For the price of the Iraq War, we could've covered the land area of Vermont and New Hampshire in gold leaf.
1 square meter of gold leaf can be generated by 2 grams of gold. At current prices, gold is worth $884 per troy ounce (31.1 grams). So it costs $56.85 for a square meter of gilding. New Hampshire is 24,239 square kilometers, while Vermont is 24,932 square kilometers, for a total area of 49,171 square kilometers or 49,171,000,000 square meters. Gilding the entire land area of these states comes to $2.80 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of over $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.
See what else you could buy with the money we spent on the war!