## Monday, June 21, 2010

I think everyone likes gold. Here are the people who like it the most, based on the amount they have stashed away. The numbers come from the World Gold Council:

Tonnes   Holder
8134       US Government
3407       Germany
2967       International Monetary Fund
2452       Italy
2435       France
1054       China
1040       Switzerland
765         Japan
669         Russia
613        Netherlands

The amount of gold here is worth a lot of money! Each metric tonne of gold represents 32,151 troy ounces. The price of gold today is \$1241 or €1007 or £840 per troy ounce.

Here's where we can use our elementary math skills, while dreaming of the value of this gold!

Q1. How much is one metric tonne of gold worth today, in US dollars?

A1. 32151 x 1241 = \$39,899,391 or rounded slightly to \$40 million bucks!

Q2. Using the euro as currency, how much more gold value does Italy hold than France?
Round your answer to a reasonable number of digits and do the work without a calculator.

A2.  We could calculate this way (32151 x 1007 x 2452) - (32151 x 1007 x 2435) = answer
But it's easier to take Italy's holdings 2452 minus France's holdings 2435 = 17.
Then we simply multiply 17 x 1007 x 32151 to get the answer.
Rounding to make it simpler in our heads means
17000 x 32000 = (17 x 32) + 000,000 or
(10 x 32) + (7 x 32) = 320 + 224 + 000,000 = roughly 550 million Euro.

Gold on pallets!

Q3. A gold bar is most often 400 ounces. How much is one gold bar worth in UK pounds?
No calculator please! Round to make it easier.

A3. 400 x \$1241 or 4 x 125 + ,000 = \$500,000 x .67 exchange rate = £335,000
or 400 x £840 per ounce = 4 x 84 + ,000 =  £336,000

PS - the price of gold has dropped to 1238.47 since I started this post! The USA holdings have dropped by \$660 million in an hour. Ouch!