How Much Gold Is There In The World ?

Gold has always held a special allure and fascination in peoples minds. Perhaps it is the color, weight, or the fact that over time it has come to symbolize an elemental resource for value and wealth. Whatever the reason, I wanted to see if there were any estimates as to the total amount of gold we humans have laid out hands on.

After a small bit of research on the World Gold Council website, I saw an estimate which pegged the total amount of mined gold from ancient times to the present, calculated at 158,000 tonnes.

A big number but one that is a bit hard to get your mind around. What does on tonne of gold look like. Lets do a little math.

If the estimates are correct and there has  been 158,000 tones of gold recovered from “Mother Earth” (assuming 24 K purity) then that would translate into 5,079,817,925 troy oz. of the precious metal. However unless you are Bill Gates or one of the other billionaires on the planet, I still have a hard time grasping what over 5 billion ounces of gold would look like. Back to the calculator.

If a cubic centimeter of 24K gold equals 19.3 grams, then a cubic meter of gold would weight 19.3 tonnes. Likewise all the gold ever mined would amount to 8,187 cubic meters. That still doesn’t mean anything to me.

I have to put that into perspective and visualize what that much gold would look like. So , if all the gold in the world would fit into a 20.15 meter cube, or 66 feet 1.3 inches square,  that would kind of  be the size of a small office building.  Now that I can understand.

Posted in: Bullion & Metals

19 Comments on "How Much Gold Is There In The World ?"

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  1. Bill Goode says:

    You know, I always wondered where these ridiculously small numbered estimates of planetary gold come from. Now I know. If you have trouble imagining the small bit of gold in the world claimed by such a disreputable organization as the World Gold Council, you’re going to have a serious problem when it gets to the real figure. Just this last week liens were claimed against the Federal Reserve for 2.4 billion metric tonnes owed to the American people as principle. I won’t even get into the 2.2 billion metric tonnes claimed in interest, and where the claimants think that’s coming from.
    Liens Filed Against All 12 Federal Reserve Banks

    One could dismiss the amounts as wild imaginings, but these folks have filed a legal claim against the Federal Reserve for these amounts. If these amounts were majorly wrong, these fellows would be committing fraud against the Federal Reserve. Not a good thing to do with such figures. I suspect they are smarter than that and know something the World Gold Council doesn’t know (or doesn’t want us to know). And keep in mind those 2.4 billion metric tonnes are just what the Federal Reserve had at one time. We haven’t started discussing how much the rest of the world has had.

  2. Bill Goode says:

    Well I was wrong. It isn’t in the billions. It’s 2.4 million metric tonnes. Still leaves the WTC in the dust, off by a factor of 15.

  3. Hermii says:

    These numbers are a bunch of crap. These estimates assumes only 10 000 metric tonnes was found in all human civilization before the california gold rush, which is a retarded assumption. You really think all the ancient civilisations together was able to accumulate less gold in thousands of years than americans did in 50 years ?

    These estimates are artificcially low to keep gold prices high. Its all a big scam.

    • David says:

      Way more gold has been found in “modern” times than was ever found in “ancient” times you fool. Its called technology.

  4. palinger says:

    “If a cubic centimeter of 24K gold equals 19.3 grams, then a cubic meter of gold would weight 19.3 tonnes. Likewise all the gold ever mined would amount to 8,187 cubic meters. That still doesn’t mean anything to me.”
    This sound like a primary school exercise, but we learned different maths in school…
    Surely “8,187 cubic meters” IS NOT “20.15 meter cube”
    I think 8,187 cubic meters is a cube of 2m x 4m x 1m cube… whatever perspective you want to put on it ….

  5. David Still says:

    The cube root of 8k is 20, therefore, a cube is 20m x 20m x 20m….. If a meter is equal to approx 1 yard or 3′ then your cube would become 60′ x 60′ x 60’…….better go back to primary school

  6. I can believe it’s that low, if you think what people are owed means anything, have you never heard of fractional reserve banking?

    • Fractional Banking says you can loan $100 for ever dollar you take in… Has nothing to do with Gold mined. Has to do with the lie the Federal reserve is based on… And US taxpayers paid their Deposit… The Federal Reserve doesn’t have ANY MONEY invested in the USA… Their goal is to destroy the US Monitary System… for their benefit. If you do not believe me ask why we no longer set our own fiscle policy? we print money not by Congress but by the Federal Reserve which Congress has no Control OVER!!!!

  7. John Abbott says:

    I have a serious question . I’m not a gold savy man and I don’t get the reason why from the beginning of time gold has been the basic standard of an economy. We can’t eat it or drink it. We aren’t able to sustain human life through it alone. Now I’m not being some new age liberal know it all or tryin to be coy. I just mean don’t it make more sense for food and water to be more or less what wealth is based on? I don’t have the education to articulate this the way I would like but I really am being sincere. Anyone?

    • George Cauldwell says:

      The answer is actually just one word: scarcity. BTW, gold and silver DO indeed have every requirement of money: in the form of genuine coins issued by reputable authorities. Look up the history of money – it is a fascinating tour through the trials and errors of the search for a practical medium for payments. According to celebrated historical smart person named Voltaire, “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero.”

  8. Mike says:

    John, you can’t eat or drink dollar bills either. And in your wallet they have no return, just like gold in your safe. If you risk dollar bills in a bank deposit you get a return, just like if you lease out

    gold. Money has three characteristics: it is a numeraire (you can count it) it is a medium of exchange (you can trade with it) and it is a store of value. Dollar bills have the first two characteristics, but not the third. Gold is a good store of value, but doesn’t have the other two features. So if you hold dollar bills and gold, in combination they are sound money. Simple as that. Don’t overthink it. Gold will always have a monetary role.

  9. Alfonso says:

    Obviously the value of the World GDP is much greater than just the gold that has been produced. It is the wealth, the true human-need-satisfactors, that matters. When hungry a bite of gold is not appetizing. Regardless of the momentous discussions of the intellectuals, the purpose of productive work is to satisfy human needs, not to fill chambers with bullion.

    • George Cauldwell says:

      Gold (as silver) does not satisfy hunger, but thanks to its universally recognized and accepted value for trade and payments, it is exchangeable for all that your various appetites can possibly desire, if not everywhere, certainly far more widely than ANY currency anywhere.

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