During tough financial times, investors typically look toward gold as a desirable investment opportunity. Gold does not lose value against inflation, which makes it a desirable option. While it might reduce in value based on economic trading, it is never going to actually drop down below inflation prices. Due to this, countries around the world often stockpile gold in order to make sure they are covered, should stocks and other bonds dwindle in value. This is a list of the countries with largest gold reserves available at the time.
Official Gold Holdings: 557.7 tones
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 8.4 percent
India is in a strange position with this particular standing. While it has invested a good amount of money into its gold holdings, many believe it has actually far too much. In fact, most economics blame the total gold holdings for the high current account deficit. However, the current bank governor has stated that he believes the country is able to pay off its debt in gold.
Official Gold Holdings: 612.5 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 54 percent
Foreign reserve gold means the gold is held off sight and not in the country. In fact, more than half of the gold in the Netherlands reserve is not actually in the country, but located in the United States (with some in Canada and in the U.K.). For being one of the smaller countries in Europe, population wise, it is still on the list of countries with largest gold reserves available.
Official Gold Holdings: 765.2 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 2.6 percent
Japan, unlike the Netherlands, has most of its gold inside of the country. The nation has continually stockpiled the amount of gold it holds since the 1950s, as it had only six tons of gold during this time. The country has actually sold off some of its gold in recent years, in order to pay for unforeseen financial situations. Back in 2011, the Bank of Japan sold off 20 trillion yen in gold in order to calm investors and help with the disaster that took place after it was hit with the tsunami.
Official Gold Holdings: 1,015.1 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 8.3 percent
Russia houses the majority of its gold in house and it just recently passed the 1,000 tone mark in the third quarter of last year. This is enough to place it on the list of countries with largest gold reserves available.
Official Gold Holdings: 1,040.1 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 8.3 percent
The amount of gold inside of Switzerland has varied over the last two decades. In 1997, the country proposed selling off a large portion of the nation’s gold, simply because it wasn’t deemed necessary to have the gold any longer. In fact, in May 2000, the nation sold off 1,300 tons of gold. It then sold another 1,170 tons of gold, followed by 130 tons. However, with the most recent financial situation throughout the world, Switzerland has decided to stop selling off its gold reserves and holdings. Even so, the nation is still sixth on the list of countries with largest gold reserves.
Official Gold Holdings: 1,054.1 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 1.2 percent
China has very little of its gold located out of country. The vast majority of its gold is all kept inside of the nation. However, even though China is listed as fifth on the list of countries with largest gold reserves, it is only a very small percentage of the total $3.7 trillion it has in foreign exchange reserves. China is looking to internationalize its currency and make it more of a reserve currency, such as the U.S. dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese Yen. In order to do this, China will continue to build up its current gold holdings.
Official Gold Holdings: 2,435.4 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 66.1 percent
France shows a drastic increase from China in the amount of gold it has holding, and it also is the largest holding of foreign reserves currently on the list as two thirds of the gold in the country’s holdings is located elsewhere. Even with its extensive amount of gold, France recently sold 572 tons of gold and transferred 17 tons of gold to the Bankn of International Settlement. However, France has since stated it is not going to sell any more gold as it provides confidence in investors throughout the country.
Official Gold Holdings: 2,451.8 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 67.2 percent
Italy has not sold any gold off in recent years, although in 2011 the country did look to buy more gold in order to improve the balance sheets ahead of a then upcoming stress treat. Italy, like many other international countries, has a large majority of its gold held elsewhere.
Official Gold Holdings: 3,387.1 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 68.7 percent
Recently, Germany reduce its total gold holdings in October. It typically sells six to seven tons of gold to the finance ministry every year. The bank sells off a few tons of gold every year, although it does not go into very high amounts and it is usually around four to seven tons of gold.
1. United States
Official Gold Holdings: 8,133.5 tons
Percent of Foreign Reserves in Gold: 71.7 percent
The United States almost has the same amount of gold as the second, third and fourth largest countries do combined. However, it held far more gold in terms of volume back in 1952, when that total sat at over 20,000 tons of gold. Despite dropping significantly, the U.S. still has by far the most gold in the world, even though over 70 percent of its gold is found throughout the world in major markets, all of which to help make the U.S. dollar the default and safety trade currency.