One of the great testimonials to gold’s enduring value is the fact that the United States government continues to hold the world’s largest gold reserves, even though the U.S. has been off the gold standard since 1971 when President Richard Nixon determined the Dollar would no longer be directly convertible into gold.
The U.S. Treasury holds nearly 261.5 million troy ounces of gold, the vast majority of which is in bullion, with the remainder primarily in gold coins and blanks. The U.S. Mint, a bureau of the Department of Treasury, holds most of the gold in deep storage sealed vaults at three of its locations: Fort Knox, Kentucky; West Point, New York; and Denver, Colorado. Each vault is examined annually by the Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General. Fort Knox holds 56 percent of the nation’s gold; about 21 percent is held at West Point; and almost 17 percent is in the vaults of the Denver mint. Most of the remainder is stored just a few blocks from Wall Street in the secure underground vaults of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve, however, does not own any gold.
A relatively small portion of the U.S. government gold reserve, about 2.7 million troy ounces, is the Mint’s working stock, from which it produces congressionally authorized coins.
While gold has soared in value on the open market since the United States ended the gold standard, the U.S. Mint still prices its gold holdings according to the official government “book value” of gold, which is $42.22 per fine troy ounce of gold.