The overall amount of gold on the earth’s surface isn’t actually that much in the grand scheme of things. To get it in to perspective, there’s about 160,000 tonnes with around 2,600 tonnes being mined every single year. That might sound like a big number but by 2025, the amount of gold on the entire surface of the world after yearly mining only really equates to the surface area of a tennis court. So, whose hoarding all this precious metal? Lets look at the top five countries who are going for gold in 2015.
Going for gold and coming up top dog is the USA with a whopping 71.9% of foreign gold reserves which is the equivalent of 8,133.5 tonnes of the glossy metal. It sounds like a lot but the worlds largest economy used to have a lot more with over 20,000 tonnes back the 1950s. It was only in the late 1960s that these reserves began falling under the 10,000 ton threshold stabilising to the familiar figure we’re used to today.
Germany is the second biggest gold holder with 68.4% of foreign reserves corresponding to 3,384.2 tonnes of the shiny stuff. Back in October though, the country actually reduced its reserves and also sells 6 to 7 tonnes to the finance ministry every single year. The great superpower also sold a considerable amount of gold under CBGA 1 and 2 for the purposes of minting commemorative gold coins.
Coming in very closely with Germany is Italy at number 3 with a rounded 67.0 % of foreign reserves equating to 2,451.8 tonnes of the yellow metal. The country sold no gold under CBGA 1 or 2 and recently announced that it wouldn’t be selling under CBGA3 either.
France is the fourth largest hoarder of gold with 65.1% of reserves corresponding to 2,435.4 tonnes. Like Italy, it also announced that it wouldn’t be selling any under CBGA 3 but it did sell a hefty 572 tonnes under CBGA 2 and transferred around 17 tonnes to the Bank for International Settlements back in 2004 as an aspect of purchasing BIS shares.
There’s a big leap in figures between 4th and 5th place with Russia officially holding only 9.7% of foreign reserves which is the equivalent of just 1,094.7 tonnes. In February 2014, Russia impressively moved up two rank placings managing to outshine both Switzerland and China with its gold holdings. Even more recently in August, the huge country decided to purchase even more reserves in an effort to diversify away from the dollar and euro due to the economic sanctions implemented on them by the West.