Sign In or Create Account

Knowledge Center

How Much Gold is in the World? 

There are an estimated 257,000 metric tons of gold on our planet.  

Gold has fascinated humanity since the first gleams of the bright metal were found in the third millennium BC. The precious metal is rare, and its value is, in large part, derived from its scarcity but how scarce is it? Some experts argue that a mere 20% of the earth’s supply of raw gold remains. 

We rely on gold for the phones, computers, and other devices that make modern life possible.  

How Much Gold Has Been Mined? 

In 2019, the World Gold Council estimated that 190,000 metric tons of gold have been mined historically, which would be worth more than $7.5 trillion. Some independent estimates around this number vary by as much as 20%, one thing is certain: We have mined a TON of gold.  

As a testament to the scarcity and density of gold, if all 190,000 metric tons were joined to make a single cube, it would only be 23 meters wide on each of its six sides. While gold is not the densest metal known to humanity, it is the most malleable. 

One ounce of fine gold could be hammered to a 0.000018 centimeter thick translucent sheet that covers 9 square meters. The same ounce of gold could be stretched into a wire that covers 50 miles.  

Where are the Largest Gold Reserves? 

Gold reserves are the gold held by national banks. They are held as a guarantee to noteholders and depositors and to support national currencies. 

Top 10 Gold Holdings by Nation as of January 2024 

Rank Country/Organization Number of Metric Tons in Gold 
United States of America 8,133.5 
Germany 3,352.6 
International Monetary Fund 2,814.0 
Italy 2,451.8 
France 2,436.9 
Russia 2,332.7 
China 2,226.4 
Switzerland 1,040.0 
Japan 846.0 
10 India 803.6 

The largest gold reserves are not in a bank or vault. Around 45% of all gold above the ground is in the collective jewelry boxes of the globe.  

Gold in the form of bars and coins, as well as gold in central banks, only accounts for 39% of the gold that has been produced. 

Where are the Largest Gold Deposits? 

An estimated 57,000 metric tons of gold have not yet been mined. Since this gold is in the ground, the total weight is speculative. 

10 Largest Gold Mines by Production (2022) 

Rank Country Mine Name Production in Troy Ounces 
Russia Olimpada Mine 1,998,000 
Indonesia Grasberg Mine 1,798,000 
Uzbekistan Muruntau Mine 1,700,000 
United States Carlin Trend 1,571,000 
Australia Boddington Mine 813,000 
DR Congo Kibali Gold Mine 749,000 
Canada Detour Lake Mine 732,570 
United States Cortez Gold Mine 731,700 
Dominican Republic Pueblo Viejo Mine 713,300 
10 Papua New Guinea Lihir Mine 701,800 

What Will We Do When the Gold Mines Run Out of Gold? 

When there is no gold left in the mines, we may find small reserves in landfills around the globe.  

Since gold does not tarnish, rust, or perish, you could say that gold is almost indestructible. 

The electronics industry consumes 7-10% of all gold produced annually, which can be recovered from many recycled electronics. CPUs, the chips that drive computers, contain around 0.2 to 0.5 grams of gold each.

The oceans contain only trace amounts of gold at ten parts per quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000), but the seas are vast and have a volume of 1.335 billion kilometers. Some experts estimate up to 15,000 tons of gold in the world’s oceans.

Quick Guides to Investing

Step 1:

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

If you are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, you’re not alone. The extreme highs and lows of the stock market often lead investors towards safe-haven assets, like bullion. Historically, the Precious Metals market has an inverse relationship with the stock market, meaning that when stocks are up, bullion is down and vice versa.

Step 2:

How Much Gold and Silver Should You Have?

This question is one of the most important for investors to answer. After all, experts suggest limits on how much of any types of investments should go into a portfolio. After deciding to purchase and own Precious Metals and considering how much money to allocate, one can then think about how much and what to buy at any point in time.

Step 3:

Which Precious Metals Should I Buy?

With the frequent changes in the market and countless Precious Metal products available, choosing investments can be difficult. Some want Gold or Silver coins, rounds or bars while others want products that are valuable because of their design, mintage or other collectible qualities. Also, collectors may shop for unique sets and individual pieces for their collections.

Step 4:

When to Buy Gold & Silver

After considering why, how much, and what Precious Metals products to buy, an investor’s next step is when to buy them. This decision requires an understanding of market trends and the impact of economic factors on precious metal prices.

Explore More On APMEX



Rare Coins