How Much Gold is in the World?

gold production How Much Gold is in the World

By the end of this year 2020, nearly 200,000 tonnes of physical gold will have been mined in human history.

That equates to 6,430,140,000 troy ounces of gold in the world, almost all of which is still saved with us today.

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Traceable Gold

Given that the element of gold is virtually impossible to create from nothing nor destroy, what gold that has already been produced by star explosions, that which we have successfully mined almost fully remains with us. The only gold we have lost has been trace amounts not recycled in industrial applications or perhaps lost in shipwrecks or forgotten treasure hiding spots.

Today there are some 7.7 billion people on the planet so this means there is about 0.835 oz or close to 26 grams of gold per person alive today.

Above-ground gold supplies grow at roughly +1.5% per year which coincidentally is about the same percentage annual growth for total human beings alive.

The following gold fundamental video will explain where gold literally comes from and how it is used today in the 21st Century.

Peak Gold?

Discussed at the 5:45 minute mark in the embedded gold investing fundamentals video above, we have both a slowing and eventual declining yield for new physical gold production ongoing.

Since the industrial revolution began in the early 20th Century, gold production and annual Au supplies increased thanks in large part to combustible engines and technology although the gold market remains rather opaque in terms of who has exactly what amounts.

global gold production

Total annual gold supply and demand are now hovering at around 4,000 tons a year yet these annual demand and supply numbers can be misleading as only about 70% of annual gold supplies are coming fresh from gold mine extractions. The remaining 30% of gold's annual supply comes from recycled gold scraps.

Gold mining occurs in many nations throughout the world today. The largest gold mining nation currently is China producing about 15% of the world's annual gold mine supply. Of that some 400 tons of gold annually produced there, China consumes all of it.

The Top 20 Nations Known That Bolstered Gold Production

The following video illustrates just how more advanced gold mining techniques bolstered gold production over the last 70 years of time and too, see how the nation of South Africa has thus far in time mined 1 in every 5 parts of all the physical gold we humans hold.

New world gold mining supplies add approximately 3,000 tonnes or just under 100 million troy ounces to the above-ground stock of the world’s physical gold supply each year currently.

About half or 50% of all the world's above-ground physical gold is in jewelry and adornment.

The next 40% of physical gold sits in government central bank gold vaults and with gold bullion buying investor stashes.

The following two embedded tweets illustrate two of the largest government gold bullion vault depositories in the world. One is at the Bank of England in London, the other resided in the bowels of the NY Federal Reserve building in New York City.

Approximately 10% of all the physical gold ever mined sits in varying industrial applications around the world (e.g. there is trace gold embedded within smartphones, the cable wiring which backbones high-speed internet functions, in aerospace applications, to help fight cancer, and in people’s teeth be they in their gold fronts or in the molars in the back of their mouths).

Accurately estimating the amount of gold still within the ground yet to be recovered is no easy task. Gold deposit estimates may change in response to several factors like the ongoing value or price of gold.

Costs of mining inputs which effect if gold deposits are economic to mine at all. Gold mine exploration and new discoveries coming online.

The effort required to produce pure physical gold has almost always been costly and energy-intensive. Once gold ore is dug from the ground it typically gets securely moved to various gold refineries throughout the world.

Gold bullion dealers like us over at SD Bullion, we buy and sell physical gold bullion and other precious metal products that gold refineries, private gold mints, and government gold mint’s produce and sell.

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About the Author

James Anderson
A bullion buyer years before the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, James Anderson is a grounded precious metals researcher, content creator, and physical investment grade bullion professional. He has authored several Gold & Silver Guides and has been featured on the History Channel, Zero Hedge, Gold-Eagle, Silver Seek, Value Walk and many more. Given that repressed commodity values are now near 100-year low-level valuations versus large US stocks, James remains convinced investors and savers should buy and maintain a prudent physical bullion position now before more unfunded promises debase away in the coming decades.

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