Planet of Gold? Newly Discovered Earth-like Planet could be a Gold mine

Press Release   •   Oct 09, 2010 15:31 BST

The newly discovered “Earth-like” planet, 120 trillion miles could contain more Gold than we could ever imagine. Geologists are currently speculating what type of minerals could be found on the new Earth-like planet.

It is estimated that the new planet, named Gliese 581g, is three times the mass of our planet; that, in its self, will have a considerable effect on the quantity of minerals which could be found there.

Alan Roddis, Managing Director of G.A.E.A. Limited says, “The type of minerals which could be found on Gliese 581g is highly dependent on how they have been “baked” over time. Like cooking food in the kitchen, mineral formation is influenced by temperature, pressure and time. The atmospheric conditions of Gliese 581g; that is the level of Oxygen and Silicon, will also heavily influence the minerals found there”.

There are approximately 3,000 known minerals in the Earth's crust and mantle. Three quarters of the crust, by weight, is made up of just two elements; 47% Oxygen and 27% Silicon. Given these large ratios, the number of minerals that can physically form on Earth is finite.

“If the new Earth-like planet has the same levels of Silicon but more Oxygen than our planet, it is not unreasonable to suggest that minerals that are heavily influenced by Oxygen could be in abundance. This would include non-silicate minerals, such as Calcite, Anhydrite, Apatite and Spinel. Equally, minerals such as Quartz, which are pure crystalline silica would be in abundance in Silicon rich environments.

If Oxygen levels on Gliese 581g are less than our planet, minerals which do not involve Oxygen at all, could be plentiful. Such minerals include salt, pyrite, carbon and gold!

Interestingly, a small change in the oxygen levels on Gliese 581g could mean that Gold is as common there as Quartz is on Earth.

Roddis continues, “Undoubtedly, Gliese’s different environmental conditions will affect the minerals that are formed in the new planet over millions and millions of years. The beautiful peacock colours of faceted Labradorite gemstones or the defined colour striations of Orange River Quartz gemstones may not be obtainable on the new Earth-like planet. Furthermore, while curved rutilations in Witches Finger and Quartz gemstones are very unusual on Earth, the different cooking conditions may mean that they are common place on other planets”.

One thing is for sure; the minerals found on Earth shape every part of our life. Minerals on Gliese 581g are likely to be similar to what we know and understand if the “baking conditions” and atmospheric conditions are similar. Equally, a small change could mean that the new Earth-like planet is literally a Gold mine.

G.A.E.A. Limited specialises in the faceting rare and unique precious gemstones and crystals

We have been in the jewellery manufacturing  business since 1984 and gemstone and diamond production since 1989

Our expertise is faceting specimen rough gemstones and crystals.  Each and every gemstone in our premier collection is uniquely faceted; a one of a kind and the only one in existence

There are not many materials which we will not custom facet for that special occasion or purpose. We have faceted all types of materials from Gallstones to Emeralds

The faceting process starts with the selection of the right rough. The gemstone rough must have specific qualities in order for a quality of the final product to be created

We examine rough for clarity and colour and in the case of “healing stones” look to enhance it to it’s maximum effect.