We all know where precious metals come from: they are mined from the ground. But, have you ever wondered how they formed in the earth’s crust? New research indicates that the gold we use to explore space actually came from space.
The idea that gold and other precious metals have always been on earth doesn’t really mesh with current theories about the planet’s formation. Imagine the earth billions and billions of years ago – a shifting molten mass drifting through the cosmos. The majority of earth’s core is made of iron. Certain metals such as gold and platinum are attracted to iron. If those metals existed on earth while it was still in its molten state, they would have drifted closer to the earth’s core and away from its crust – leaving it devoid of precious metals.
However, we all know that’s not the case. So, how did the metals end up in the earth’s crust instead of its core? Scientists believe that approximately 3.9 billion years ago, the earth was bombarded with meteorites containing the metals – peppering precious deposits throughout the earth’s crust and becoming incorporated into the modern mantle we know today. New research comparing rocks that pre-date the estimated time of bombardment with “younger” rocks reveals a number of geochemical indicators that scientists believe to be evidence in support of this “bombardment theory.”
In truth, your gold necklace or platinum wedding band may be a gift from the stars!