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Official gold reserves


  Gold reserves (or gold holdings) are held by central banks as a store of value. At the end of 2004 central banks and official organizations held 19% of all above ground gold as a reserve asset.[1] In 2001, it was estimated that all the gold ever mined totalled 145,000 tonnes.[2] As one metric tonne equals 1,000 kilograms (or 32,150 troy ounces), one tonne of gold equated to a value of US$23.8 million in September 2007 ($739/troy ounces), so the total value of all gold ever mined would be some US$3.4 trillion.[3] For comparison, the entire global market capitalization for all stock markets was US$43.6 trillion in March 2006. About one percent of all above ground gold (370 metric tonnes) was mined in the first five years of the California Gold Rush (worth approximately US$7.2 billion at November 2006 prices).[4]

IMF gold reserves

IMF gold reserves refers to 3,217 tonnes of gold held by the International Monetary Fund. It is currently priced at a range of $40 and $50 a troy ounce ($1,300 to $1,600/kg), a price that was fixed in the 1970s before the Nixon government stopped pegging the U.S. dollar to the gold and instead allowed market forces to set the dollar's worth. An attempt to revalue the gold reserve to today's value has met resistance for different reasons. For example, Canada, the world's #1 gold producer, is against the idea of revaluing the reserve, as it would flood the market with gold and therefore depress its price.[5] It is also not clear whether the gold reserve is the property of the IMF or of member countries.

Three quarters of the gold reserve was contributed by G5 members, namely France, Germany, Japan, United States and United Kingdom. The gold piles contributed by the French, the Germans, the Japanese, the Americans and the British are each worth $10 bn.

Privately held gold

As of January 2007, gold exchange-traded funds held 629 tonnes of gold in total for private and institutional investors. In 2004, it was estimated that the Indian public held 13,000 tonnes of gold in jewelry or other forms.[6]

Officially reported gold reserves

The largest gold holdings in tonnes as reported by the World Gold Council can be seen in the table below, per 22. September 2005 and 14. December 2007, ranked by their 2005 holdings.[7] The United States' holding of gold is worth approximately US$207 billion (December 2006). Though the United States holding is the largest of individual countries, in total the Euro area gold holdings are larger (11,065 tonnes per December 2007).

Rank Country 2005 Gold (tonnes) 2007 Gold (tonnes)
1 United States of America 8,133.58,133.5
2 Germany 3,427.83417.4
3 International Monetary Fund 3,217.3 3217.3
4 France 2,892.62622.3
5 Italy 2,451.82451.8
6 Switzerland 1,290.11166.3
7 Japan 765.2765.2
8 Netherlands 722.4624.5
9 European Central Bank 719.9 604.7
10 People's Republic of China 600.0600.0
11 Republic of China (Taiwan) 423.3423.3
12 Portugal 407.5382.6
13 Russia 386.6438.2
14 India 357.7357.7
15 Venezuela 357.4356.8
16 United Kingdom 311.3310.3
17 Austria 307.5280.0
18 Lebanon 286.8286.8
19 Pakistan 283.065.3
20 Belgium 227.7227.6
21 Philippines 187.9126.9
22 Bank for International Settlements 185.3 142.7
23 Algeria 173.6173.6
24 Sweden 155.4150.3
25 Libya 143.8143.8
26 Saudi Arabia 143.0143.0
27 Singapore 127.4127.4
28 South Africa 123.9124.1
29 Turkey 116.1116.1
30 Spain 107.9281.6
31 Romania 104.9103.7
32 Poland 102.9102.9
33 Indonesia 96.573.1
34 Thailand 84.084.0
35 Australia 79.779.8
36 Kuwait 79.079.0
37 Egypt 75.675.6
38 Denmark 66.566.5
39 Iran 65.3N/A
40 Kazakhstan 58.662.7

See also

  • Foreign exchange reserves
  • Sovereign wealth funds
  • United States Bullion Depository
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Gold as an investment
  • Strategic Petroleum Reserve
  • The "Moscow Gold", the reserves of the Bank of Spain sent to the Soviet Union for storage by the Second Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War never to return.


  1. ^ Central Banks and Official Institutions World Gold Council
  2. ^ gold knowledge / frequently asked questions World Gold Council
  3. ^ Current gold market statistics London Bullion Market Organization
  4. ^ Mining History and Geology of the Mother Lode (accessed Oct. 16, 2006).
  5. ^ Gold falls on IMF sale concerns
  6. ^ Bullion Markets
  7. ^]
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Official_gold_reserves". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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