Where Does Gold Come From and How is Gold Formed?

Introduction
A client this week asked me “Where Does Gold Come From?” – I comprehensively know the answer and yet, I found myself blustering through it. I got to a point in the conversation where I managed to start answering the question “How is Gold Formed?” and I began to falter. I started spewing spurious facts about stars and astral dust. So to answer my client and to all of you wanting to know – here is a one stop shop. So where does gold come from and can let us answer how gold is formed?

Where Does Gold Come From?

The Beginning
As with all things in existence, there has been a series of generational evolution. Much of the universe, in its expansion and in its creation of elements that we recognise, has been formed by stars that eventually die in a huge collision called a supernova. Over billions of years, this continual creation and explosion of generations of stars has eventually led to the creation of pretty much everything in our comprehension.

Supernova

Supernova

Supernovae

A supernova, the final part of star’s existence, is an almighty explosion. This explosion propelsĀ an abundance of dust into the atmosphere, rich in atomic elements. This process known as nucleosynthesis created an abundance of elements during the cycle. Elements such as magnesium but also some of the heavier elements like iron. It is also from the process of nuceleosynthesis that gold comes from. Although the initial knitting of nucleosynthesis doesn’t produce gold immediately, it is thought that the presence of gold and other precious metals is present in the interstellar. This dust is rich with elements and as new stars are created through the recycling process, gold is present.

How is Gold Formed?

So after gold has been created or is certainly present in the interstellar, how does it come into being? Let’s look at how gold is formed on Earth.

During our system’s formation, the dust spewed out from generations of supernovae, begins to condense.

Gold Ore

Gold Ore

Gold at this point is molten, along with the Earth. This means that gold is awash with the other elements and due to it being a heavy element, it sinks into the core along with the other heavy metals. Much of the intrinsic gold present in Earth at the beginning, resides within the Earth’s core.

Almost all of the gold we are familiar with today, came into being whilst the earth cooled. Gold formed within the Earth’s crust, resulted from a lunar cataclysm – or the late heavy bombardment of asteroids and meteor showers. This is strongly supported by the Vredefort crater in South Africa – a crater over 2 billion years old and rich in heavy elements such as gold. With the earth’s crust cooled, gold is found in ores and deposits. It will be sometime, but eventually humans will discover, harvest and process gold into jewellery, coins and early religious artefacts.

Conclusion
So where does gold come from and how is gold formed? Through a process of astral recycling over billions of years. Each of these elements are created from the conclusion of stars that have gone before it. Through much transfiguration, gold settled into the earth’s crust and will be discovered by us approximately in the 4th millennium. It will be given Au as the chemical symbol for Gold, which was taken from the latin word Aurum – derived from the word Aurora meaning Dawn.

Gold is certainly bright like the dawn and I suppose with each generation of supernovae, a new dawn and new elements are created – with gold being allusive but always present.