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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Do Resources Actually Run Out?


I don't know for sure, but what if there isn't a limit on oil at all? What if quantum mysticism is right? What if there isn't a limit on gold or silver or platinum either? I mean humans have made jewelry since at least the time of the Celts but probably back to the Egyptians, but we're sill using and having gold! And it's still plentiful enough to be sold in stores and jewelry shops! Same with silver! What if there's no such thing as a nonrenewable resource? I mean, if resources were going to run out, then we would have mined all of a resource after about 4-12 years, but we are still able to mine/get these resources!

The USGS has a mineral deposit map viewable in Google Earth. And Minex Consulting has discovery and mining data.

I think this question is outside the scope of this particular forum and topic. However, let me give you some short feedback on the issues your raised.
In reality, everything is renewable. It is the timeframe of renewal that has us separate resources into renewable and non-renewable categories. New oil is starting to form on our seafloors as we speak. Mineral deposits a currently being generated close to mid ocean spreading centers. However, until ready for exploitation, several million years will need to pass. Frankly, we don't want to wait this long, hence we classify them as "non-renewable" which means, "non-renewable" within our life time.
As far as the idea that we should have mined or recovered all the resources by now is a thinking error. Resources, such as gold or silver are vast. Just to give you an idea. By the end of 2011 it is estimated that a total of 165,000 metric tons of gold have been mined in all human history.
How much more gold is left in the earth's crust alone? With an average gold content of 0.0031 mg/kg Au in crustal rocks and a total crust mass of 4.0 x 10^22 kg, the total gold left would be 1.24 x 10^11 tons or 124 000 000 000 tons Au. Compare this to our puny 165 000 tons Au mined to date.

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

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Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)


I can answer questions concerning minerals, mineralogy, gems, metals, and anything that has to do with geology. However, I am NOT a jeweler. Questions about values, settings, gem stone cuts and appraisals are best directed to other experts on this site. I can however aide in the identification of unknown mineral materials. As a public service and part as training for new geoscientists, our university department provides FREE mineral identification for individuals. Please contact me for details or go to for details..


I am a professor of applied geology and mineralogy with many hours of field experience. Furthermore, I enjoy recreational gold prospecting and mineral collecting. As a professor I am engaged in research concerning minerals and their occurrence.

Member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) as well as the Association of Environmental Geochemists. Member of the GSA (Geologic Society of America) Member of the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)

Here is a small sampling: Mineral-rock handbook: Rapid-easy mineral-rock determination : written for anyone interested in minerals and rocks - Proctor, Peterson, and Kackstaetter;Macmillan Pub. Co. (New York and Toronto and New York) Physical Geology Laboratory e-Manual [CD-ROM], Kackstaetter, Earth Science Education LLC Colorado Front Range Self-guided Geology Field Trips, Kackstaetter,

Ph.D. in Applied Geology and Mineralogy. I am actively teaching courses in mineralogy and a variety of field courses with mineral collecting opportunities. Background in precious metal exploration.

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