May 2008 - Denver Museum of Nature & Science Gold Exhibit

Fifteen members and guests met at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to tour their special exhibit on gold on Saturday, May 24, 2008.

We found out that 90% of all gold ever used has been mined since 1848 when gold was discovered at Sutters Mill. Gold leaf is thin layers .18 microns or 7 millionths of an inch thick. A stack of gold leaf 7,055 sheets is no thicker than a dime.

Today, global demand is high but new mines in the U.S.A. must pay for clean up. 30 tons of ore yeilds one ounce of gold and millions of tons of waste every day.

The Homestake Mine is the deepest in the U.S.A. with 375 miles of tunnels some 8,000 feet below the surface.

Being a miner in the 1800's was a hard life. Most prospectors lived to be only 35 or 40 years old. Few got rich.

India is the largest consumer of gold today for jewelry. The Indian women want a higher purity of gold than the rest of the world and they wear their wealth at all times.

Gold is used in religious items, coins for commerce, clothing and jewelry. It is reserved for the leaders, or the wealthy and is seen as sacred in many countries. The oldest coin on display was from China 800-600 BC. Other examples were from Europe, India and Persia from 370-350 BC.

Everyone learned something new and had a good time.

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