Blog Does Fort Knox Still Have Gold?
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.

Does Fort Knox Still Have Gold?

The United States Bullion Depository, commonly known as Fort Knox, is considered to be one of the most secure places on earth. Fort Knox is one of the largest gold repositories in the world, housing an estimated 147.3 million ounces of the United States’ gold reserves. According to the U.S. Mint, that’s about half of the U.S. Treasury’s stored gold.

No wonder so many Americans are fascinated by Fort Knox. Keep reading for more on the history behind this intriguing landmark!

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. By December of that year, the building was complete with 16,000 cubic feet of concrete and 750 tons of reinforced steel. The cost of construction totaled $560,000.  

A photo of the U.S. Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky, taken in 1968.
Photo of the U.S. Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky, circa 1968.

Fort Knox received its first shipment of gold in 1937 from the Philadelphia Mint and New York Assay Office. The shipment came in by train, surrounded by military troops for protection. The highest historic gold holdings at Fort Knox were nearly 650 million troy ounces on December 31st, 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. The actual structure and content of the facility is only known by a few people, and no one person knows all of the procedures to open the vault.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only person outside of normal security personnel permitted to see the gold reserves up until 1974, when a group of journalists viewed the vaults. The journalists were granted access to quell persistent rumors that all of the gold in Fort Knox had been removed. (It hadn’t.)

It wasn’t until 2017 that the Fort Knox gold vaults were opened again for a few select visitors. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, and a few Congressional representatives viewed the vaults that year.

How Much Gold is in Fort Knox Today?

Fort Knox currently stores about half of the U.S. Treasury's stored gold (143.7 million troy ounces).
Fort Knox currently stores about half of the U.S. Treasury’s stored gold (143.7 million troy ounces).

So, does Fort Knox still have gold today? Yes, and a lot of it.

As we mentioned, Fort Knox stores about half of the U.S. Treasury’s stored gold. Over the decades, the only gold removed from the vaults has been small sample quantities used to test purity during periodically scheduled audits.

U.S. Gold Holdings

So where else does the U.S. store its gold? In addition to Fort Knox, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds a substantial amount of gold in its vaults, serving as a repository for both domestic and foreign gold holdings. The Denver Mint is also known to store some gold reserves, primarily in the form of bullion.

The U.S. ranks first among countries with the largest gold reserves (8,133.46 tons!), followed by Germany, Italy, France and Russia. At today’s prices (as of March 21, 2024), the total U.S. gold reserves are estimated to be worth roughly $518 billion!

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