Goldfinger’s Real Worth in Gold

November 18, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. quintessential (adj.) 
[kwin-tuh-sen-shuhl– describing the perfect or best example of something
Example: James Bond is portrayed as the quintessential gentleman.

2. villain (n.) [vil-uhn] – the evil or bad character in a movie, book, story, drama, etc.
Example: The villain planned to kill the hero of the movie.

3. obsessed (v.) [uhb-sest] – to think too much about one thing
Example: Movies and cartoons often show villains obsessed with ruling the world.

4. set off (v. phrase) [set awf] – to make something to explode
Example: In the last Batman movie, the villain tried to set off a bomb in Gotham city.

5. stash (n.) [stash– something that is hidden or stored in a secret hiding place
Example: James Bond has a stash of weapons to help him catch the bad guys.

Read the text below.

“Goldfinger” is often said to be the quintessential Bond movie. Its villain, Auric Goldfinger, is considered one of the most memorable Bond villains.

Auric Goldfinger was obsessed with gold. His plan was to set off a nuclear device inside Fort Knox, a place where The United States government stores gold. Because of radiation from the nuclear explosion, the gold in Fort Knox would become unusable, and Goldfinger’s personal stash of gold would then increase in value.

According to the movie, Goldfinger had a personal stash of about 1.5 metric tons  of gold (1,500 kg), equal to 48, 225 troy ounces.

The highest trading value of gold was in August 2011, when one troy ounce was valued at $1,900. Currently, one troy ounce of gold is equal to about $1,792.  By today’s standards, Goldfinger’s 48, 225 troy ounces would be worth $86.4 million.

However, in 1964, the time when the Goldfinger movie was released, gold was not as expensive as it is today. At that time, one ounce of gold was worth only $35.10.

Thus, Goldfinger’s stash in his time was only worth $1.7 million. That $1.7 million would be around $12.5 million today.

Although that sounds like quite a large amount, it is not enough to place Goldfinger at the top of the list of the world’s richest people, or even fiction’s richest villains.

While Goldfinger’s stash may not be too high in value, there is no denying that Bond movies have earned a lot of money over the years. The 23rd James Bond movie, titled “Skyfall,” is to be released this year.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What makes gold so special and desirable to many people?
·         Is it a good idea to invest in gold rather than to invest in property or shares of a company? Why do you think so?

Discussion B

·         Which villain (from a movie, TV show, book, etc.) do you find the most interesting or most memorable? Please explain your answer.
·         Is the villain as important as the hero of a story? Why do you say so?


November 18, 2012