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Based on my limited knowledge of nuclear physics, it seems that one day it may/will be possible to synthesize whatever elements we may need, given enough energy. Is this accurate?

Is there a table that lists the most efficient ways to create certain elements from more abundant ones via fusion or fission?

I daresay this has rather large implications for precious metals such as gold/silver which are used as stores of wealth, provided the energy requirements are not exorbitant.

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One can already produce such metals in nuclear reactors or, more expensively, in particle accelerators:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthesis_of_precious_metals

This procedure is clearly uneconomic for "non-precious" metals. It only makes sense to consider in the case of precious metals and the page above lists some processes. However, this "nuclear alchemy" is still pretty far from being economically feasible although this counting may change in the future.

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Ahh thank you. Somehow I must have managed to avoid that enlightening wiki article. –  dcl Oct 24 '11 at 10:10
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I daresay this has rather large implications for precious metals such as gold/silver which are used as stores of wealth, provided the energy requirements are not exorbitant.

This is probably a non issue.

The nuclear synthesis will be an expensive process - in all ways, time, money and energy so will only be used for materials that have great value or are in extremely short supply. Despite it's status as a precious metal, there is not a shortage of gold to that degree.

Most countries have long since abandoned the gold standard and their wealth is measured terms other than the amount of gold reserves they have so any reduction in the value of gold (and other precious metals) will not be as great as you fear.

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