The gold reserve represents the actual gold held by the central bank of a country or by a major financial organization. The gold is the main form of storing value being also a guarantee that the holder can redeem financial promises. The gold reserve held by central banks is also used to secure the national currency, the higher gold reserve making the currency more stable.
Since the ancient times this shiny yellow metal was considered very valuable and had been used for different purposes. Gold kept its value over time and is still important in the economic and financial areas.
Estimations say that the total gold mined by 2010 is around 165,000 tons. A tone of gold has a current value of approximately 32 million USD.
The top ten gold reserves holders according to the 2010 data are:
1. United States: 8,133.5 tons;
2. Germany: 3,401.8 tons;
3. International Monetary Fund: 2,846.7 tons;
4. Italy: 2,451.8 tons;
5. France: 2,435.4 tons;
6. People’s Republic of China: 1,054.1 tons;
7. Switzerland: 1,040.1 tons;
8. Russia: 775.2 tons;
9. Japan: 765.2 tons;
10. Netherlands: 612.5 tons.
The 17 Eurozone states (the states that adopted the euro as a national currency) have a total gold reserve of 10,793 tones which could be considered the largest gold reserve in the world. The nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of European Union is around 16,282,200 million USD while the United States GDP is estimated to be around 14,657,800 million USD. Comparing the GDP and the gold reserves of Eurozone and United States we can simply conclude that the EUR and USD are about as stable with an insignificant advantage in favor for the EUR.
From the total gold holdings worldwide jewelry represents around 52%, the gold reserves held by central banks accounts for 18%, the gold used as investment (bars, coins) accounts for 16% whole the gold for industrial use is 12%.