How Much Gold Has Been Mined?

That’s a complicated question. The exact amount of previously mined gold is disputed for two reasons: 

  1. Because of how much gold has been used in the course of history. 
  1. Because of uncertainty around how much gold has yet to be discovered. 

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), around 244,000 metric tons of gold have been discovered. Nearly 187,000 metric tons have historically been produced, with an additional 57,000 metric tons in underground reserves. 

As a natural resource, gold’s value is largely determined by supply and demand. The fact is there is only so much mineable gold on the planet. Eventually, supplies could run out. Some analysts believe that Earth’s available gold could be dug up within 20 years. 

What does 187,000 metric tons of gold look like? 

Picture a 10-foot-tall pile of gold covering a standard-size tennis court. That’s it. That’s the estimated amount of available gold remaining on Earth.  

It might not seem like much, but that’s a conservative number. Some estimates put the amount of available gold significantly higher at over 2 million metric tons.  

The problem with estimates is that no one quite knows for sure. Human civilization has mined gold for so long that it might be impossible to determine how much of it we’ve pulled from the ground. But that won’t stop people from trying to figure that out. 

Where Is All of the Mined Gold?

Most of the previously mined gold discovered to date has come from three countries: China, Australia, and South Africa.  

But where is that gold now?  

According to the World Gold Council, around 212,582 tons of gold have been mined—two-thirds of which have been mined since 1950. Of that amount, the indestructible metal is presumed to exist in the following forms: 

  • Jewelry: 96,487 metric tons, or roughly 45% 
  • Bars and coins: 47,454 metric tons, roughly 22% 
  • Central banks: 36,699 metric tons, or 17% 
  • Other: 31,943 metric tons, or 15% 

In addition, the WGC estimates that nearly 59,000 tons of gold exist as “proven reserves.” This is gold that hasn’t been physically mined but has been discovered based on our existing technology and capabilities. 

How Much Gold is Still Undiscovered?

We have pretty reliable estimates from the World Gold Council that roughly 59,000 metric tons of gold remain to be mined, but we honestly don’t know how much remains undiscovered. As extraction technology advances and new discoveries occur, it may be possible to nail that number down one day. 

How Much Gold Is in the United States?

The United States boasts the world’s largest gold reserves. According to Investopedia, the U.S. holds just over 8,000 metric tons of gold. Second place goes to Germany, whose gold reserves number a paltry (by comparison) 3,352.65 metric tons

Will We Run Out of Gold?

Some experts estimate we could run out of gold within 20 years. Others are more optimistic. 

Either way, gold is a finite resource. And we’ll eventually run out. That will lead to permanently decreased production. 

If that’s the case, consider what might happen to the price of gold: Could gold prices rise by $100? $500? $1,000? Could it even exceed $5,000 per ounce? 

The concept of supply and demand is quite simple, and the gold market follows the same rules as any other market. 

The only question you must ask yourself is this: “Would I rather buy gold at $2,139.80 per ounce, or would I rather pay significantly more?” 

Scarcity is just one of many reasons for gold’s potential appreciation. 

What might happen to prices if central banks around the globe must compete for the remaining supply? Prices could skyrocket, and anyone who buys gold at current levels will bask in financial security and wealth, while those who didn’t act will be looking in from the outside. 

Don’t let that happen to you. 

Is It a Good Time to Buy Gold?

Now is the ideal time to explore your options for buying gold. Acquiring and holding this precious natural resource has never been easier than it is today. If you are looking for a long-term investment that can potentially increase value, protect your wealth and purchasing power, and provide peace of mind, look no further. In fact, you can even set up a precious metals IRA or use an existing IRA account to begin building your holdings.  

Speak with an Advantage Gold account representative today. Our account executives will discuss your options and will guide you seamlessly through the entire process of setting up a new precious metals IRA or buying metals in your existing IRA. 

The clock is ticking. Talk to an IRA advisorabout how to roll over your 401(k) into a Gold IRA byopening a self-directed IRA account.  Contact us or call us at 888-501-9001 today. 

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