Precious Metals

United States Treasury gold valued in trillions

Treasury-owned gold includes 12 Proof .9999 fine gold 2000-W Sacagawea dollars secured at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository in Kentucky.

Images courtesy of United States Mint.

The worth of the gold held by the United States Treasury would be valued at more than $338 billion if the worth was calculated using the spot price of the metal per troy ounce.

The $338 billion figure was rendered by multiplying the Sept. 16 closing spot price of gold on the London market at $1,232.25 per troy ounce by the 274,951,736.798 fine troy ounces of Treasury-owned gold in Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank storage.

But the current value as kept on government ledgers is just over $11.6 billion, since the calculation is based on an official price of $42.2222 per fine troy ounce of pure gold.

The statutory price of gold has been $42.2222 per fine troy ounce since 1973.

The Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service report on U.S. Treasury-owned gold:

??Reflects gold bullion and gold coins owned by the federal government.

??Summarizes the fine troy ounces and the book value of gold held by various facilities.

??Identifies the value of gold coins and bullion on display at Federal Reserve banks; coins and bullion in reserve at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and gold held by U.S. Mint facilities.

The Federal Reserve does not own gold. The Gold Reserve Act of 1934 required the Federal Reserve System to transfer ownership of all of its gold to the Department of the Treasury.

The Treasury report from the Bureau of Fiscal Service states that the highest quantity of gold is stored at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository in Kentucky, with 147,342,858.382 fine troy ounces. The Fort Knox total includes 10 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagles and 12 Proof .9999 fine gold 2000-W Sacagawea dollars.

The totals include both “deep storage” and “working stock” inventories.

“Deep storage” is defined by the Treasury as “the portion of the U.S. government-owned Gold Bullion Reserve that the U.S. Mint secures in sealed vaults, which are examined annually by the Department of Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General.”

“Working stock” is “the portion of the U.S. government-owned Gold Bullion Reserve that the U.S. Mint uses as the raw material for minting congressionally authorized coins.”

Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated the figures in "trillions" rather than "billions."

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