That Bling You're Wearing Has Traveled A Billion Miles

Okay…. so that gold watch or necklace you’re wearing came from a jeweler who got it from a dealer who got it from a miner somewhere in South Africa or South America. But where did the gold in those mines first come from? You say, “Who cares so long as it’s so beautiful.” I say, “Some professor at Harvard recently took a whole new approach to gold when Edo Berger reported, “What you’re wearing today traces back almost 4 billion light years to the Big Bang itself!”

My next gift to my wife will come with a note to this effect. I mean, if Berger is right it sorta makes the gift of gold all the more worth some fussing and hugging, right?

Here’s the deal.

After the Big Bang the universe contained only hydrogen, helium, lithium and carbon; but there was never enough energy to produce heavier elements like lead, platinum and gold. These appeared only later when the “smashups of collapsed giant stars hit the earth in the form of meteors….suggesting the gold we wear as jewelry is the result of some of the most violent explosions in the universe.”

Gold has always had this magic and mystery about it in the eyes of its beholders. It’s unique, it’s mesmerizing, it’s like no other metal in the evolution of humanity. Just to drive home the point, University of California, Berkley, astrophysicist Danial Kasen argues, “These events probably happen only every 100,000 years.”

He couldn’t resist giving them a name: Blingnovas. In time for Christmas, I have a name too: Expensive. Joan, are you listening….?

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