What is the Density of Gold? A Short Guide for Investors and Enthusiasts

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Last Updated on: 17th May 2023, 07:06 pm

Gold has long been recognized as a valuable and sought-after precious metal, captivating the attention of investors worldwide. 

Today, gold is widely sought after for its resilient store of value, unique physical properties, and utility as a risk management tool in portfolios. In Q1 2023, investment demand in gold coins and bullion rose 5% year-over-year to 302 tonnes globally.

Among its remarkable properties, gold's density stands out, making it a unique and enduring asset for retirement portfolios. In this article, we will explore the significance of gold's density and its relevance to individual investors.

What is the Density of Gold?

Measurement Type/UnitDensity of Gold (g/㎤)
Grams per Cubic Centimeter19.3
Kilograms per Liter19,300
Troy Ounces per Cubic Inch0.700
Pounds per Cubic Inch0.698

Please note that these values are approximate and represent the density of pure gold (i.e., 24-karat gold). 

Understanding Density and Gold's Unique Properties

Density refers to the measure of mass per unit volume of a substance. In simpler terms, it quantifies how tightly packed the particles are within an object. For gold, its exceptional density is one of the factors that contribute to its desirability and enduring value. 

Gold's density plays a crucial role in various aspects of its utility as an investment, including gold storage, portability, and market stability.

Gold's Density in Numbers

The density of gold is commonly expressed in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm³). Pure gold, also known as 24-karat gold, has a density of approximately 19.3 g/cm³

This means that one cubic centimeter of pure gold weighs 19.3 grams. This high density allows for a significant amount of wealth to be stored within a compact space, making gold an attractive option for retirement investors.

Physical Properties of Gold at a Glance

Property Value
Chemical Symbol Au
Atomic Number 79
Atomic Mass 196.967
Melting Point 1,064 degrees Celsius
Boiling Point 2,700 degrees Celsius
Density 19.3 g/cm³
Color Yellow
Luster Metallic
Hardness 2.5 on the Mohs scale
Conductivity (Electric) Excellent
Conductivity (Thermal) Excellent
Malleability Highly malleable
Ductility Highly ductile
Solubility Insoluble in water
Abundance Found in Earth's crust

Owing to its unique set of chemical and physical properties, gold is in high demand by the manufacturing and jewlery sectors. For instance, gold is one of the densest metals on earth, its soft and malleable, and is a good conductor of both heat and electricity. 

Gold is the sixth-densest metal in the world, behind osmium (22.6g/cm³), iridium (22.4g), platinum (21.5g), rhenium (21g), and neptunium (20.2g). Gold, at 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter, is denser than tungsten, uranium, lead, and mercury.   

Comparing Gold's Density with Other Metals

To better grasp the significance of gold's density, let's compare it to other common metals. For instance, silver, often seen as a close counterpart to gold, has a lower density of around 10.5 g/cm³. 

This stark difference in density highlights gold's ability to retain value in a relatively smaller volume, making it highly portable and convenient for storage. Gold's higher density also contributes to its durability, as it is less prone to wear and corrosion compared to other metals. These rare traits have allowed gold to enjoy high industrial demand throughout history, which has attracted many individual investors to the yellow metal via gold investing in retirement accounts.

Implications for Retirement Investors

  1. Value Retention: Gold's high density ensures that a significant amount of wealth can be stored within a compact space. As retirement investors, this attribute is crucial when considering the practicality of physically holding and storing gold assets. Whether in the form of bullion or jewelry, the density of gold allows for a substantial value to be securely preserved.
  2. Portfolio Diversification: Including gold in a retirement portfolio can enhance diversification and reduce risk. Gold's density allows for substantial value to be held in a small physical form, making it an easily manageable addition to a broader investment strategy. The addition of gold to an investment portfolio has the potential to counterbalance the performance of other asset classes, such as stocks and bonds, thereby providing a level of stability during market fluctuations.
  3. Market Stability: Gold has traditionally been perceived as a safe-haven asset, offering a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties. Its density plays a vital role in maintaining stability, as it enables gold to be easily traded and preserved across different market conditions. The ability to transport and exchange gold efficiently is crucial for investors seeking to capitalize on its value during times of economic volatility.

Statistical Evidence Supporting Gold as a Retirement Investment

According to data from Investopedia, the average annual return of gold from 1971 to 2019 was approximately 10.6%. This long-term performance demonstrates gold's ability to preserve and grow wealth over time, contributing to a secure retirement plan. 

Below is the annual average return on the spot price of gold since 2016:

  • 2022: 2.08%
  • 2021: (-3.73%)
  • 2020: 25.75%
  • 2019: 18.28%
  • 2018: (-1.06%)
  • 2017: 9.54%

Gold's historical track record of holding value and serving as a store of wealth makes it an attractive option for retirement investors looking for stability, resilient portfolio diversification, and long-term growth potential. 

Secure Your Retirement With Gold

The density of gold is a significant characteristic that contributes to its enduring value and appeal as a retirement investment. With its high density, gold allows for the storage of substantial wealth within a compact space, making it a convenient and reliable asset to consider for retirement portfolios. 

By diversifying their investments and capitalizing on gold's stability, U.S. retirement investors can enhance the resilience and potential growth of their retirement savings.

If you’re interested in learning more about the diversification benefits of gold bullion or coins, consider reading our free guide to gold IRA rollovers. A rollover allows retirement investors to invest in gold through a self-directed IRA—allowing them to capitalize on the unique tax deference benefits of IRAs.

(Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Retirement investors should conduct thorough research and consult with financial professionals before making any investment decisions.)

Liam Hunt
Liam Hunt

Liam Hunt, M.A., is a financial writer and analyst covering global finance, commodities, and millennial investing. His coverage has been featured in publications such as the New York Post, Forbes, and Barron's.

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FTC Disclosure: We are an independent blog that aims at providing useful information for retirement account owners interested in alternative assets like precious metals. However, our content does NOT constitute financial advice. Please speak to your financial advisor before making any investment decision. Also, the data quoted on this website represents past performance and does not guarantee future results.


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