Gold has been used as a form of currency since ancient times, which eventually led to the establishment of the gold standard. Widely used in the 19th and 20th centuries, the gold standard was a monetary system in which countries ensured the value of their paper money and coins by keeping equivalent values of actual gold under lock and key.

The gold standard became less practical as economies grew, and is not currently used by any of the world’s countries. However, many nations still hold significant gold reserves. As of September 2021, there were approximately 31,695 tons of gold reserves in the world. The top ten central banks with the largest gold reserves have remained relatively the same over the past few years.

Top 10 Countries with the Largest Gold Reserves (in tons)

United States — 8,133
Germany — 3,359
Italy — 2,452
France — 2,436
Russia — 2,299
China — 1,948
Switzerland — 1,040
Japan — 846
India — 754
Netherlands — 612

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