Thai Gold

Gold in Thailand is a very interesting thing.  First off, Gold is Thailand’s second largest export.  And second, Thai gold is among the purest in the world at 98% (or 24 karat).

You would think that with all that gold moving that fast through the country the people would all be rich. But, alas, most of the gold mines in Thailand have been exhausted and those that still produce are privately owned by foreign companies.  The truth is that most of the gold used today in Thailand is imported from the very places it gets re-exported to.

Still, gold holds a huge place in Thai culture – In fact the word “Siam” (which Thailand was originally called)  means “gold”.  the Indians called it “Suvannabhumi” or “Land of Gold”, and the Chinese “Jin Lin” for  “Peninsula of Gold”.

The gold trade, stretches back more that 2000 years, and was probably the reason Thailand had any contact with the rest of the world in the first place.

Need more interesting facts?  Ok-

The Thais use a unique unit of measurement for weighing gold, called “baht”.  To make matters more confusing, the Thai currency is also call baht.

A baht is precisely 15.16 grams of processed gold. Thai gold may also be measured in “satangs” and “salungs”. 100 satangs = 1 baht and 25 satangs = 1 salung.  1 baht is approximately half an ounce of gold (0.47295231oz  and 1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams).

Here is a photo of one of the many large gold shops you will find in Thailand.  This one in Loei.

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