Most of us have already figured out that our money isn’t real (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). Manhattan gold merchant Ibrahim Fadl discovered this we he found that several 10-ounce gold bars, normally worth around $100,000, were counterfeits filled with tungsten, a much less valuable metal that has the same weight as gold. This immediately dropped their worth 80%.
read more

A new gold rush is on! Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt (along with filmmaker James Cameron) are backing a plan to mine gold and other precious metals from asteroids.

They’ve formed a company called Planetary Resources, which will start out by developing low-cost robotic spacecraft that can survey nearby asteroids. NASA will probably be one of their first customers.
read more

Bacteria have been discovered that turn ordinary metal into gold. This sounds great, except that if there is too much gold, it will become worthless?it’s valuable because of its rarity. For instance, Diamonds are actually much more common that we think, but they are kept artificially scarce?and thus expensive?by limited mining by a single South African company.

Robin Lloyd writes in that Australian researcher Frank Reith has discovered a film of bacteria on gold that has been mined in that country. When he grew the bacteria in his lab and dissolved it in a liquid solution containing non-gold metals, the result was gold nuggets. This might be the secret behind seemingly magic legends about ancient alchemists being able to turn ordinary metal into more