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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

From YKTTW

Fast Eddie: Pulled these factoids ...
Note that in real life, pure gold is roughly 1.7 times as dense as lead (19.3g/cm^3, compared to lead's 11.34g/cm^3).
... while true and all, they are not needed, to understand the trope.

Hazel: I recall an incident where someone stealing from a hoard/treasure was planning on taking diamonds using the justification that they weigh a lot less than gold, but, oddly enough, can't recall if it was Eustace in Voyage of the Dawn Treader or someone in Mines of King Solomon. I know, it's a bizarre confusion. Anyone remember a line like that?

Gattsuru: Diamonds do weigh less than gold (and for that matter, lead), at ~3.5g/cm^3. It'd be more important since diamonds tend to be worth at least a couple times the value of gold per pound, but there could be some problems if it was too bulky.

Dor: Putting this here to avoid Natter:
Averted in Castle of the Winds, where excess currency pieces will eventually become a weight (and bulk) problem. The solution is to deposit money in the bank, which gives you a credit note in return. However, it's still noteworthy that copper, silver, gold and platinum pieces weigh exactly the same, while being conviniently worth ten times the value of their predecessor.

While they shouldn't have the same bulk, a constant ratio of value per unit weight is actually pretty close to accurate (at least as of Aug. 4, 2009): gold is 65-70 times as valuable as silver, which is 65-70 times as valuable as copper. No excuse for platinum, though, which is only worth about 25% more than gold.