Precious Metal Facts

Fun and interesting facts about gold, diamonds and more


  • In 1849 there was a gold rush in California when gold was discovered at Sutters Mill in Northern California and people flocked from all over the world to strike it rich. Did you know that when the value of ALL the gold that has come from California from then until now is added up, it's worth less than a single crop harvest in the Sacramento Valley?
  • Did you know gold nuggets are sometimes found in the bellys of wild turkeys? Birds "eat" gravel to aid in digesting their food and they like to peck shiny objects.
  • The largest gold nugget in the world was discovered in Paradise, California in the late 1800's. Did you know it was nearly 3 feet tall?
  • Did you know pure gold nuggets are between 19 karat and 24 karat gold?
  • One ounce of gold buys as much today as it did 200 years ago. Did you know that?
  • Did you know that all the gold that has come out of the earth would fit in 2 olympic sized pools?
  • The US government has the largest cache of gold in the world at 7500 tons. Did you know Germany comes in second at 3200 tons? It is estimated that 1/3 of all the gold that remains in the ground is in India.
  • Did you know that nearly half of all the gold in the world was mined in the last 50 years AND that 67% of all that gold is used for jewelry?


  • Did you know diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth?
  • Did you know light doesn't travel at the speed of light when going through a diamond?!  Because the stone is so dense it actually slows down light, hence the saying "diamonds capture light".
  • The 4 "C's" of diamonds stand for Cut, Clarity, Color, Carat weight. Cut is the most important. Cut refers to not just the shape it was cut into, but how well it was cut into that shape.  Clarity refers to anything that became included in the stone when it was being formed. Imagine things floating inside a glass of wine.  Color is a measurement of how close the diamond is to colorless.   Carat weight is just that- how much the stone weighs.
  • In ancient times, traders traveled along caravan routes between Europe and Asia. Since every culture and society had a different weight and measurement system, a uniform system was needed by the traders that they could all agree on and trust in. Since carob trees grew all along the trading route and the carob seeds were a uniform size, they used the seeds for measurement. The word "Carat" comes from the word "Carob". Now you know!


  • Did you know that silver dollars were minted by the US government at the request of the silver mining interests? There was such an abundance of silver in our country that the market was being flooded with the shiny white metal and prices were dropping. Nevada was one of the richest sources of silver worldwide. So much silver was coming out of the ground there that the US government opened a branch of the mint in Carson City, Nevada. Millions of silver dollars were minted there and had a mint mark of CC. Today those are generally the most valuable of the remaining silver dollars.

Financial Quiz

What's your financial IQ? Don't cheat - the answers are at the bottom.
If you write a check for a hundred dollars and it bounces and the bank charges you $33.00 to pay it, what interest rate is the bank charging you?

A. the bank charged me over 900% interest
B. the bank charged me 33% interest
C. the bank charged me over 3000% interest

If you write a check for a hundred dollars and it bounces and the bank does NOT pay it but charges you $25 how much would that be as an interest rate?

A. the bank charged me 25% interest
B. the bank charged me over over 7000% interest
C. the bank charged me over 8,500% interest

(The correct answers: C to both questions)