Everywhere you go you can easily find some gold, but do you ever wonder where the gold comes from? Even though we see gold in jewelry shops wherever we go, gold is actually not as prevalent as it seems. Thomson Reuters GFMS, experts in surveying precious metals, has estimated that the total amount of gold in the world is equal to 171,300 tonnes. According to other research, the total amount of gold we have mined throughout the course of human history would only fill a little over 3 Olympic size swimming pools.


Where does gold come from?


Scientists actually point to space when explaining why Earth has gold hidden in the ground. According to research conducted at the University of Bristol, Earth had been hit repeatedly by millions of meteorites about 200 million years or so ago, while the Earth was still forming. This heavy bombardment brought along with it heavy elements like silver and gold that are not formed on the planet. Over the course of Earth’s history, the gold had been hidden away under the ground and in the oceans. Since Earth does not produce gold naturally, there is a finite amount of gold that we’ll be able to mine.


How do we find gold?


To figure out how gold is found, we have to look at another study of science: geology. Geologists who specialize in finding gold can research the areas where gold is expected and look for tell-tale signs that gold is probably present. They may look at the type of rocks that are found in the area or whether or not a lot of quartz is present. There are many signs that geologists look for that indicate gold may be available.


Mining Methods


When thinking about gold mining, an image of the Gold Rush and may come to mind with people holding pans by the stream. This type of gold mining is still used today, especially by amateur treasure hunters. The modern way of mining gold is done on a large scale, by taking large amounts of ore and carefully extracting the gold particles that lie within the rock. Gold.org reported that for every 10 tonnes of ore, 31.1 grams of gold would be extracted.


While it may be costly, gold will always be a treasured commodity in our society. It’s rarity adds to the price of gold in our jewelry and even our electronics and medicine.