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Nations with highest gold reserves

Last updated on: May 16, 2011 09:14 IST

Nations with highest gold reserves

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Rediff Business Desk

Gold has traditionally been the most popular precious investment in India. Indian investors buy gold to hedge market losses.

Gold prices in India have been escalating very fast of late and in the last week of April, it scaled a new peak by adding Rs 50 to a record price of Rs 22,520 per 10 grams.

The yellow metal recorded its biggest monthly advance since November, 2009, in the Asian region as a weakened dollar and accelerating inflation prompted investors to buy precious metals as a store of value.

Gold and silver prices have gone up between 25 and 30 per cent year-on-year for the past few years and added credit to the view that gold is the best investment in India.

India's economy has grown 8.6 per cent in the fiscal year that ended in March, while the government expects it to grow at about 9 per cent in the current fiscal year.

While Indian consumers continue to stock gold despite rising prices, when it comes to total gold reserves in the country, India ranks 10th in the world with 557.7 tonnes of gold.

To know about the nations with the highest gold reserves, click on NEXT....


Image: A saleswoman arranges gold jewellery inside a showroom in Kolkata.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
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Nations with highest gold reserves

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United States: Rank 1 

Total gold reserve: 8,133.5 tonnes

Gold constitutes 74.8% of the country's total forex reserves.


The 40,000 miners who joined the California Gold Rush in 1849 were called '49ers'. Only a very few ever got rich.

Figures: World Gold Council, as of April, 2011

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Image: An 18-karat solid gold Monopoly set covered with hundreds of precious gemstones.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
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Germany: Rank 2

Total gold reserve: 3,401.0 tonnes

It constitues 70.8% of the country's total forex reserves.

The Deutsche Bundesbank keeps a large part of its gold holdings in its own vaults in Germany, while some of its gold is also stored with the central banks located at major gold trading centres.


The atomic number of gold is 79, which means there are 79 protons in the nucleus of every atom of gold.

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Image: Conservators apply gold leaf to the Golden Victoria monument in Berlin.
Photographs: Thomas Peter/Reuters
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Italy: Rank 3

Total gold reserve: 2,451.8 tonnes

It constitues 69% of the country's total forex reserves.


One ounce of gold can be stretched to a length of 50 miles; the resulting wire would be just five microns wide.

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Image: Italian gold flatware.

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France: Rank 4

Total gold reserve: 2,435.4 tonnes

It constitutes 65.9% of the country's total forex reserves.


One ounce of pure gold could be hammered into a single sheet nine metres square.

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China: Rank 5

Total gold reserve: 1,054.1 tonnes

It constitutes 1.6% of the country's total forex reserves.


The gold has reached a new high 35 times in 2010.

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Image: A store in China.

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Switzerland: Rank 6

Total gold reserve: 1,040.1 tonnes

It constitutes 16.3% of the country's total forex reserves.


Gold melts at 1064 degrees centigrade.

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Image: A file picture shows lingots of gold in the cellars of the Swiss National Bank.
Photographs: Ruben Sprich/Reuters
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Russia: Rank 7

Total gold reserve: 792.3 tonnes

It constitutes 7.3% of the country's total forex reserves.


Over 90 per cent of the world's gold has been mined since the California Gold Rush.

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Image: A worker casts an ingot of gold at Kolyma Refinery in the village of Khasyn, Russia.
Photographs: Staff Photographer/Reuters
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Japan: Rank 8

Total gold reserve: 765.2 tonnes

It constitutes 3.1% of the country's total forex reserves.


100 million people worldwide depend on gold mining for their livelihood.

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Netherlands: Rank 9

Total gold reserve: 612.5 tonnes

It constitutes 58.5% of the country's total forex reserves.


Julius Caesar gave two hundred gold coins to each of his soldiers from the spoils of war in defeating Gaul.

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Image: Gold crystal.

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India: Rank 10

Total gold reserve: 557.7 tonnes

It constitutes 8.3% of the country's total forex reserves.


The number of parts per thousand of pure gold in 18 carat gold is 750.

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Image: A gold necklace.

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Taiwan: Rank 11

Total gold reserve: 423.6 tonnes

It constitutes 4.7% of the country's total forex reserves.


The largest gold coin ever minted, a 2007 Canadian $1,000,000 Maple Leaf is 53cm in diameter.

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Image: A gold certificate.

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Portugal: Rank 12

Total gold reserve: 382.5 tonnes.

It constitutes 82% of the country's total forex reserves.


Even at only 10 parts of gold per quadrillion, the world's oceans are estimated to hold up to 15,000 tonnes of gold.

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Image: A Portugese gold coin.

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Venezuela: Rank 13

Total gold reserve: 365.8 tonnes.

It constitutes 54% of the country's total forex reserves.


World Gold Council members collectively represent around 60% of all corporate mining activity.

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Saudi Arabia: Rank 14

Total gold reserve: 322.9 tonnes

It constitutes 3% of the country's forex reserves.


The number of times gold has reached a new high in 2010 is 35.

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Image: A gold shop.

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United Kingdom: Rank 15

Total gold reserve: 310.3 tonnes

It constitutes 16% of the country's total forex reserves.


There has been 394% increase in the price of gold from December 2000 to October 2010.

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Lebanon: Rank 16

Total gold reserve: 286.8 tonnes

It constitutes 29% of the country's total forex reserves.


In 95 BC, Chinese Emperor Hsiao Wu I minted gold commemorative piece to celebrate the sighting of a unicorn.

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Spain: Rank 17

Total gold reserve: 281.6 tonnes

It constitutes about 39.2% of the country's total gold reserves.


Gold boils at 2808 degrees centigrade.

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Austria: Rank 18

Total gold reserves: 280 tonnes

It constitutes 55.4% of the country's total gold reserves.


Fort Knox holds 4,600 tonnes of gold.

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Belgium: Rank 19

Total gold reserves: 227.5 tonnes

It constitutes 37.4% of the country's total forex reserves.


The temperature of the human body is 37 degrees centigrade. Because of gold's unique conductivity, gold jewellery rapidly matches your body's heat, becoming part of you.

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Algeria: Rank 20

Total gold reserve:
173.6 tonnes

It constitutes 4.3% of the country's total forex reserves.


It is rarer to find a one ounce nugget of gold than a five carat diamond.


Image: A gold and emerald jewellery.

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