Curious whether the actual process for gold pressed latinum is ever mentioned. It's possible to encase a liquid into gold, but then you would call it gold encased latinum, rather than gold pressed latinum. Gold is neither very reactive nor absorbent, so I am not sure what pressing a liquid into it would do.

One way I could picture it is that gold is made porous (such as by loosely binding gold dust through heat), and latinum is contained within it. This could work if latinum were either very cohesive or very adhesive to gold - but the pressing process would still pose a problem, since gold is very soft, and a fine network of pores could be easily destroyed by pressure. Given that latinum is a liquid, this would also likely make for bars that are extremely fragile - unless latinum possess some quality that offsets that.

Anyway, I am not looking for a technically correct scientific explanation, just wondering if the makers of the series ever touch on anything specific about the manufacturing process.

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    I think they closest you may get is in the DS9 episode "Who Mourns for Morn?" where it is stated the latinum was extracted from the gold, in which it was suspended: "ODO: Beautiful, isn't it? And the way it picks up the light I wonder who came up with the idea of suspending liquid latinum inside worthless bits of gold?"
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 1, 2019 at 14:35
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    @RobertColumbia Why the [money] tag on this and the other question? I'm probably missing something but it's not immediately clear for its usage. At best it seems superfluous and at worst it doesn't seem to be about that topic at all.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 1, 2019 at 15:03
  • Also relevant: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/102620
    – Cadence
    Oct 1, 2019 at 15:05
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    Every description I've seen so far is a "suspension", and the relative value suggests the smount off latinum is small, although "Who Mourns for Morn?" shows that the gold with the latinum removed is very fragile, so it must have some effect of permeating the structure that doesn't self-heal.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Oct 1, 2019 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is answer in canon, although the name alone is sufficient description.

"Pressed" refers to the bar being extruded (at a low temperature) and stamped. It refers to how it was made, not what it is. So it could very well be "pressed gold encasing latinum" and also be correctly called "gold pressed latinum." The latter would be the common name.

The pocket idea seems to be the most likely scenario to me. As an Engineer, it's often best to do what's simple. (Of course, I must admit what seems simple to me and what seems simple 300 years from now is somewhat subjective.)

  • We know the bar is the container for the latinum. Why would you mix something valuable with the material of its container?

  • Because Latinum is valuable because of its applications, I would think a better design would to make it easy to extract the latinum from the bar. Making a mixture of any kind would make this expensive. This suggests a pocket.

  • Creating a mixture doesn't make sense considering how little latinum is in the bar. Morn had ~4 ounces of latinum in his stomach (by visual estimation when he spat it up), which was worth thousands of bars. Assuming 7 x 3.625 x 1.75 standard earth bar and 2000 bars, that's a ratio of at least 400,000 : 1 by volume. Or, 2 uL per bar. That's too small to see with the naked eye. So we're talking about a tiny drop of latinum compared to the large amount of gold. You don't need to mix them in any way to provide a durable container. These numbers are not exact -- maybe off by 100 times -- nonetheless, there is very little material to work with.

  • Yep. I would agree that, without additional information on latinum's properties, this seems like a sensible way to do it. Although the obvious question is then - why are the bars so big? Gold isn't light. One might say that they are that big to provide more protection around the latinum inside, but then a cube would be a far better shape (a sphere being better yet, but less transportable).
    – Misha R
    Oct 1, 2019 at 21:18
  • The size and weight is symbolic of the value. I recall even the slips are larger than than our modern coins. Clearly, the Ferengi are drawing on some (earth-like) tradition of using rare metals for currency. (We know latinum comes from nebulas, and their pre-warp society undoubtedly had money.) The weight and heft of the bars can be seen as a security feature. Concealing for theft won't be easy; and certainly sneaking more than one bar is very difficult. I also think the Ferengi don't do anything small; they don't tend to be subtle. That could be a part of it as well.
    – BAMF4bacon
    Oct 4, 2019 at 15:45
  • Regarding the cube shape. Thickness for protection is clearly not the problem as slips are comparably thin.I recall the Feregi bars were trapezoidal shaped, which makes less sense than an rectangular shape to me. That seems like an aesthetic choice. The bar is something of an object of reverence, so it's gotta be fancy. Maybe the taper is to make it easier for children to play with?
    – BAMF4bacon
    Oct 4, 2019 at 15:49
  • But gold is just about the softest and most ductile material. Why not encase it in titanium?
    – RonJohn
    Jun 20, 2020 at 0:17
  • @RonJohn I would guess it has to do with gold being one of the least reactive elements, and potentially offering more chemical stability than titanium. For long term storage this is far more important than hardness.
    – Misha R
    Jun 20, 2020 at 1:23

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