Gold News: How Much Gold Is Thrown Away?

It’s like the winning lottery ticket that got lost.  We like to talk about gold as a permanent asset, like it never goes away.  We usually think gold is mined out of the ground (or sifted from a river or ocean), then made into bars, coins, or jewelry, then stays that way forever.  At the very least, jewelry is sold to a pawn shop, melted down, and used to make more jewelry. Today’s gold news reminds us that the real world isn’t so simple. 

Gold is used in electronics whenever a circuit designer needs a completely non-corrosive conductor, usually in fine wires or protective casings for electronic parts. And while many cities and states require recycling of electronics, a lot of gold still gets simply thrown out with the trash.

A staggering 15 million ounces worldwide, according to the latest estimate.  Or, if you prefer thinking in money, $22 billion worth of gold went into trash dumps in 2017.  Almost makes one wonder why they don’t mine trash dumps. 

The study was sponsored by the UN University, so should be fairly reliable.  You can read more about it in today’s featured article, then sound off in the Comments below.

 Related: US is Losing Gold Again This Year

About the author

Mike Hammer

Mike Hammer has had a wide-ranging career, with trading and investing as a continuing theme. Mike graduated from UC Berkeley with a business degree, then worked with Macy's in their operations arm. He left Macy's and spent a summer trading his own account, which taught him a lot about trading in general and markets in particular. Trading through the Black Monday and the Crash of 1987 showed him how most people are unprepared for upheavals in their trading. He then joined Waddell & Reed as a financial advisor, helping regular people understand their finances and meet their life goals.

Then came the usual story - Mike met and married the lady of his dreams. They moved to upstate New York, where Mike worked first for a small manufacturing consulting company, then Cornell University. While loving the work and the higher-education atmosphere, Mike missed the world of finance. Eventually, he signed up for stock trading coaching with the Adam Mesh Trading Group, to learn from people who understood modern markets. Within a year, Adam asked Mike to become a stock trading coach.

Since then, Mike has trained over 200 individuals, spoke at several national conventions, and is a frequent contributor to conference calls across the Adam Mesh community. Mike writes The Gold Enthusiast daily newsletter, runs the Golden Hammer trading service, and participates in the Mesh Private Portfolio. He also keeps a position in international education which keep him in touch with "the student mindset". Mike closely follows the gold, energy, and financial sectors. His motto is "Plan your trade, then trade your plan!"

Leave a Comment

1 Comment

  • Mineworks, a company dealing with ‘urban mining’ i.e. Recycling gold etc metals already deals with this. Listed on TSX.V under mwx .

    • Thanks for the comment Richard. These are all topics I’ll discuss in the future. The world does seem to be inching toward some sort of central currency; the Euro is the latest experiment in such a thing. Some western historians argue that the Roman Dinar was the first global currency because of the size of the “developed world” it covered – which of course completely ignores the history of China and the East, as well as Africa. Of course no one knows for sure which is part of which makes the game interesting!