Which countries’ governments hold the most gold?
Here is a chart and list of the top ten gold holding nations.
1. The United States 8,133.50 tons
Most governments hold their official gold reserves in their central bank. The United States’ gold, however, is held by the United States Treasury. The United States lists its official gold holdings at 8,133.50 of which approximately 4,600 tons are held at Fort Knox. Most of the gold held by the United States was acquired from 1933-34 when via an executive order President Roosevelt required American citizens to turn in all gold coins then in circulations as well as nearly all other gold held in their possession.
The gold confiscated was put in Fort Knox, Tennessee that was built in 1937 and was designed to hold the nation’s gold. Last week United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell toured the Fort Knox facility. It was the first public tour by U.S. officials of Fort Knox since the 1970’s when a group of congressmen toured the facility.
2. Germany – 3,376
Germany holds the second largest pile of gold. Until about five years ago much of Germany’s gold was held outside of Germany in New York, London and Paris. Germany had send much of its gold outside its borders after World War II as a precaution against Russian invasion. Germany has completed a repatriation plan designed to bring its gold holdings to more than half held inside Germany. Currently, more than half of the gold belonging to Germany is within her borders. Since 2002, Germany has been selling about 4 tons a year to the German government to mint coins.
3. Italy – 2,451 tons
Italy, a European economic power for much of the twentieth century, accumulated vast amounts of gold. Italy, however, has not added any gold to her reserves in decades.
4. France – 2,436 tons
France’s position is similar to Italy’s in that it accumulated large amounts of gold in the 20th century due to her status as an economic power. France also added to her gold reserves in the 1960’s by redeeming large amounts of her dollars for gold at the U.S. Treasury as was permitted under the Bretton Woods Agreements of 1944.
5. China – 1,843 tons
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) released its gold reserve holdings in July of 2015 for the first time since 2009. The new holdings shows an increase of 604 tons from 1,054 tons to 1,658 tons. Since then, the PBOC has added over 180 tons of gold, bring her total to approximately 1,843 tons. The People’s Bank of China, however has not added any gold to reserves since October 2016. Chinese gold mining production is first in the world and imports of gold into China over the past few years exceed the PBOC’s gold reserves indicating that there is plenty of gold in China held outside of the PBOC.
6. Russia – 1,729 tons
The Central Bank of the Federation of Russia has been the world’s number one stacker of gold the past three years. Russia added approximately 200 tons of gold in each of 2015 and 2016 and is on pace to do the same in 2017. Russia’s gold production is consistently one the world’s top three. Much of Russia’s gold production remains in Russia at the Central Bank of the Federation of Russia.
7. Switzerland – 1,040 tons
Switzerland is the world largest gold refiner and hosts many gold vaults. Switzerland also once was a top three gold holding nation with 2,600 tons. Since 2000, however, Switzerland has sold over 60% of her gold.
8. Japan – 765 tons
The Bank of Japan hold a fair amount of gold, but like its western central bank counterparts has not added gold in decades.
9. Netherlands – 613 tons
The Netherlands made headlines in late 2014 when they announced that they had repatriated 122.5 tons from the 312 tons of gold they had been storing in the United States. The Netherlands had, like Germany sent about half of their gold to the New York Fed for safe keeping during the Cold War. While, Netherlands has repatriated about 40% of her gold from the United States, she has not added any gold to reserves in decades.
10. India – 557 tons
While India’s citizens and temples are estimated to hold 18-22K tons of gold, The Royal Bank of India lists a modest 557 tons of gold, enough to crack the top ten.
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This article by BGASC is not, and should not be regarded as, investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular course of action.