I was asked today how much gold is there totally. I hope you enjoy this summary. Keep in mind that the above ground gold in the entire world would fit in one olympic size swimming pool approximately 30 ft deep. The more interesting above ground problem is silver.We can make it without gold..but NOT without silver. Its vital to industry...especially technology.Silver is used up in tremendous quantities and gold is preserved. Silver will be the ultimate battleground.But lets go to gold now.
COMMODITY NUMBERS FAQs
Click here if you have accessed this page directly from a search engine and would like to review the entire site.
How much gold is there? What's it worth? Who owns it? What's left undergound? Inelasticity of supply Anticipated inflation of gold supply Table of gold stats and values
In the world there are currently somewhere between 120,000 and 140,000 tonnes of gold ‘above ground’. To visualise this imagine a single solid gold cube with edges of about 19 metres (about three metres short of the length of a tennis court). That's all that has ever been produced.
Divided amongst the population of the world there are about 23 grams per person, about 1.2 cubic centimetres each. This equates to about $250 - $350 worth per person on Earth, depending on the current price.
The value of that short tennis court sized cube is about $1.8 trillion. This compares to the US government’s sovereign debt of $6.9 trillion, which until 1971 was part-backed by gold. The US Gold Reserve is just over 8,000 tonnes - which is about 6% of the total gold ever mined. It is worth about $100 billion, or 1.5% of the US national debt.
$1.8 trillion is about one fourteenth of the paper based international bond markets, which themselves, at about $26 trillion, are about two thirds composed of western government sovereign debt almost all of which has appeared, co-incidentally, since 1971 and the declared supremacy of paper money, which was what allowed governments to borrow without caution. The total gold content of the world would pay - at current values - about 7% of the international bond market's sovereign debt. But of course 75% of the world's gold is not available to governments - being held privately as jewellery, bullion and coin. In fact only about 30,000 tonnes, about 1% of the world's sovereign debt is what is held in central bank gold reserves.
Meanwhile the entire gold stock of the world - including the privately held bulk - is much less than one half of one percent of the underwritten risk in the global financial derivatives markets.
The world has placed absolute trust in paper currency denominated assets. Investors have shunned gold for about twenty years while the notional value of paper based financial assets has exploded.
About 30,000 tonnes of the world’s gold [20-25% of above ground inventory] is held in central bank vaults.
Major Central Bank Reserves (2000)
Nations & institutions Reserves (Tonnes) USA 8139 Germany 3469 IMF 3217 France 3025 Switzerland 2590 Italy 2452
The totals for other central banks tail off rapidly after these main holders. Most only hold a few hundred tonnes, and together they make up a bit over 30,000 tonnes in all.
The rest is held by individuals in the form of gold jewellery [approx 70,000 - 80tonnes