Fort Knox Isn’t The Largest US Gold Vault

By Mike Floorwalker on Sunday, September 1, 2013
gold
“Remember the Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules!” —Brant Parker and Johnny Hart, The Wizard of Id

In A Nutshell

While Fort Knox definitely holds a lot of gold—about 147 million ounces—the largest gold stockpile in the US is far larger. It’s the Federal Reserve Bank Depository in Manhattan, storing 212 million ounces—about 6,700 tons of gold.

The Whole Bushel

Most people think of Fort Knox as holding the vast majority of US gold reserves. For good reason—there is a lot of gold in Fort Knox, currently 147.3 million ounces, worth about $130 billion. As staggering as that is, it’s not the only depository of its type—in fact, there’s one far larger located 25 meters (80 ft) beneath the streets of Manhattan.

It’s the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s gold depository, and it is a veritable fortress. The bank claims that it is the world’s largest gold bullion reserve, period. None of it belongs to the Reserve, mind you: It’s simply held there for other governments and banks. The only entry to the place is blocked by a 2.7-meter (nine-foot) high, 90-ton steel cylinder set into a 140-ton frame. The vault itself, of course, is totally surrounded by steel-reinforced concrete walls and protected by surveillance of just about every possible kind, including motion detectors, closed-circuit cameras, dozens of armed guards—the usual things that you see in action movies featuring vaults of this type (like Die Hard With a Vengeance, which actually featured this vault as a plot device).

The Federal Reserve Bank’s gold stash is almost 50 percent larger than that the one at Fort Knox—currently about 212 ounces of gold bars, valued at around $170 billion. That would be over half a million 27-pound gold bars weighing a combined total of almost 7,000 tons. Each bar itself is worth about $320,000. The vault is open to the public and there are regular tours.

Show Me The Proof

Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Information and Tours
How Much Gold is in Fort Knox?
Streets Aren’t Paved With Gold, but There’s Plenty Below