Where’s the gold?

Interest in gold and gold prices have skyrocketed in recent years. Who has gold? Where is it found? And what is it used for? These are the questions N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers in today’s Economic Perspective:

“In terms of who has it: Many people, I think, would be surprised to know the U.S. actually holds the most gold. We now have over 8,000 tons of gold in the country. More than twice — twice as much as the country with the second-largest holding, which is Germany.

“In terms of where gold is found: Of course, it is mined; it comes out of the ground. It comes from places as diverse as Canada, here in the U.S. — in fact, North Carolina had some of the earliest gold mines — Russia, South Africa and Australia, although the increases in supply each year tends to be modest, which is why gold can skyrocket in price when demand increases.

“Over half the gold today is still used in jewelry. The second-largest use is, in terms of holdings by governments like our federal government, investment holdings and some minor industrial uses.”

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