys.