When thinking of secure facilities, one name that constantly comes up in conversation is Fort Knox. And for a good reason. Fort Knox in Kentucky is where the United States government stores most of its precious metal bullion reserves.
Fort Knox now houses 147.3 million ounces of gold bullion, according to the U.S. Mint. That’s about half of the U.S. Treasury’s stored gold.
Let’s delve into some history and facts about the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, a facility of endless fascination for Americans.
When was Fort Knox Built?
The U.S. Mint established the Fort Knox Bullion Depository in 1936 to keep up with the country’s growing gold reserves. Fort Knox received its first shipment of gold in 1937 from the Philadelphia Mint and New York Assay Office. The shipment came via trains surrounded by military troops.
After construction was complete in 1936, Fort Knox featured 16,000 cubic feet of concrete and 750 tons of reinforced steel. The highest historic gold holdings at Fort Knox were nearly 650 million troy ounces on December 31, 1941.
How Secure is Fort Knox?
Fort Knox is famous for its tight security. Few people – even U.S. presidents – have actually seen the gold reserves in the depository.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only person outside of normal security personnel to see the gold reserves until 1974. In 1974, a group of journalists and a Congressional delegation viewed the gold vaults.
This small group was permitted access in 1974 to quell consistent rumors that all the gold in Fort Knox had been removed.
It wasn’t until 2017 that the Fort Knox gold vaults were again open for a few select visitors. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, and a few Congressional representatives viewed the gold vaults that year.
How Much Gold is in Fort Knox Today?
So, does Fort Knox still have gold today? Yes, and a lot of it.
As we mentioned, Fort Knox currently stores about half of the U.S. Treasury’s stored gold (143.7 million troy ounces). Over the decades, the only gold removed from the vaults has been small quantities used to test purity during audits.
In addition to Fort Knox, the U.S. Treasury stores gold in West Point, New York, and Denver, Colorado. The remainder of the U.S. gold reserves stay stored a few blocks away from Wall Street in secure vaults underneath the New York Federal Reserve.
At today’s prices, the total U.S. gold reserves are estimated to be worth about $10 billion.
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Stay tuned to Garfield Refining’s blog for more interesting and helpful articles about precious metals, such as articles like The Uses of Gold in Electronics, Will the Silver Price Keep Going up?, and 3 Fun Facts about Platinum.