Humanity could never live without gold. The ancients considered the precious yellow metal a symbol of fertility, royal power and might. Centuries passed, civilizations ceased to exist, yet gold retained its value. People still have a special affinity for this magnificent metal.
5000 years of searching
The most ancient golden items that belong to the Sumerian culture were discovered in Mesopotamia where people mined gold using opencast methods for the manufacture of jewelry and weapons. Nowadays, well-preserved museum exhibits are showcased in the Louvre in France, the British Museum in London and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology.
In the photo: Golden helmet of the Sumerian king, discovered in the 1930’s in Ur. The helmet was stolen from the National Museum of Iraq.
The gold of the pharaohs is over 3,500 years old. It was found in the mines of Nubia, Kish and Sudan. The Egyptian kings used their influence and power to accumulate as much gold as possible and carry it away postmortem.
Historians estimate that before colonization of America, only 12,.000 tons of gold were mined in the world.
In the photo: Gold mining in South Africa. This is pretty much how the ancient Nubians mined the gold deposits 3,500 years ago.
According to American scientist Richard Greener, Spain received from its American colonies tons of gold each year for several decades. The money was spent on sustaining the empire and the repayment of debts.
As technological progress went on, the 20th century marked the heyday period of gold mining: 80% of the world's gold reserves were produced at that time.
Photo: The Australian Kidston Gold Mine was closed in 2001. A hydropower plant is planned to open soon.
Who owns more gold?
The world gold deposits contain 54,000 tons of yellow metal.
The largest amount of gold is on the Australian continent — 9,800 tons.
Half of this reserve is concentrated in the four largest mines in Western and Southern Australia: Boddington, Telfer, Olympic Dam mine and Cadia-Ridgeway. It is believed that Australia has enough gold to be mined within four decades.
2. South Africa
South Africa ranks second in terms of gold deposits in the world, encompassing 6,000 tons of gold. Witwatersrand is South Africa’s best-known gold deposit. There are 35 of the largest gold mines per 75,000 square kilometers, four of which contain 40% of the domestic gold resources.
In the photo: a lump of gold ore from the Blyvooruitzicht Gold mine in Witwatersrand.
From 1886 to this day, 48,000 tons of gold have been extracted from the depths of the Earth in that area — a quarter of the world's total reserves. Over the past 15 years, gold production has decreased by 60%.
Gold reserves in South Africa will last for 40 years.
Russian ranks third place in terms of gold content in its reserves: 10% of the world resources, or 5,500 tons. The main gold deposits are in Western Siberia and the Far Eastern District.
Experts believe that the existing gold reserves in Russia will last 20 years.
In the photo: 10 countries with the largest gold reserves on the planet.
Gold mining companies produce 3,000 tons of the precious yellow metal annually, which equals 1.5% of 190,000 tons of total world reserves.
Leaders in gold mining
Top 10 gold-producing countries:
Source: World Gold Council. Data for the year 2017.
Pierre Lassonde, Chair of the Board of Franco-Nevada Corporation:
"There’s been a significant slowdown in the number of gold deposits in the world. In the 20th century, geologists used to discover one large goldfield, several medium-sized and many small ones every 10 years. Over the past 15 years, people have discovered only small gold deposits."
Conclusion: Gold reserves on Earth are limited. Experts predict humanity will experience a shortage of gold.
Almost 70% of the world's total supply of gold is stored in the form of jewelery and gold bars as private savings. People create a safety cushion for a rainy day. Gold is the basis of the Financial Security for people, companies and countries.
Source: Metals Focus; GFMS, Thomson Reuters, United States Geological Survey, World Gold Council.
Gold has been and still is the most reliable precious metal in the world. People all over the world buy it to protect their savings from inflation.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley:
"Currently everyone is waiting for a rise of gold prices. This can happen in the event of a recession in the US economy and a decline in real interest rates by the Fed, or in the event of a weakening of the US dollar and increased volatility on financial markets. Currency crisis in developing countries may well be the growth driver for gold, especially if inflation shock occurs."
The amount of gold on Earth is decreasing day by day. Gold serves as a protection for people, saving them from future financial turmoils. The stronger the golden shield is, the more strokes of bad luck it can endure.
Each of us deserves to lead a good life. Buy gold to attain Financial Security for your family and yourself!