Whether you're looking for precious metals to add to your investment portfolio, or just looking for the best materials for your next jewelry purchase, you've probably been wondering a lot about the difference between gold and silver. While we all can obviously tell the difference in color, not everyone knows the way that gold and silver are elementally different, and the way they differ on the market. Here are just a few of the biggest differences between the two metals, so the next time you're thinking about buying gold or silver, you've got the facts you need right in your pocket.
Industrial use - While silver is used very heavily in the industrial market, only about 10% of gold goes to the same purposes. The U.S. alone circulates and deposits over $7.6 trillion worth of gold, and a majority of it goes towards ornamental purposes or investment opportunities. That being said, gold is used in certain technical situations, like computer chips and other micro-processing.
Price - This one is kind of a no-brainer, but when it comes to price, gold is significantly more expensive than silver. Per ounce, gold costs around $1300, where silver costs only $22. Gold is a heavier, denser metal, with one cubic foot weighing half a ton. The largest gold bar in the world weighs 440 pounds. Imagine carrying that around in your bag all day.
History - While silver has a long history of monetary use, gold has always been sought after as a more precious metal. It's also been considerably harder to find; nearly 75% of all gold in circulation today was extracted after 1910. That's a lot of gold in not a lot of time! To show just how precious gold has been to our society, when gold coins were revoked as currency, the government even demanded that they be given back.
We see it every day, in our homes, on TV, in shops, on the people we pass on the street, everywhere. Gold is one of the most sought-after metals in history, but few people really take the time to learn about where gold comes from, or what makes it so special. For example: nearly 75% of all the gold that is in circulation today was extracted after 1910. That's a lot of gold in not a lot of time! Here are some other incredible facts about gold, and why it reigns as the most precious of metals.
They look so light on TV! - Cartoons made it seem like a normal thing to buy gold bars and throw them into a sack with a money sign on it. But really, one cubic foot of gold weighs half a ton. This makes the world's largest gold bar a whopping 440 pounds. Not such a light haul, but it may be worth a little muscle, considering most of the world's gold bars have 99% to 99.5% pure gold, making them nearly 24k in purity.
Hammer it home - Gold is the most malleable of all the elements, and a single ounce of it can be hammered out into a 300 square foot sheet. A sheet of gold can even reach a transparent state, if made thin enough. It's also extremely ductile, and that same ounce could be stretched into a thread 5 miles long. Some gold threads can be used for embroidery.
Just tell me "when" - Because gold is non-toxic, you can even find forms of it that are edible! Gold flakes are used all over the world in different kinds of foods and drinks, and can also be found in different kinds of luxury skincare products. This makes buying gold easier for people who haven't really reached "gold bar" status just yet.