There's gold in that there moon!
NASA, in its infinite wisdom, recently smacked a big chunk of rocket into the moon and examined what got blowed up. It was called the LCROSS mission. It appears that besides water there is gold on the moon. As a result, what with todays high gold prices, some people have suggested that it should be mined. Unfortunately even at today's prices it's still not worthwhile to mine the gold and send it back to earth. To get around this is has been suggested that the gold could be mined and then left on the moon and certificates of ownership could be sold instead. This would have the advantage of making the gold very resistant to theft. However, I don't think this plan will take off as a viable business model:
SALESPERSON: Care to buy a lunar gold certificate, sir?
CUSTOMER: What's the difference between this and a normal gold certificate?
SALESPERSON: It's just like a normal gold certificate, except that if you want the gold, you have to go to the moon to get it.
CUSTOMER: Err...I think I'll pass on that.
SALESPERSON: But it's just as good as a normal gold certificate!
CUSTOMER: Except for the whole moon thing.
SALESPERSON: But it doesn't matter! Hardly anyone ever hands in their certificate for real gold.
CUSTOMER: But the fact is I could if I wanted to, which is sort of the point. No one is going to buy lunar gold certificates when they can get a normal earth one for the same price.
SALESPERSON: How about I give you a discount?
CUSTOMER: By giving a discount you are making it obvious that it is not as good as a normal gold certificate. And how much of a discount do you think you would have to give for it to become worthwhile for people to buy them? Let me give you an earthly example. Would you want to buy a gold certificate that represents the gold in a billion litres of sea water? After all, the gold is definitely there, it's just really hard to get to, just like your moon gold. Currently, just like with sea water, the cost of collecting your gold is more than the gold is worth, this means your lunar gold is worth nothing.
SALESPERSON: Well then, can I interest you in some helium 3 futures, or perhaps some Czarist bonds, or possibly a time share on a nice bridge in Brooklyn?
CUSTOMER: No thanks.
SALESPERSON: If you cut me in, I could shift some of those sea water gold certificates for you...