eli5 Why is Gold worth anything?

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Saw this video about gold, it’s chemical structure and malleability. I still don’t understand why gold is worth anything at all……

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93 Answers

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Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s only worth something in the sense that people are willing to pay a certain price for it. That gives it worth. If it had no worth people would not be willing to pay for it… but they are.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s pretty, easy to work, relatively uncommon and does not tarnish. Lots of things are only valuable because they’re pretty. Because it can be relatively easily found in native (chemically pure) form and easily worked using stone tools thanks to how soft it is, it was very likely one of the very first metals ever worked by man and has thus likely been a symbol of excess resources (wealth) and the power that comes with controlling those excess resources for longer than man has even had language. That sort of cultural impact on the perception of the value of gold cannot be ignored.

These days it’s also used in electronics and similar applications where it’s ductility, corrosion resistance, thermal and electrical properties are useful. Pure utility does not support the current price, though. It’s mostly valuable because people think it’s valuable, which makes it valuable.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s only worth something in the sense that people are willing to pay a certain price for it. That gives it worth. If it had no worth people would not be willing to pay for it… but they are.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The biggest reason is scarcity and our inability to reproduce it. Gold is dug up from the ground but really can’t be made.

Some scientific guy is going to come and say “well actually blah blah blah.” But let’s just for this explanation say we can’t create it. So… we have a resource that for all intents and purposes has a limited quantity since we can’t create more and is hard to find/get since you aren’t digging it up readily in your backyard.

This combination typically leads to people wanting it. The more people want “it”, the more people are willing to pay for “it”.

It’s get more complicated when you go into like currencies and all that backed by gold or electronic components or stuff like that but essentially the eli5 answer is there is a limited quantity of gold, it’s hard to get which makes people want it, which makes it valuable because people will pay to obtain it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because humans have always attached a value to it. It’s one of the few things that has stayed constant in terms of having value through the centuries. It’s value is really only there because we say it has it, kinda like money.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s pretty, easy to work, relatively uncommon and does not tarnish. Lots of things are only valuable because they’re pretty. Because it can be relatively easily found in native (chemically pure) form and easily worked using stone tools thanks to how soft it is, it was very likely one of the very first metals ever worked by man and has thus likely been a symbol of excess resources (wealth) and the power that comes with controlling those excess resources for longer than man has even had language. That sort of cultural impact on the perception of the value of gold cannot be ignored.

These days it’s also used in electronics and similar applications where it’s ductility, corrosion resistance, thermal and electrical properties are useful. Pure utility does not support the current price, though. It’s mostly valuable because people think it’s valuable, which makes it valuable.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The biggest reason is scarcity and our inability to reproduce it. Gold is dug up from the ground but really can’t be made.

Some scientific guy is going to come and say “well actually blah blah blah.” But let’s just for this explanation say we can’t create it. So… we have a resource that for all intents and purposes has a limited quantity since we can’t create more and is hard to find/get since you aren’t digging it up readily in your backyard.

This combination typically leads to people wanting it. The more people want “it”, the more people are willing to pay for “it”.

It’s get more complicated when you go into like currencies and all that backed by gold or electronic components or stuff like that but essentially the eli5 answer is there is a limited quantity of gold, it’s hard to get which makes people want it, which makes it valuable because people will pay to obtain it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A couple reasons. It has value because other people think it does and have thought so forever. It doesn’t deteriorate which is one reason people have valued it forever. And it’s pretty.

The last thing sounds like a joke but it’s not. Gold has “use value” meaning you can still do something with it even if you’re not using it as money. Something you can do is make pretty jewelry until you want to spend it. So gold is more valuable than tin foil because it’s prettier than tin foil, deteriorates less than tin foil, and people know and expect that about it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

All precious metals have value due to the limited amount there is available on this planet. They are not natural forming on earth so whatever is here is it. Unless we start mining asteroids or some other planets….

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because humans have always attached a value to it. It’s one of the few things that has stayed constant in terms of having value through the centuries. It’s value is really only there because we say it has it, kinda like money.

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