Countries keep gold reserves for various reasons. Learn which country holds the most reserves and where its bullion is stored.
The United States tops the list, possessing 8,133.5 tonnes of gold – more than twice what Germany, Italy and France combine – in their vaults.
The United States holds the world’s largest gold reserves with 8,133.5 tons, more than all three other major holders combined (Germany, Italy and France).
The United States Mint stores its working stock in secured vaults that are regularly audited by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General. It includes gold bullion bars and blanks intended for congressionally authorized coins as well as condemned and unsold coins that remain unsold after they have been approved for circulation by congress.
Gold custody is one of many financial services provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on behalf of the Federal Reserve System to central banks, governments and international organizations. Click here for more details.
After the financial crisis, euroskeptic voices in Germany demanded an audit of German gold reserves held abroad for fear that these might be compromised or given away to other nations.
Governments no longer mandate that their money be backed by gold, but many nations continue to store huge piles of bullion as an insurance against hyperinflation or another economic catastrophe. Recently, some nations have even started transporting their bullion back home from New York or Paris locations.
Germany is doing just this and Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele reports that repatriation efforts are going smoothly despite Donald Trump’s presidency.
Italy boasts one of the third-largest gold reserves worldwide and has been steadily amassing it over centuries as an asset that offers protection from economic uncertainty.
France possesses the fourth-highest gold reserves worldwide and is also a significant producer. Their gold reserves are stored safely underground vault known as La Souterraine.
Russia has recently added to its gold reserves, rising up the rankings to be fifth. Russia is purchasing gold as an insurance policy against weakening rouble and international sanctions.
France boasts one of the fourth-largest gold reserves in the world. France’s central bank, Banque de France, owns and oversees this gold, which is stored safely under Paris in La Souterraine vaults.
Since 2009, several central banks have become net buyers of gold.
French gold mining has a rich heritage. The country boasts rivers and streams filled with the yellow metal that provide rich pickings for small-scale and large-scale prospectors alike, who use ethical mining methods. Gold prospecting remains an enjoyable pastime activity among many French citizens today.
Gold is one of the world’s most precious metals, with prices fluctuating based on market demand; one ton can be worth billions! Nations that own large stores of gold can take advantage of its value by protecting themselves against economic instability with large holdings in reserve.
Russia is quickly increasing its gold reserves as part of an effort to diversify away from US sanctions, purchasing gold as an investment vehicle.
Even as companies seek to minimize Russian gold’s entry into supply chains, some refiners are finding ways around LBMA bans by purchasing older Russian bullion and then selling it back onto the world market.
Gold forms an integral component of China’s foreign exchange reserves, but its central bank does not disclose how much gold it purchases – making estimating Chinese gold reserves quite difficult. On one hand, the PBoC wants to demonstrate their support of internationalization of the renminbi while not upsetting market sentiment with massive purchases that might drive prices higher.
Many experts believe China’s actual gold reserves to be much higher than their official figures, reflecting how important gold is as an asset class for China.
Australia boasts 66 active gold mines and is one of the world’s leading producers. Western Australia is home to some of its most important goldmines.
Australia’s gold reserves are comprised of copper-gold deposits that boast long mine lives, comprising 59% of Australia’s reserves and 66% of operating mines’ gold resources.
Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), central banks have amassed record reserves, led by China. China has led this gold purchasing spree.