How do we know that gold is rare?


We haven’t mined 100% of the earth so how can we say that gold is rare? There could be massive reserves everywhere.

In: 5

It is currently rare. True, there could be a massive deposit somewhere, but we don’t know where it is. Possible gold does not really affect the actual supply of gold. The economics of gold depend on the actual supply, no the potential supply.

If we were to find a supply of gold and gold were then to become as common as sand or something like that, then it would decrease in value and no longer be that valuable.

Because if it was a common as say iron, we would have a lot more of it already and you would be finding it as easily as we’ve found iron.

Sure there could be some huge deposit of it somewhere we haven’t been able to find yet, but that still wouldn’t make it as common as other metals we have found. If it was common we would be finding it as much as other metals that aren’t as rare as gold is.

It’s rare because it isn’t a common to find it as we find other metals.

tldr; gold is rare because gold comes from space, and gold is rare in space

There’s a much better reason than just “we haven’t found much”, and it has to do with the way gold is formed. Most atomic elements that you see on earth (like iron or oxygen or nitrogen etc) is formed through fusion, which happens in stars. Throughout the lifespan of the star, it constantly produces these elements, and eventually when the stars explode in a supernova, it spews out all of the stuff it’s made of throughout space. This process ejects a ton of these elements, and there are also a ton of stars, making these elements super common.

Eventually this stuff got to earth, or was floating around when the earth was formed.

Gold on the other hand isn’t formed through fusion. It can form during a supernova itself, but only a tiny tiny amount. Most of the gold in the universe is formed by an extremely rare process, when two neutron stars collide. This happens wayyyy less often than supernovas, so there is just less gold out there in general. The amount that gets to the earth is almost certainly less than the amount of say, iron or more common material.

Because it is created inside stars like sun and to not make long physics lecture it is rare on earth but perhaps there are places in universe where it is more plentiful