Many people buy gold coins for investment or collection purposes but not all of them investigate the source of the precious metal. It is easy to get caught up in the value of a gold bar or the attractiveness of a coin. Stopping to think that the item was once a substance in the ground is not something most of us do. Exploring the origin of and exploration for gold can be educational.
Ask some scientists where gold comes from and they will give you surprising answers. Some believe it was created by supernova explosions that occurred when the Earth was young. Others say lava led to underground gold formations many years before man occupied this planet. To date, humans have not been able to replicate gold using scientific procedures or alchemy.
Not all countries are equally blessed with gold deposits. The largest, Muruntau, is in the Kyzyl Kum Desert within Uzbekistan. This open pit mine measures approximately 3.5 x 2.5 kilometers and reaches a depth of 350 meters. There are about 170 million ounces of gold in this deposit and approximately two million ounces are produced each year.
Even if they do not have gold in their backyard, many countries engage in gold exploration. This is big business in South Africa, Australia, Canada, and the United States. AngloGold Ashanti Limited is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, but has 21 operations on four continents. Toronto, Canada’s Barrick Gold has 27 operating mines, some of which are located in South America, Africa, and Australia.
Within the U.S., gold is being explored in states like Colorado, Nevada, Montana, and even Alaska. Mexico is one Central American country known for substantial gold deposits. Turkey is noted as one of the countries thought to have significant geological potential for gold resources and companies like Eldorado Gold Corporation hold substantial assets there.