How Much Gold Exists in the World?

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Gold is a very controversial asset. Many investors view the precious metal as a storage of wealth and a hedge against uncertainty, while others call it bubble. The price swings cause much of the confusion, but as it turns out, the supply side of gold is also debatable.

Warren Buffett, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, painted a colorful analogy of the gold supply last year. In a Forbes article, he says the world’s entire gold stock would fit comfortably within a baseball infield, if it was all melded together to form a cube. The latest annual survey conducted by Thomson Reuters GFMS agrees with Buffett. According to the organization, there is about 377 million pounds of gold above ground, or roughly 171,000 tonnes.

This is very close to Buffett’s estimate of 170,000 tonnes made last year. Buffett explained at the time, “Today, the world’s gold stock is about 170,000 tonnes. If all of this gold were melded together, it would form a cube of about 68 feet per side.” While the current estimate of 171,000 tonnes is reasonable, other research suggests the actual gold supply could be even smaller…

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