A marvelous bit of money-hungry geekdom emerged from Wired, where Rhett Allain had a crack at working out how much Smaug's treasure hoard is worth.
Basing his estimation on the trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Allain takes Bilbo's size in relation to the gold pile to guess that this particular gold hill is around 5 meters long inclined at 20 degrees from the horizontal. About this big:
Then, Allain explains, it kind of looks like Smaug's got at least four hills of gold, making that a gold volume of roughly 158 cubic meters. Yeah, I don't understand either, but it's pretty cool that the dude even tried. Some perspective here: the BBC reckons that all of the gold that exists in the actual world could squish into a cube with 20 meter sides. So Smaug's 158 cubic meters of gold would cash in for about $133 billion, totally destroying the world's economy. Maybe that's why he hoards all that gold, to bring the stock market to its knees. Or, more likely, he's a giant scaly magpie that likes shiny things.
Why do you think that Smaug has so much freakin' gold?
The Hobbit: The Desolation Smaug hits theaters stateside on December 13.