The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 6, February 6, 2022, Article 31


Michael Kodysz writes:

Castello gold cube "I heard on Good Morning America that a German artist named Niclas Castello dropped a solid gold cube worth $11.7 million in Central Park. My first thought: a 24kt-solid-gold cube that size would be worth a lot more than $11.7 million, and too heavy to transport or move without heavy-duty equipment. I doubt that a single artist or even a single corporation could get their hands on that much gold all at once. I told my wife, I bet it's hollow and sure enough it is. To describe the cube as solid gold is as misleading as claiming that a hollow Easter bunny is made from solid chocolate. It isn't.

"An interesting exercise: calculate the weight and value of the 24kt-gold cube if it were actually solid rather than hollow. Judging by the photos I'm guessing the cube's size at around 24-inches square.

"This story is on numerous news outlets."

Thanks. I had similar thoughts when I saw this. Numismatists are no dummies - gold is really, really dense and heavy. That's a very misleading photo - the photographer must have been laying on their stomach to get the shot of the lilliputian-sized "This is Spin¨al Tap" Stonehenge-style monument. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times about this Instagram bait and NFT promotion. -Editor

  Castello gold cube with people

The fun thing about conceptual art is that it's totally easy to create. You can say something about the increasingly virtual way many of us experience the world, and the explosive popularity of NFTs (nonfungible tokens) — or seem to say something profound, anyway — just by staging a Central Park happening around a knee-high cube of 24-karat gold.

At least, that's what the German pop artist Niclas Castello has done. His Castello Cube, cast from more than 400 pounds of Nevadan gold, appeared in a patch of icy slush opposite the Naumburg Bandshell on Wednesday, preceded by an over-the-top marketing campaign that included a wraparound ad in that morning's edition of The New York Times. Related NFTs from the artist and even a new digital currency, Castello Coin, will drop later in the month. The artist did privately presell enough of the coins to finance this project, according to Marina Dertnig, a member of the production team. The cube is not solid all the way through: it has a hollow core. But the gold alone is worth more than $10 million at current prices.

When I visited, the cube was surrounded by a steady trickle of gawkers, some of whom had come to see the art and others drawn by the crowd itself. I love a group of people staring at a box, said Isabel Robin, an actor and tour guide.

After all, the last time New Yorkers got to see such a sizable chunk of gold in public was in 2016-2017, when Maurizio Cattelan installed his 18-karat gold toilet, America, at the Guggenheim Museum.

What the Castello Cube really speaks to is the self-sustaining power of capital. If you have the resources to get hold of $10 or $11 million dollars' worth of gold from a UBS Bank in Switzerland — as Castello did — and then pay a centuries-old bell foundry there to shape it into a cube, and finally to ship this cube to the most visible park in the finance capital of the Western world, you can get people to look at it, talk about it and review it — and then, in what is shaping up to be the new gold standard, sell the whole experience as an NFT.

All the gold in the world Michael adds:

"When I saw a photo of the cube on TV it looked huge, and they said solid gold! I read somewhere that the total amount of gold ever mined in the world would fit inside of an Olympic-size swimming pool. I found a graphic that illustrates this, although the giant cube of gold shown in the graphic is multiple times deeper/higher than the pool."

To read the complete article, see:
It's Gold, Baby. But Niclas Castello's Cube Is Nothing New in Art. (

And another story on Mashable:
That viral gold cube is actually pretty small. Oh, and it's hollow. (

And the infographic:
If all the gold ever mined was melted into one solid cube, this is how big it would be (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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