According to GFMS (formerly Gold Fields Mineral Services, a leading independent precious metals consultancy that specializes in market research of precious metals, there has been an estimated 174,100 tonnes of gold mined in human history.
Gold has many uses, some more useful such as uses in electronics and heat shielding, while some slightly less useful, such as jewelry (it sure is shiny and pretty though.)
One use for gold, is that countries keep a gold reserve, which can be used to gain access to foreign currency in a pitch, or to use to back up bonds or loans.
So which countries hold the largest gold reserves in the world?
India holds 557.7 Tonnes of gold, and holds 6.8% of foreign reserves in gold.
The Netherlands holds 612.5 tonnes of gold, they also have 54.3% of foreign reserves in gold.
Japan holds 765.2 tonnes of gold, and holds 2.4% of foreign reserves in gold.
Switzerland holds 1040 tonnes in gold and has 7.5% of its foreign reserves in gold.
China holds 1054.1 tonnes of gold, and holds 1% of its foreign reserves in gold.
Russia has 1149.8 tonnes of gold, and holds 9.9% of its foreign reserves in gold.
France holds 2435.4 tonnes of gold, and holds 65.3% of its foreign reserves in gold.
Italy holds the third most amount of gold of any country in the world and has 2451.8 tonnes of gold, and has 65.9% of its foreign reserves in gold.
Germany comes in second, it holds 3384.2 tonnes of gold in the world, and holds 67% of its foreign reserves in gold.
1. United States:
The United States holds the most gold in the world, at a reported 8133.5 tonnes, more than double the second place Germany, it also holds 71.6% of its foreign reserves in gold.
While the International Monetary Fund is not a country (therefore not included on the list), it would have came in third in gold reserve holdings, at 2,814 tonnes of gold held by the International Monetary Fund.
(Numbers as produced by the World Gold Council)