Tonyblack wrote:It occurred to me that gold, being fairly rare, it probably gets used and reused more than most metals. So your gold wedding ring may once have been Spanish doubloons or Aztec treasure. The same goes for gold fillings.
When Igor and Hubert decide to put the gold back, it must have (presumably) been used for other things - at least some of it. So, how many people found their rings missing and their teeth empty of fillings?
Uh oh, Tony...now you're getting into a conservation of mass argument.
It would be interesting to know exactly how much gold is really reused. Keep in mind that after awhile gold will get contaminated with impurities (such as soot or dirt when used in construction, or even sweat or salt on jewelry). So one wonder whether one can truly "boil away" these impurities when used gold is melted down.
Gold itself isn't particularly rare in terms of finding supply. It's simply a matter of the economics of mining and cartels controlling its access, like diamonds. The gold in Fort Knox would be enough to supply all the world's jewelers for the next fifty years. They hold on to it because of some silly nostalgia for the gold standard.