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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

How many onces of gold discovery would be needed to devalue gold to worthless?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24659points) 4 weeks ago

Gold is currently between $2,000—$3,000 per once.

How much new gold discoveries would be necessary to drop gold to < $,1000? Or <$0.01 per once?

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9 Answers

flutherother's avatar

I don’t know but here’s an interesting poem on the sibject. It’s called Mrs Midas and it’s by Carol Ann Duffy.

It was late September. I’d just poured a glass of wine, begun
to unwind, while the vegetables cooked. The kitchen
filled with the smell of itself, relaxed, its steamy breath
gently blanching the windows. So I opened one,
then with my fingers wiped the other’s glass like a brow.
He was standing under the pear tree snapping a twig.

Now the garden was long and the visibility poor, the way
the dark of the ground seems to drink the light of the sky,
but that twig in his hand was gold. And then he plucked
a pear from a branch. – we grew Fondante d’Automne –
and it sat in his palm, like a lightbulb. On.
I thought to myself, Is he putting fairy lights in the tree?

He came into the house. The doorknobs gleamed.
He drew the blinds. You know the mind; I thought of
the Field of the Cloth of Gold and of Miss Macready.
He sat in that chair like a king on a burnished throne.
The look on his face was strange, wild, vain. I said,
What in the name of God is going on? He started to laugh.

I served up the meal. For starters, corn on the cob.
Within seconds he was spitting out the teeth of the rich.
He toyed with his spoon, then mine, then with the knives, the forks.
He asked where was the wine. I poured with a shaking hand,
a fragrant, bone-dry white from Italy, then watched
as he picked up the glass, goblet, golden chalice, drank.

It was then that I started to scream. He sank to his knees.
After we’d both calmed down, I finished the wine
on my own, hearing him out. I made him sit
on the other side of the room and keep his hands to himself.
I locked the cat in the cellar. I moved the phone.
The toilet I didn’t mind. I couldn’t believe my ears:

how he’d had a wish. Look, we all have wishes; granted.
But who has wishes granted? Him. Do you know about gold?
It feeds no one; aurum, soft, untarnishable; slakes
no thirst. He tried to light a cigarette; I gazed, entranced,
as the blue flame played on its luteous stem. At least,
I said, you’ll be able to give up smoking for good.

Separate beds. in fact, I put a chair against my door,
near petrified. He was below, turning the spare room
into the tomb of Tutankhamun. You see, we were passionate then,
in those halcyon days; unwrapping each other, rapidly,
like presents, fast food. But now I feared his honeyed embrace,
the kiss that would turn my lips to a work of art.

And who, when it comes to the crunch, can live
with a heart of gold? That night, I dreamt I bore
his child, its perfect ore limbs, its little tongue
like a precious latch, its amber eyes
holding their pupils like flies. My dream milk
burned in my breasts. I woke to the streaming sun.

So he had to move out. We’d a caravan
in the wilds, in a glade of its own. I drove him up
under the cover of dark. He sat in the back.
And then I came home, the woman who married the fool
who wished for gold. At first, I visited, odd times,
parking the car a good way off, then walking.

You knew you were getting close. Golden trout
on the grass. One day, a hare hung from a larch,
a beautiful lemon mistake. And then his footprints,
glistening next to the river’s path. He was thin,
delirious; hearing, he said, the music of Pan
from the woods. Listen. That was the last straw.

What gets me now is not the idiocy or greed
but lack of thought for me. Pure selfishness. I sold
the contents of the house and came down here.
I think of him in certain lights, dawn, late afternoon,
and once a bowl of apples stopped me dead. I miss most,
even now, his hands, his warm hands on my skin, his touch.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s not just the discovery that makes a difference. Goal needs to be:

mined
separated
melted and purified
shaped into gold bars
marketed and sold

All but the last one (marketed and sold) won’t make a whole lot of difference to the price of gold.

The last one has potential for market-damaging effects. As soon as something rare becomes something common, it loses its value. I’m sure that there is some formula somewhere [if you add ‘n’ ounces in a given year, then price will decrease by .5n)] but I don’t know what it is.

If you want to make real money in minerals then go for platinum, palladium, and various rare earth metals.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Gold has intrinsic value because it’s useful and has a lot of applications, it will never be worthless. We have also mined most of it already. A big find of gold that would negatively affect price is very unlikely to happen.

seawulf575's avatar

You are thinking too small. It would not be ounces, it would be tons. As @Blackwater_Park said, it has value because of its usefulness and applications, but also because of its relative rarity. To change the price of gold, you’d have to dump literally tons of refined gold onto the market.

Smashley's avatar

Just a back of the envelope calculation that doesn’t take a lot of factors into account, but if gold is 2360 or so an oz today, if there were about 200,000 times more gold in circulation, the value would be about the 0.01 mark.

According to google estimate of total gold discovered to date, that would mean you need to conjure about 48.8 billion metric tons of gold to bring the value down so far, which is about the weight of 8500 great pyramids of Giza.

gorillapaws's avatar

Technically just proving the tech to make it possible in the future would be sufficient to cause gold’s value to plummet. So if I were to demonstrate a robot that I could launch and that could retrieve large quantities of gold from an asteroid at a large profit, the proof-of-concept itself would be sufficient to cause today’s price of gold to plummet based on the future expectations of a large surge in supply of gold.

Forever_Free's avatar

All of it hidden in my bunker may create a ripple.

LostInParadise's avatar

According to this article, there are about 250,000 tons of gold, which could be stored in a cube with 22 meters oh a side.

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