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Bag of Hanukkah Gelt
The gelt we used for this measurement.
Sarina Finkelstein

Ever wonder how much that Hanukkah gelt would be worth if it were actually 24-karat gold and not foil-wrapped chocolate? Well, we've got the answer.

For those who don't know, chocolate "gelt," or money, is a traditional Hanukkah treat for children and often used in the holiday game dreidel. The dreidel is a spinning top with four sides, and depending on which side the top lands on, players get either all of the gelt in the pot, half of the pot, nothing—or have to add another piece of gelt to the pot.

But let's get back to the question at hand. Of course, you can't just weigh the chocolate coins and calculate the value of that weight in gold. After all—SCIENCE FACT!—a gold coin the same size as a gelt coin would weigh much more than the chocolate. (Gold is almost three times as heavy as lead by volume.)

So, instead, we found the volume of our $1.49 bag of Hanukkah gelt using the displacement method. Then, armed with the easily obtained density of gold—19.32 grams per cubic centimeter—we calculated how much gold coins of the same size as discs of Hanukkah gelt would weigh. Finally, we calculated how much a small bag (containing one large and three small coins) of real gold gelt would cost at the current market price of $34.55 per gram.

The results: All together, the one large and three small coins in our bag would be worth about $6,995. Individually, the big coin was worth $3,031 (rounded to the nearest dollar) and the three little coins were each worth about $1,321.

Happy Hanukkah!