As inflation and economic uncertainty stoke global markets, governments and banks are turning to gold as a safe-haven asset. This year, central bank demand is on the rise, accumulating gold reserves at the fastest rate since 1967.
The world’s central banks own about one-fifth of all gold ever mined, with reserves topping 35,500 metric tons. Here are the biggest gold holders in the world, ranked by their holdings.
The United States is home to the biggest gold reserve in the world, with nearly 8,134 metric tons of bullion. This is more than twice as much as Germany and three times as much as Italy and France combined.
Governments have long used gold as a way to back their currencies and protect them from economic collapse. Even though the gold standard was abandoned more than 40 years ago, many governments continue to house large stacks of bullion in their treasuries.
The US Treasury houses most of its gold in the Fort Knox Depository. Originally constructed in 1936, the vault is adjacent to an US military installation and supervised by guards from the Treasury Department.
Germany has a lot of good things to offer, such as a high standard of living, advanced infrastructure, a high quality education system, and a strong economy. These attributes are why people from all over the world travel to Germany for vacations or to start their own business ventures.
In terms of gold, Germany holds the biggest reserve in the world. It has 3374 tonnes of the precious metal, worth $125 billion.
Its gold reserves are stored at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt am Main, and the Bank of England in London. These storage facilities satisfy a number of criteria, including cost efficiency and security.
The largest gold reserve in the world is held by France. It stores 2,435 tonnes of gold at its underground vault located 27 m below street level.
Countries and central banks stockpile gold for a number of reasons. They may have a lack of confidence in their currency, they want to diversify their reserves or they are bracing for economic uncertainty.
Gold is a safe haven for investors and it has an excellent track record of maintaining its value during times of high inflation. However, it does not earn interest, so moving resources into it can deprive a country of the potential income that other assets might produce.
Russia has one of the biggest gold reserves in the world, with over 2,300 tons (worth nearly $140 billion). The country’s holdings are largely unfrozen and are used as a way to cushion the economy from currency crises.
It’s not impossible for Russia to liquidate its gold, but it would be expensive and time-consuming. And there’s a limit to how much gold Russia can sell in a single day – planes and trains can only transport so much gold at once.
Regardless of whether or not President Vladimir Putin decides to use his huge gold hoard to weather biting financial sanctions, it’s still a valuable asset for an isolated nation like Russia. It can help the economy to survive the current crisis.
The biggest gold reserve in the world is held by Switzerland. It is managed by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and is part of the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
This gold is primarily used as a means of storing money and is not used for circulation. It is stored in various vaults across the country.
In the 13th century, the Swiss Confederation started stockpiling gold. This became a source of revenue for the nation.
Switzerland is a federal state with a well-developed political system. Its Constitution outlines rights of individuals and citizen participation in public affairs, divides powers between the Confederation and the cantons and defines federal jurisdiction and authority.