Professor Martyn Poliakoff toured the Bank of England's gold vaults, which contains $315 billion worth of bullion, and felt a little sad.
"In some ways, seeing these bars is quite disappointing because gold is an exciting element. It has interesting chemistry, and it's just sitting here doing nothing," said Poliakoff, who hosted a gold episode of The Periodic Table of Videos.
"It's enormously impressive. It's a bit sad, like a mausoleum where the dead gold is sitting, waiting for people to remember it when it could be doing exciting reactions."
While touring the vault, Poliakoff notes that each shelf alone contains a tonne of gold worth $56 million.
"I have never seen so much of any element. Ones first reaction is that it can't be real, because one doesn't see such things."