While people around the globe were stocking up on toilet paper, the most recent gold statistics indicate that national central banks were stocking up on gold instead. Contrary to stock market statistics, the gold market is not something you hear about every day. Nonetheless, these gold trends are clear indicators of the current geopolitical and economical changes; especially so during times of recessions.
In this article, we’ll talk about the current and historical price of gold, its supply and demand over the years, the countries with the biggest gold reserves, mining data, and more.
So, without further ado, let’s dig right in (pun intended)!
Most Interesting Facts and Gold Statistics for 2021
- In 2019, 11% of global reserve assets were in gold.
- 12% of adult Americans own gold.
- In 2020, gold had a 24.6% investment return rate.
- There are at least 54,000 tonnes of underground gold.
- The ton of gold value today amounts to more than $55 million.
- Over 40% of produced gold comes from the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa.
- 48.5% of gold is used in the jewelry industry.
- China produced around 13% of the world’s gold in 2020.
- In 2020 Russia managed to surpass the US dollar in the value of gold reserves.
- In 2020, the total global gold investment demand jumped by a staggering 80% YOY.
Gold Reserves by Country Statistics
Which country has the biggest gold reserves?
1. 11% of global reserve assets are in gold.
As a leading commodity, gold had gained even more prominence after WWII when the values of most world currencies were irrevocably tied to it. In 2018, central banks bought a record number of gold since the beginning of the 1970s—651 tonnes. The same trend continued in 2019.
At the moment, gold is the 3rd most popular reserve asset in the world, right after the European Euro and the US dollar, according to the latest money statistics.
2. 26% of the total official reserves in the European Central Bank are held in gold, stats on world gold reserves reveal.
The ECB increased its gold reserves to 26% (EUR 18.2 billion, or $19.62 billion), compared to just 15% it held back in 1999 due to the considerable increase in the price of gold.
Furthermore, according to the ECB’s official data, gold was the second-most preferred form of national reserve after the US dollar, followed by the Japanese yen and the Chinese renminbi.
3. US gold reserves are the largest national gold reserves in the world.
(Investopedia) (Gold Coin)
As of December 2019, the US held 8,133.53 metric tons (or 261,498,926.230 ounces) of gold in the Fed. Hence, the total book value of the US treasury-owned gold is $11.04 trillion.
In other words, over 75% of the US foreign gold reserves are in the form of gold. At one point in history, the US had between 90% and 95% world gold reserves in its vaults.
That would explain the long history of gold heists denoted in various bank robbery statistics.
4. The OId Continent gold facts indicate that Germany is the leading European country in gold reserves.
According to the most recent data for 2021, Germany currently holds 3,362.4 tons of gold reserves. They are located in the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt, in London, and New York.
Italy (2,451.8 tons) and France (2,436.2 tons) take third place, with almost the same amount of gold reserves in their vaults.
5. The New York Fed gold vault is the largest gold reserves depository in the world.
(Federal Reserve Bank NY)
The NY Federal Reserve Bank holds about 497,000 gold bars, or 6,190 tons of gold, as of 2019.
Stored 15.24 meters below sea level, these gold bars are the property of the US government, various foreign governments, central banks, as well as some international organizations that converted their monetary holdings to gold during WWII.
Namely, this gold is merely kept as a service (gold custody) by the NY Federal Reserve Bank as they do not directly own it.
6. How much gold does the US have? A recent survey found out that 12% of adult Americans own gold.
(PR News Wire)
Cryptocurrency and blockchain investment has recently shifted the investors’ focus to so-called digital commodities. Yet, cryptocurrency statistics reveal that they are still way behind gold investments.
Likewise, another 14.7% of Americans own silver, and 9.1% of the surveyed own both gold and silver.
Gold Price Today & During History
How much did the gold’s price change during history?
7. The price of the ounce of gold in Great Britain started at 0.89 pounds ($1.23) in 1257, and it went up by 1 pound every century.
To be more precise, in the 14th century (the year 1351), the price of gold per ounce was 1.34 pounds ($1.85). In the next century (the year 1465), the price per ounce amounted to 2.01 pounds ($2.78).
Gold statistics on price also reported that the same pattern was noted in the 16th century (3.02 pounds, i.e., $4.16), as well as in the 17th (4.05 pounds, i.e., $5.60), and 18th century (4.25 pounds, i.e., $5.88).
8. Before Congress passed the Gold Standard Act, the US used the British gold standard.
Based on the US gold price history, in 1791, the Act confirmed the price of gold (per ounce) to be $19.49.
In 1834, it went up to $20.69 per ounce. After the stock market crash in 1929, the paper currency (dollars) became more valuable than gold until 1931.
7. In 2019, gold had a whopping 235.75% return rate.
One US dollar (invested in 2018) yielded $235.75 by the end of 2019.
In essence, this return rate has been the highest one since 2002.
What’s more, the average annual return rate since 1971 had been 10.44%, and the annualized daily volatility of gold between 2009 and 2019 was just 15.81%, which was significantly lower than other indexes, such as silver, energy, oil, and platinum, over the same time period.
9. In 2020, gold had a 24.6% investment return rate.
The gold’s investment return rate witnessed notable variations between 2002 and 2020. On the one hand, the lowest return investment rate of gold happened in 2013, amounting to -27.3%. On the other hand, gold had the highest return investment rate of 31.9% in 2007.
10. Gold price chart projections state that the price of gold will decrease in 2021 to $1,740/oz.
Despite the fact that the price of gold rose to $1,858.42 at the beginning of 2021, the fall is to be expected. Based on the World Bank estimates, its price will drop by $35.00 during 2021.
As of April 2021, the cost of gold is $1,728.80 per ounce.
In addition to that, the price of gold will continue to drop within the next 10 years, reaching $1,400/oz by 2030.
11. The ton of gold value today amounts to $55,582,130.
To calculate the value of a ton of gold, we need to take into account the metric tonne for gold that amounts to 32,150.7. The number of tones then needs to be multiplied with the gold’s current worth, 1,728.80 per ounce.
Through this rough calculation, we can conclude that its value today is over $55 million.
12. Hong Kong has the lowest gold price rates—$56.34 per gram.
(First National Bullion) (Gold Broker)
If you want to buy gold, Hong Kong has the best rates at the beginning of 2021. The price for one gram is $56.34 (i.e., 434.77 Hong Kong dollars) at the time of writing this article.
In addition, the price for one ounce (31.1 grams) is $1,737.86 (i.e., 13,515.95 Hong Kong dollars).
The United Arab Emirates, Thailand, India, and Switzerland also usually have lower price rates.
Gold Statistics on Production and Demand
Is there any gold left in the world to discover?
13. There are at least 54,000 tonnes of underground gold.
(US Money Reserve)
Goldman Sachs investors speculate that the world’s remaining gold stash will be mined out by 2035. Of that, the USGS gold report states that around 18,000 tonnes remain undiscovered in the US.
In fact, gold WGC data reports that exploration is extremely popular in three countries—Australia, Canada, and the US. The mentioned countries account for some 40% of all global spending.
14. Over 40% of produced gold came from the Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa.
(US Money Reserve)
Global estimates indicate that around 190,040 tonnes of gold have been mined over the course of history. Moreover, mines extract approximately 2,500–3,000 tonnes, per annum, around the globe.
15. Gold facts confirm the South Deep in South Africa is the biggest gold mine in the world, with 32.8 million ounces of gold remaining.
The second-biggest gold mine in the world is the Grasberg gold mine in Indonesia, with 30.2 million ounces.
Olimpiada gold mine in Eastern Siberia, Russia, is the third biggest gold mine in the world, with 26 million ounces.
16. Based on the gold statistics, 48.5% of gold is used in the jewelry industry.
When it comes to the share of global gold demand, the jewelry industry takes the throne as the world’s largest gold-demanding industry.
The investment comes in second place, with 29.19%, followed by central banks (14.84%) and technology (7.48%).
17. China produced around 13% of the world’s gold in 2020.
The second and third largest producers of gold in the world are none other than Australia and Russia. Both countries held a large share of the gold mine reserves, i.e., 10,000 metric tons (Australia), and 7,500 metric tons (Russia).
In 2020, the global production of gold amounted to 3,200 metric tons.
18. Gold statistics in India show that in 2020 the country imported gold worth 1.992,5 Indian rupees.
India imported gold worth 1.992,5 Indian rupees in the Fiscal Year of 2020. Although the import value was significantly lower than it was in 2019 (2.295,37), the data shows us that the gold import value witnessed few variations in the last 10 years.
Furthermore, in 2020, in India, there were about 446.4 metric tons of gold in demand.
19. In 2020 Russia managed to surpass its US dollar reserves by the value of gold reserves.
(The Moscow Times)
When it comes to Russia’s gold reserves, the stats indicate that the country finished the year with $128.5 billion in gold or 22.9% of Moscow’s international reserves. That’s roughly $4 billion more than the reserves it has in US dollars.
The share of gold managed to increase during August, when the prices witnessed a record, despite the pandemic.
20. Gold statistics from 2019 mark the first fall in gold mine production since 2008.
(GoldHub) (Mining Global)
In 2019, production accounted for 3,464 tons of gold, marking a 1% drop in YoY output.
This is the first fall since 2008. Nevertheless, the supply of gold marked a 2% YoY increase since 2018.
Although Russia marked an 8% increase in gold output, as well as Australia (3%) and Turkey (a stunning 66%), these numbers were overshadowed by the production drop in China, which marked a decline of 6%.
Nevertheless, gold mining production statistics highlight that the biggest impact on the global gold production market is going to be felt by the Indonesian Grasberg mine transitioning from an open pit to underground mining.
21. Central Banks broke the 1971 record by purchasing 651 tonnes of gold in 2018.
Central banks across the globe doubled down on their gold reserves in 2018 with a record amount of 651 tonnes of gold. This, in turn, represents a 74% increase compared to 2017, as well as the highest level of gold purchased since 1971, when the price was low.
22. The in-depth 2021 GoldHub report shows gold was the second-best major asset in 2020.
Only Nasdaq had better yearly returns. The gold domination occurred as a result of high risk, low interest rates, and positive price momentum. Additionally, in 2020, gold had low drawdowns. This helped investors to limit their losses.
Furthermore, in the second half of 2020, the price of gold was more tied to the physical investment demand (coins, gold ETFs, and bars) than to the market.
23. Gold statistics in 2020 showed a brief 4% drop in gold supply due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus-imposed lockdowns have diminished mine production and gold recycling, lowering the world gold supply by 4% as of March 31, 2020.
At the same time, the jewelry’s quarterly demand witnessed a massive drop of 39%, reaching a record low of 325.8t.
The pandemic was also responsible for the growth of the global gold reserves by 145t in the first quarter of 2020.
24. Gold statistics for Malaysia show the country’s gold reserves reached a record of $2.400 billion.
2021 started off well for Malaysia. The country managed to hit the record in the gold reserves in February, and then again in March. The highest so far. The increase in gold reserves began in August 2020, with a rapid growth that reached $2.349 billion by September.
25. In 2020, the total global gold investment demand jumped by a staggering 80% YoY.
Despite the 65% drop in China’s demand for gold, the demand for gold was still sky-high — $55 billion.
Fun Gold Statistics & Facts
Here are some known and less known fun facts about gold.
26. The first gold coins were created between 560 and 546 B.C. by king Croesus of Lydia. Hence the saying, “rich as Croesus.”
(Facts and Details)
Lydians are the first people that were linked to the creation of gold coins. Based on Herodotus’s notes, king Croesus, the ruler of Lydia, was the first known person who issued gold and silver coins.
27. Only one president went inside the Fort Knox vault — Franklin Roosevelt.
The Fort Knox gold reserves amount to over 147.3 million ounces of gold. Almost all gold is converted to gold bars that weigh roughly 27 pounds.
The security measures of the place are very strict. The combination of the vault is split among several people. Even the information about those people is strictly classified.
That said, only one US president stepped inside the vault — Franklin Roosevelt. He visited the place in 1943 on the excuse of inspecting its security system and found it extremely satisfying.
28. The California gold rush facts imply that miners managed to extract over 750,000 pounds of gold.
The California gold rush was one of the most important events in American history. It started in 1848 when thousands of gold miners came to San Francisco and the surrounding area to find the precious metal.
The rush peaked in 1852. Over the course of seven years, the miners managed to extract gold at the value of $2 billion. The search finally ended in 1855.
What is the highest price of gold in history?
The highest price of gold was noted in August 2020, when it amounted to $2,067.15 per ounce. The pandemic was the main culprit for the gold’s high value.
Gold statistics show the price of gold throughout history changed a lot. For example, by the end of 2011, it reached $1,920 per ounce just to drop to $1,220 in 2013.
The yellow metal’s price was stable between 2014 and the beginning of 2019 ($1,100–$1,300) until it reached its record price in 2020.
Is the gold price going up?
Based on the World Bank predictions, the price of gold should decrease in 2021, from $1,775/oz in 2020 to 1,740/oz.
In a like manner, it’s estimated that its price will continue dropping in the following years to $1,698.47/oz in 2022, $1,657.93/oz in 2023, $1,618.36/oz in 2024, and $1,579.74/oz in 2025.
What will gold be worth in 10 years? Again, based on the World Bank’s estimations, by 2030, the price of gold per ounce should amount to $1,400.00.
What is the most expensive golden item in the world?
With its price of $15 million, the Stuart Hughes gold and black diamond iPhone 5 is the most expensive gadget in the world. Its case is made of 24-karat solid gold, the edges are covered with 600 diamonds, while the Home button is embedded by a 26-karat black diamond.
Which country has the best gold production in the world?
China is the country that produces the highest amounts of gold in the world. In 2020 China provided 380 metric tons of gold. On the list of the largest gold producers, Australia (320 metric tons), Russia (300 metric tons), and the US (190 metric tons) come right after China.
Mali (61 metric tons), and Papua New Guinea (70 metric tons), and Sudan (90 metric tons) are the countries that had the lowest gold production in 2020.
How much does a gold bar weigh?
The standard gold bars, or “gold bricks,” weigh 400 troy ounces, or 12.4kg, each.
The troy ounce is an ancient measurement unit invented by the Romans. It’s used even today for weighing precious metals; 1 troy ounce is 1.09714 standard ounces, which makes the bar 438,856 standard ounces in weight.
How much is a gold bar worth?
1-ounce gold bar is worth about $2,000. A 10-ounce gold bar will get you about $20,150, whereas the prices for a 100-gram gold bar go from $4,200 to $4,310. And finally, a 1-kilogram gold bar costs from 42,579 to $45,127.
The cost for producing large and small bars is similar. However, since the larger bars have more gold in them, they are more profitable. If you want to invest your money in gold, it’s better to invest in larger gold bar sizes.
What is the demand for gold?
The demand for gold is measured as the difference between gold production (mining for gold) and gold sales, which drives the price of gold on a global level.
The demand for gold is driven by different factors. People are buying it for manufacturing jewelry and different material objects, including technology, and as a means of investment.
Generally speaking, the boom in gold prices and investments is never a good thing — it’s often associated with worldwide insecurities and global crises of different magnitudes.
The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. In only a few months, it considerably reduced gold production, while at the same time increasing the demand, as our gold statistics clearly stated. The widespread fear is that the current status of gold will linger for a prolonged period of time.
- Facts and Details
- Federal Reserve Bank NY
- Finances Online
- First National Bullion
- Gold Broker
- Gold Coin
- Gold Silver
- History Daily
- Mining Global
- Mining Technology
- PR News Wire
- SD Bullion
- The Balance
- The Moscow Times
- US Money Reserve