Which Country Has the Most Gold? - World's Global Gold Reserves
We have ranked the top countries with the largest gold holdings based on gold allocation. The gold held in each country ranges from gold bullion to gold bars. These countries may store their precious metals in multiple secure vaults and locations. The list below showcases the countries holding the largest reserves of gold in the world.
- Countries With the Most Gold
- Companies With the Most Gold
- Which Country Has the Largest Gold Reserves?
Around the world, central banks shifted from net sellers to net buyers of gold starting in 2010. In 2020, central banks around the globe purchased 272.9 metric tons of bullion. For the past eleven years in a row, central banks have been net purchasers of gold. Some central banks were more motivated to sell reserves and inject liquidity into their economies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top 6 Countries With the Most Gold
1. United States
The United States is the country with the most gold in the world. It currently has 8,133.5 tons of gold which is almost more than the next three countries combined.
Most of the United States' gold is in Fort Knox in Kentucky holding more than 147 million ounces of gold. The rest of it is spread out between the West Point Bullion Depository, the San Francisco Assay Office, the Philadelphia Mint, and the Denver Mint (See US Mints). The United States also has 76% of its foreign reserves in gold.
The country with the second most gold is Germany. Germany has 3,366.8 tons of gold in their vaults.
Germany brought their gold holdings up to this level again in 2017 by completing a four year repatriation operation in which they moved 674 tons of gold back from French and American banks. This was perfect timing for Germany because the demand for gold fell in 2017, but has been steadily increasing since the global financial crisis. Germany also has 71.9% of their foreign reserves in gold.
The country with the third most gold in the world is Italy. Italy currently has 2,451.8 tons of gold in their reserves.
The Bank of Italy governor says that they keep this much gold in their reserves because it acts as a safety and a protection against any fluctuation of the dollar. Gold keeps its value, so it is good for protecting the value of their money. Italy also has 67.4% of their foreign reserves in gold.
The country with the fourth most gold in the world is France. France has almost as much gold in their vaults as Italy with 2,436.1 tons of gold.
In addition, the European country has 60.8% of their foreign reserves in gold. France has not sold much of its gold in the last few years, and the leader of the Front National party of France, Marine Le Pen, has been influential in not selling any more of the country's gold, and in getting much of the gold they have already sold back.
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The country with the fifth most gold in the world is Russia. Russia has a total of 2,219.2 tons of gold in their reserves currently.
They have been one of the largest buyers of gold in the last seven years which has allowed them to increase their gold stores past China in 2018. In addition, in 2017 Russia purchased 224 tons as a way to move their economy away from the American Dollar.
London has banned all bars from Russian refineries and the U.S. Senate has banned citizens from engaging in any transactions involving Russian gold as a result of sanctions, effectively shutting the Russian Federation out of the global gold trade.
The country with the sixth most gold in the world is China. China currently has 1,936.5 tons of gold in their reserves.
China has recently bought almost 100 tons of the yellow metal since the end of 2018 to add to their current reserve.They are also the top gold producing nation in the world and ranks first as the top gold-producing countries. China has only 2.8% of their foreign reserves in gold. This is a very low percentage in comparison to the other top countries' foreign reserves.
Special Mention: India
India currently has the ninth most gold in the world with 618.2 tons, and 6.5% of their foreign reserves in gold. Although they do not have as much gold as other countries, the country of India is the second largest purchaser of gold in the world.
As a country, India is one of the most reliable buyers of gold in the world and a country that drives the gold demand. Most of their gold is bought during their festival and wedding season which happens between October and December. Although much of India is poor and not one of the richest countries, they are the second most purchasers of gold jewelry in the world.
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Companies That Produce the Most Gold
Below are the top three companies that produce gold.
Barrick is the top gold producing country in the world. They have gold mining operations in 15 countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Zambia.
The company was started by Peter Munk who ran the company with a team mindset which meant that every owner was completely invested in the company because their wealth could only grow when everyone else's did. Now, all employees are also owners which makes them work harder and have a deeper investment in the growth of the company. In 2016, Barrick produced more than 5.5 million ounces of gold.
AngloGold Ashanti is the third largest producer of gold in the world. They have 14 mines spread across nine different countries. These mines are low-cost operations with different ore bodies for mining gold. In addition, they collect in Continental Africa, Australia, South Africa, and the Americas which are the top gold producing areas in the world.
Recently, AngloGold Ashanti has revamped their efficiency by focusing on better management, efficiency, stakeholder relations, and long-term optionality. AngloGold Ashanti is currently working on improving their cash flow improvements and returns while still remaining one of the top gold producers in the world. In 2016, AngloGold Ashanti produced more than 3.6 million ounces of gold.
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China National Gold Corporation
China is the top producer of gold in the world and the China National Gold Corporation, also known as China Gold, is the top producer of gold in the country of China. This company also works to explore, develop, and produce gold.
This means that in addition to mining the gold, they also work to process and refine the gold into gold bars that can be bought by investors. The president of China Gold, Song Xin, also is the chair of the China Gold Association which means he has a vested interest in maintaining the gold reserves for the country.
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Which Country is the Richest in Gold Reserves?
The United States currently has the most gold. Germany, Italy, France, China, and Russia are other countries with high gold reserves.
While the traditionally wealthy countries like the United States, China, and Russia lead the world in the size of their gold reserves, some smaller countries such as Italy, France and Germany also have large gold reserves that people may not expect. The top gold producing companies are Barrick, AngloGold Ashanti, and China National Gold Corporation.
Most of the gold in the world is held by the banks of large companies, however, households of India are known to own the most personal gold due to their ritual importance of gold in marriages and ceremonies. Although the "gold standard" is no longer used, gold retains its many practical applications.
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