Countries have held part of their wealth in the form of gold for thousands of years now.
If you go back a hundred or more years, countries like Great Britain were held in high regard internationally as a result of their high level of gold reserves. Having gold assets in hand attracted respect from other countries and showed that you actually had real, tangible wealth.
Today, with the increasing complexity of the world’s financial markets, you might think that actually owning and storing wealth in the form of gold bars might have become irrelevant. After all, there are so many other ways in which wealth can be stored and exchanged.
But still, in the world of the internet and instant wire transfers, countries still like to hold some of their wealth in actual, physical gold.
Gold is still a sign of wealth and stability, even today.
The world leader in gold reserves is United States with 8,133 tonnes as on March 2014.
Germany has the second highest gold reserves at 3,384 tonnes.
Italy has 2451.8 tonnes.
France has 2,435 tonnes.
Russia has 1,094 tonnes.
China is now the sixth biggest holder of gold reserves with 1054 tonnes.
Switzerland has 1,040 tonnes.
India, which many perceive as being a country with a lot of gold reserves, is actually way down at 14th position with gold reserves of 557 tonnes. The Indians prefer to wear their gold, rather than store it in vaults.
With over 8,000 tons in gold bullion, the U.S. clearly leads the pack. However, it is worth keeping in mind that America used to have a whole lot more… over 20,000 tons back in the 1950s.
And there are many who question whether America has the thousands of tons it claims today. It has been decades since those gold holdings have been properly audited, and many suspect that much of it that gold is long gone.
More questions answered about buying, owning and storing gold bars and coins…