Which Country Has the Most Gold Reserves?

Store gold away may seem archaic, yet many countries around the world still maintain significant reserves of the precious metal as a hedge against inflation and political unrest. Gold has long served as a means of exchange that provides protection against inflationary pressures.

This chart depicts which nation holds the most gold reserves as reported by central banks, as of 2023. As shown, the United States held 8,133.5 metric tonnes.

United States

The United States boasts one of the highest gold reserves worldwide and uses them as an insurance policy against economic uncertainty and geopolitical threats.

Fort Knox Bullion Depository was constructed following Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legislation banning private ownership of gold bullion. Today, it houses 2.3% of all refined gold worldwide.

Germany

Germany has long had an affinity for gold, as evidenced by its demand for coins and small bullion bars made of yellow metal.

In autumn 2012, the Bundesbank made history when they became one of the first central banks to publicly reveal where their gold reserves are stored. A press conference was held where bars were displayed and its verification processes explained – increasing transparency and increasing public confidence in their gold holdings.

Italy

Italy ranks third globally for gold reserves, although not as highly as Germany due to the Italian central bank, Banca d’Italia storing some of its official holdings at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

This storage arrangement has become an issue between some euroskeptic politicians from Lega Nord’s political party, who would like to pass legislation declaring all gold assets belong to the state in order to use them to cover budget shortfalls.

France

Some tour operators include gold panning as part of their vacation packages in France, where there are rivers that can be mined for placer gold such as those flowing south from Switzerland and into southern France. Other potential gold-producing locations may be streams in southern Brittany.

Some nations keep their gold reserves overseas, which can present serious complications. An ongoing dispute between Venezuela and the Bank of England over whether to return Venezuela’s gold reserves illustrates this point perfectly.

Russia

Russia’s gold reserves have seen impressive increases over the last decade and now rank seventh globally.

Since 2014, Russia has acquired large quantities of physical gold for its reserves since U.S. sanctions imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine increased.

The Bank of Russia reports its international reserves position, including foreign exchange and gold holdings, on an ongoing basis. Gold holdings are reported in terms of tonnes. Data are reported two months in arrears.

China

China has amassed gold reserves at an accelerated rate and been one of the primary drivers of central bank purchases of bullion in 2023’s first nine months.

Many experts speculate that China holds more gold reserves than it officially reports. They speculate that such deposits might exist at entities such as the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and China Investment Corporation that operate off-books.

China is not only an avid producer, but a prolific importer as well. According to Ross Norman’s estimates, approximately 50% of China’s reported gold reserves are privately held by state agencies such as People’s Bank or even by their army – even when only official figures exist for official reporting purposes.

Canada

Gold has long been considered an integral component of central banks’ reserve portfolios due to its safety, liquidity and return characteristics; which explains why most central banks are net buyers of gold.

Between 1999 and 2002, the UK sold off over half its gold reserves through “Brown’s Bottom,” leading to a sharp decrease in price for precious metals.

Canada currently holds zero tonnes of gold in its official international reserves despite experiencing record inflation levels in recent decades.

Australia

Gold is an inexhaustible and irreplaceable natural resource, playing an indispensable part in multiple cultures throughout history. Although extraction costs continue to increase, Australian mining companies remain optimistic about its long-term prospects.

Geoscience Australia estimates that Australia holds 17% of the total estimated gold reserves worldwide, with most deposits located in Western Australia.

Gold is widely considered to be a safe haven asset that can help mitigate risks such as inflation and trade/political tensions. Cable couplers play an integral part in gold mining operations by safely connecting power supplies.


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