What size sphere of copper, silver, gold or platinum could you have for one million dollars?

I askeda similar questionsome time ago re mounting deformation and how much you would have to spend to get a ball of gold one meter in diameter. I’m watching ESPN’s “Broke” By Billy Corben re how athletes blow all their money. In that context I was wondering how big a ball of copper silver, gold and platinum one million dollars would buy you?

For the purposes of the question ignore the casting, tooling and mounting required I just want to know how big a ball of this metal (as a solid sphere) I can buy for one million dollars.

1 Troy oz prices as of 2.19.16. A troy oz Is 31.1035 grams.

Gold - 1,233.50 Silver- 15.41
Platinum - 949.00 Copper - .14337

Assume I am a newly rich athlete and I want this as a mounted conversation piece in my living room. How big will my balls be?


Just divide 1,000,000 by the cost per ounce and that tells you how many ounces. You need to know the density of the metals to get the volume. And the volume of a sphere is (4/3) πr^3.

Using your cost per troy oz, 1 million dollars will get you:

810.7 Troy oz, or 25.215kg of Gold
64892.9 Troy oz, or 2018.4Kg of Silver
1053.74 Troy oz, or 32.775Kg of Platinum
6974959.89 Troy oz, or 216945.665Kg of Copper

Gold has a density of 19.32 grams per cubic centimeter, so you have 1305.155 cubic centimeters of gold. This makes a sphere 13.559 centimeters across.

Silver has a density of 10.49 grams per cubic centimeter, so you have 2018397.144 cubic centimeters of gold, which makes a sphere 156.796 centimeters across

Platinum has a density of 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter, so you have 1527.973 cubic centimeters of platinum, which makes a sphere 14.29 centimeters across

Copper has a density of 8.96 grams per cubic centimeter, so you have 24212685.83 cubic centimeters of copper, which makes a sphere 358.934 centimeters across.

At these weights you should be able to carry about the gold and platinum for a short while. The silver will probably roll with great effort but stopping it from going through the wall could be your undoing. You ain’t moving the copper without heavy equipment.

That’s a lot of value in a gold ball just over 5 inches across, but when one looks at how small a one ounce Krugerrand coin is, it makes sense.

Wonder if anyone makes them. Probably be a special order.

~12 feet? That’s a big-ass copper ball. Much bigger that I would have guessed off hand.

At work we rolled around 3000 kg paper reels easily with just one guy, a perfect sphere weighting 2000 kg shouldn’t be much harder to move as long as you have a surface that can stand it (and that might be tricky for a sphere). Copper on the other hand I wouldn’t even try moving around.

For those of us whose car’s mileage is still 13 Rods to the Hog’s Head:

Gold ball = 5 1/3 inches in diameter
Silver ball = 61 3/4 inches in diameter
Platinum ball = 5 1/2 inches in diameter
Copper ball = 11 3/4 feet in diameter

Well, it does weigh over 200 tons.

The copper ball is going to create an indentation in many surfaces, then sit in it, making it even more difficult to move.

The OP doesn’t want to move it. It’s to be a “mounted conversation piece”. He’ll just buff it every now and then with a cloth and a mildly abrasive solution.

If that copper ball ever got moving, it would be very difficult to stop. Like the stone ball in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but much bigger and heavier.

Does it? I was just thinking, it’s hard to believe that a shotput, basically, is equivalent to more than eight hundred bullion coins.

Spheres are very misleading shapes. Human brains seem to understand linear quantities very well. Something 4 feet long looks twice as long as something 2 feet long.

Humans are not as good at 2D. Something doubled in area intuitively looks maybe 50% larger.

And they really, really suck at 3D.

Silver’s about 1/100th the price of gold. But the silver sphere is only 10x larger. It makes total sense mathematically and no sense intuitively.

For the gold and platinum spheres, you’ll probably want a sealed display case with various burglar alarms hooked up, to discourage a thief from simply picking them up and walking away with them. They’re heavy, but no so heavy that they can’t be easily carried away.

The silver sphere is probably going to need a reinforced stand to keep it from damaging the floor, and you’ll probably also want to move it into place with a crane.

Getting the copper sphere from the foundry to your display site will be a major undertaking. Trucks capable of carrying 200+ ton loads do exist, but you’ll need to carefully plan out the route to avoid most bridges, and you’ll need a large crane to move it from the truck to a heavily reinforced support pad that it’ll rest on. You’re probably safe from anyone trying to steal it however.

I made a real nice post with cites & showing my work and everything. Then I closed the window while trying to preview. :smack:

Anyhow, a 25mpg car gets between 57 and 145 rods per hogshead. There are different sized hogsheads for different purposes; hence the range. The hogshead most applicable to gasoline would probably be more towards 57 end of the range.

For that sized hogshead, 13 rods per hogshead is roughly 1/2mile per gallon. Which is about the fuel mileage of a railroad locomotive.

You’re welcome. :smiley:

The Canadian mint in Ottawa has on display a million dollar gold coin. It is chained down (and doubtless alarmed too) and you are allowed to lift it if you can. If you are interested in industrial processes, the mint is interesting to visit.

And yes, I screwed that up totally. :smack: smack:

Just pretend I’m not here today.

I dunno, anyone downhill from you might be able to steal it with only a little support pad demo work. Keeping it might be another story.