[ExI] Gold

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri May 24 17:29:10 UTC 2013

On Fri, May 24, 2013  Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:

> One of the things Brent's cannonizer position said was that if Nasa (or
> SpaceX?) found and brought back a large quantity of gold from outer space
> that it would devalue gold. While basic supply/demand clearly demands that
> the price of gold would go down, I personally don't think it would go down
> all that much because it is such a useful element on its own. I read an
> article in an old National Geographic where the author had a frying pan
> created out of solid gold, about 3 pounds worth. He said it made the best
> fried eggs he had ever experienced,

Gold is about 60% denser than lead and a gold frying pan would weigh about
5 times as much as a aluminum one and would be so soft you could bend the
pan with your hands, so I don't think it would be a big market even if the
metal was cheap. I can only think of a few properties of gold that make it
interesting technologically, it's the most non corrosive metal after
iridium, you can hammer it into thinner sheets than any other metal, it
makes good connecters because it is the third best electrical conductor
after silver and copper and it doesn't form a thin oxidized layer on its
surface which can interfere with electrical current at the low voltages
used modern electronics, and it's the best reflector of infrared light so
it is used in IR reflecting telescopes instead of aluminum or silver which
reflects visible light best. I don't think any of these uses will ever
develop into huge markets and if gold was cheap people would stop using it
in jewelry.

I've heard it said that a martian would think it odd that with great effort
humans extract gold from the ground  but most of it they put it right back
into the ground in deep bank vaults and do nothing else with it.

  John K Clark

> and of course it was non-stick (probably before there was teflon, but I
> don't remember the date of the article) and easy to clean because gold
> doesn't react to anything.
> If gold came down in price, I think it would just get used for more things
> because of its unique properties... and that makes some kind of floor. It
> will always be relatively rare compared to the abundance of the other
> elements.
> So, I kind of disagree about large amounts of gold causing a severe
> devaluation... What do you all think?
> -Kelly
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