Many people ask, ‘how much are U.S. gold reserves worth?’
The United States has the largest official gold reserves in the world, coming in at about 262 million troy ounces of bullion, coins, and standard gold bars held by the Treasury in bullion, gold coins, and blanks.
How much, though, is that amount of gold worth in real dollars?
The value of the United States government’s Central Banks’ (Federal Reserve Banks) gold holdings, based on an average spot market price over one year of around $1,640, is a little under $430 billion.
The total in U.S. gold in tons and its dollar equivalent is subject to change based on US Mint activities and the current gold market.
The price of gold over the last 15 years has ranged from a low of under $800 to a high of over $2,000. Here are some facts I found interesting about the gold that makes up the entire United States gold reserve.
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U.S. Gold Reserves in 2022
The current gold reserve maintained by the government of the United States is 261,498,926 ounces of gold bullion.
Gold bullion, dollar coins, special issue coins, and blanks are stored in depositories and federal reserve banks. The gold in Fort Knox Federal Reserve Gold Depository (a gold vault) comprises the largest quantity of precious metal.
The places the United States government stores gold include:
- Mint Held Gold, Deep Storage, Fort Knox, KY, 147,341,858.382 ounces of gold bullion.
- Mint Held Gold, Deep Storage, West Point, NY, 54,067,331.379 ounces of gold bullion.
- Mint Held Gold, Working Stock, Federal Reserve Banks and military installations, 2,783,218.656 ounces of coins, blanks, and miscellaneous.
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York, gold vault, 13,376,987.724 ounces of gold bullion.
- Federal Reserve Bank held gold, Display, 1,992.321 ounces of gold bullion.
These totals of actual gold are subject to change per the decision of the United States Congress, Federal Reserve, and White House, although the amounts of Federal Reserve gold in each place have remained fairly stable over the last 40 years.
History of Gold in America
The first recorded discovery of gold in the USA was in 1799 in North Carolina. Since then, the discovery of gold has happened in all 50 states to one degree or another.
American discovery of gold includes the Gold Rush of California, one of the world’s most famous. America’s gold rushes, in large part, helped define who the country is.
From 1879 to 1933, the U.S. dollar was backed by gold. You could use paper dollars to buy gold coins of the same value.
You could also use U.S. dollars to purchase the equivalent amount of gold. The benefit of this system was that a tangible, physical asset backed every dollar.
Gold backing of the dollar was known as the Gold Standard. The Gold Standard was the management system of U.S. currency until President Richard M. Nixon abandoned the gold standard for a fiat-based currency.
Fiat-based coin and paper money rely on the “full faith and credit” of the government. Full faith and credit mean that the value of the dollar is based on how much the rest of the world trusts the government to pay off its debt.
A good, but controversial move
The move from the Gold Standard is generally recognized as a wise fiscal move, given the predatory debt collection practices employed by foreign governments at the time.
Nixon’s move has fueled many conspiracies, now going on 50-plus years, mainly about the Federal Reserve and the amount of gold holdings.
Still, it also helped usher in an unprecedented period of economic growth. Since the U.S. federal government and associated government agencies have never missed a debt interest payment and have the largest economy in the world, there is much faith put in the government.
The dollar remains the “world’s currency” because of national stability, politically, socially, and economically. Despite recessions and social upheaval, the U.S. government and Federal Reserve have remained stable.
Why Does The U.S. Government Owns Gold?
For over 100 years, the U.S. government’s currency was backed by gold. Since then, gold has made up the country’s portfolio of stability.
The government held onto the gold it had in reserve because it indicated American cultural, social, and economic dependability.
Gold is also owned and maintained by the U.S. government because it mints gold coins and bars for sale to the public.
Collectors, dealers, and the rest of the public can purchase gold from the U.S. mint or an authorized dealer as a keepsake, collectible, or investment.
Most coins and gold bars the U.S. government sells are over 99% pure. The U.S. Mint does sell other gold products.
The United States government maintains an immense gold stock that ranks as the largest held gold reserve in the world.
The total in ounces is approximately 262 million. Were the U.S. government to liquidate its gold, the value would be approximately $430 billion, depending on spot market prices.
Gold has always played a major role in U.S. fiscal policy, and the U.S. dollar was backed by gold until the early 1970s.
Since the dollar moved to a fiat currency model, the U.S. government has maintained gold because it is so valuable as an asset and has been for all of recorded human history.
If you are interested in a gold investment or collectible, you should talk to an authorized dealer or collector today.
Let’s take a look at some common questions regarding the U.S. gold reserves: