Hello. I ran a test where I used 100 gold spades on stone, and I then put the rewards in some chests. I repeated the process with 60 gold pickaxes. Crafting a gold spade costs 3 gold ingots, and crafting a gold pickaxe costs 5 gold ingots. This is the reason why the number of gold spades differ from the gold pickaxes; 100 gold spades use the same amount of gold ingots as 60 gold pickaxes.
The world I tested this in is custom single player, and I set tool decay to normal.
Three chests of stone, not including the one pictured.
Gold spades will yield more ore/ingots/gems than gold pickaxes. The only place that gold pickaxes do better are when your goal is to get a lot stone. However, if that’s the case, using a gold pickaxe is not a necessity.
I hope you enjoyed!
(to-do: formatting on the pc, add another 50 spades to test result because they cist 2 gold ingots now, spades vs pickaxes on gravel, expert mode vs regular with spades)