Where does Gold come from? | How is Gold made?

The origin of gold bullion (according to recent scientific discoveries) begins in outer space, with twin neutron star collisions or supernova explosions.

In this rare, yet most violent event we know of, massive amounts of dense, precious metal materials (gold, copper, silver, platinum, etc) are formed and eventually traverse across outer space and into the solar system on asteroids and meteorites until ultimately forming into and/or colliding with planets. Scientists believe that around 4 billion years ago a series of asteroids bombarded the Earth's crust. These heavier elements, such as gold and silver, sank into the Earth's core to form deposits of precious metals.

In other words, many billions of years ago, gold-laced asteroids infused the Earth's mantel and crust with various precious metal ores like gold.

Where Does Gold Come From?

Where is Gold formed and found?

Physical gold mining happens on every continent other than Antarctica.

On Earth, the most substantial amounts of gold deposits are spread about and found in the various oceans - but extracting gold under and from seawater is not yet profitable or feasible.

Hard rock mining is responsible for most of the gold production in the world. Different techniques can be applied to extract a gold deposit, for either surface mining or underground mining.

There is also placer gold mining. It involves extracting gold nuggets from placer gold deposits on the bottom of stream beds of streams, rivers, or even the beach. Most of the gold mined during the California Gold Rush came from placer gold mining, as prospectors scanned every bit of land or stream bed in search of accessible gold and the promise of a wealthy life. 

Gold Production Around the World In 2020

There are currently about 200,000 tonnes of physical gold in the world, just over 6.4 billion troy ounces.

That is just about 0.8 troy ounces of physical gold for every human being alive today. In terms of today's fluctuating gold price, the value of the world's physical gold supply is around $11 trillion in total fiat US dollar value.

One tonne of gold is equivalent to 32,150.7 troy ounces of gold. Here you can see what a ton of gold looks like in real life and how to calculate its ongoing value.

In terms of national gold production outputs, China was the largest producer of gold in the world in 2020 (and has been the largest gold mining country for many years in a row now).

Here is a list of the top 10 gold producers in the world in 2020:

  1. China - 368.3 tonnes
  2. Russia - 331.1 tonnes
  3. Australia - 327.8 tonnes
  4. The United States - 190.2 tonnes
  5. Canada - 170.6 tonnes
  6. Ghana - 138.7 tonnes
  7. Brazil - 107.0 tonnes
  8. Uzbekistan - 101.6 tonnes
  9. Mexico - 101.6 tonnes
  10. Indonesia - 100.9 tonnes

Interesting to note, in the US, Nevada is the state with the most gold mining operations by far. 

Check our post to learn How Much Gold Is In The World 

What is Gold used for?

For about 6,000 years now, human beings have mined gold for uses such as adornment, long-term savings, or industrial uses (e.g. electronics, dentistry, and medicine industry, along with other scientific applications).

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About half of all new line gold supplies get used in gold jewelry and adornment. Around forty percent gets used in long-term savings via gold bullion (gold coin and gold bars). To be considered investment-grade bullion, gold is usually 22-karat (.9167 fineness) or 24-karat (.999 pure gold).
Finally, about one-tenth of all-new line gold gets used in industrial applications.

How is gold bullion made?

The following video takes you through the process of refining gold into .999 fine gold bullion purity.

Learning how gold is made helps people better understand why historical gold values are so high.

From supernovas to gold vaults, gold jewelry, and high technology applications. Gold is here to stay.

To learn more about the case for gold bullion investing allocations, be sure to pick up a free copy of our 21st Century Gold Rush guide.

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James Anderson
James Anderson
Senior Market Analyst & Content

A bullion buyer years before the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, James Anderson is a grounded precious metals researcher, content creator, and physical investment grade bullion professional. He has authored several Gold & Silver Guides and has been featured on the History Channel, Zero Hedge, Gold-Eagle, Silver Seek, Value Walk and many more. You can pick up Jame's most recent, comprehensive 200+ Page book here at SD Bullion.

Given that repressed commodity values are now near 100-year low level valuations versus large US stocks, James remains convinced investors and savers should buy and maintain a prudent physical bullion position now, before more unfunded promises debase away in the coming decades...