Precious Metals

United States holds quarter of world gold reserves

Eighteen countries and two institutions are currently identified as holding 88 percent of the world's gold reserves, with the United States topping the list.

Image courtesy of Karus Chains.

The United States holds nearly 25 percent of the world's identified gold reserves, based on the latest International Financial Statistics from the International Monetary Fund or IMF.

Karus Chains took the statistical data and created a global map pinpointing the 18 countries and two institutions that control 88 percent of the world's gold reserves.

The statistics show that the United States holds 8,133.5 tons of gold, or 24.79 percent of the world total. Germany is a distant second with 3,381 tons, amounting to 10.3 percent, followed by France with 2,435.7 tons, 7.42 percent, to round out the top three countries.

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The IMF's statistics indicate it controls 8.58 percent of the total world reserves with holdings of 2,814 tons. The European Central Bank holds 504.8 tons, or 1.54 percent of the world reserves.

The statistics do not include countries that have not reported their reserves to the IMF over the past six months or that do not report their holdings publicly.

Where does the U.S. keep its gold?

The bulk of the U.S. gold reserves are held at the Fort Knox Gold Bullion Depository in Kentucky under the protection of the United States Mint.

Located approximately 30 miles southwest of Louisville, the United States Bullion Depository, often simply referred to as just Fort Knox, stores the majority of the monetary gold stocks of the U.S. in its vaults.

The facility is heavily fortified, with the nearby Army post providing additional security beyond that of the Treasury Department.

The gold in the depository is in the form of standard Mint bars of almost pure gold, or coin gold bars resulting from the melting of gold coins. These bars are slightly smaller than an ordinary building brick. The approximate dimensions are 7 inches by 3.625 inches by 1.75 inches.

Each bar roughly contains 400 troy ounces of gold each — an avoirdupois weight of about 27.5 pounds.

Monthly status reports on U.S. government gold reserves are posted by the Treasury's Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

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