This article shows how to express the value of an item as an N inch x N inch x N inch (can also be done in foot) cube of gold or silver.
For example, let's say the spot price of 1oz of gold is $1,250, and the "US median income" is roughly $56,000, then, the US median in terms of oz of gold is $56,000/$1,250 = 44.8 oz.
Note that 44.8 oz in cubic inches is (44.8*.0685714)/.7 = 4.39 cubic inches
The .0685714 term is a constant that converts troy oz to lbs, and the .7 is also a constant that is what 1 cubic inch of gold weighs in lbs.
Then the N is 4.391/3, ie. the cube root of 4.39, which is 1.64 inches.
So a cube of gold that is 1.64 inches x 1.64 inches x 1.64 inches has the same value as the US median income. This gold cube would weigh 3.07 lbs.
An "issue" is, of course, is that not all the values in the calculations are constant. The spot price of gold changes, and the US median income, or whatever object you're interested in, changes. One can easily make an Excel file to automatically grab these values from webpages you specify, and then do the calculations using those values.
Also, if you're interested in using silver instead of gold, simply use the spot price of silver, and use .38 as the constant that is what 1 cubic inch of silver weighs in lbs. Using a spot price of $18 for silver, the same US median income would be 3,111.11 oz, and would be a 8.25 inch x 8.25 inch x 8.25 inch silver cube. This silver cube would weigh 213.33 lbs.
Some other examples of interesting items are:
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