Number of records which must be sold to reach Gold status:

500,000

Source: The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2007

 
   
  Year the RIAA formalized the selection criteria for gold status albums:

1958
Before the RIAA formalized the criteria for what constitutes a gold status album - 500,000 copies sold - labels could and would confer gold status to whichever albums they pleased. Platinum status was added in 1976.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2007

 
   
  Number of records that must be sold to reach Platinum status:

1 million

Source: The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2007

 
   
  Number of albums certified as Gold or Platinum in 2006:

407
Compared to 976 in 1999 and 515 in 1990.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2007