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Density of gold

With a density of 19.32 grams per cubic centimetre, gold is one of the densest metals on Earth. This is just one of the reasons gold is so desirable to humans is its high density.

The density of gold is sensational to experience. Anyone that has held physical gold in their hands understands the unique, and undeniably impressive, feeling of weight that it conveys. Even a small bar, not much bigger than a credit card, feels much heavier than one might expect. The density of gold plays a key part in its role as a store of wealth, the high density means a much smaller volume of metal in the same physical space is needed compared to many other metals. When storing huge amounts of metal for gold reserves, having physically less metal to store can quickly become a necessity that saves space and cost.

Density can be defined as the ratio between an object’s mass and volume. Scientifically, this would be the 'unit mass per unit volume' and is usually quoted in grams per cubic centimetre.

To get technical, this is sometimes also known as ‘specific gravity’, which is a unified ratio of density with water. Gold’s specific gravity is 19.3; simply put, you would need more than 19 times the equivalent volume of water to have the same weight in gold.

Gold density visualisation

A visualisation of how much water you would need to achieve the same mass as a cube of gold.

Gold alloys, such as products of 9, 14, 18 and 22 carat purity, will have slightly lower densities than a pure (24 carat) gold coin or bar due to the other materials being mixed with gold. A one ounce, 24ct gold coin, will be smaller than a one ounce, 22ct coin for example, because it is denser. The density will then depend on the metal that has been used in the alloy.

Gold density chart

Below is gold density chart, showing how dense gold is in a number of useful measurement types:

Measurement Density of gold
Kilograms per millimetre 0.01932
Grams per cubic centimetre 19.32
Tonnes per cubic metre 19.32
Kilograms per litre 19.32
Kilograms per cubic metre 19,320
Ounces per cubic inch 11.17
Ounces per cubic foot 19,298