Gold reserves (or gold holdings) are held by central banks as a store of value. In 2001, it was estimated that all the gold ever mined totaled 145,000 tonnes. One tonne of gold equated to a value of US$29.66 million as of July 2008 ($922.40/troy ounces). The total value of all gold ever mined would be $4.3 trillion at July 2008 prices.
At the end of 2004, central banks and official organizations held 19% of all above-ground gold as a reserve asset. About one percent of all above-ground gold (370 metric tonnes) was mined in the first five years of the California Gold Rush (worth approximately $11 billion at July 2008 prices).
IMF gold reserves refers to 3,217 tonnes of gold held by the International Monetary Fund. It is currently priced at $42 a troy ounce ($1,370/kg) for accounting purposes, a price that was fixed in 1971 just before the Nixon administration officially delinked the U.S. dollar from gold and instead allowed market forces to set the dollar's worth. An attempt to revalue the gold reserve to today's value has met resistance for different reasons. For example, Canada is against the idea of revaluing the reserve, as it would flood the market with gold and therefore depress its price. It is also not clear whether the gold reserve is the property of the IMF or of member countries.
As of September 2008, gold exchange-traded funds held 1,039 tonnes of gold in total for private and institutional investors.
The largest gold holdings in tonnes as reported by the World Gold Council can be seen in the table below, per 22 September 2005 and 14 December 2007, ranked by their 2005 holdings. The United States' holding of gold is worth approximately $241 billion (July 2008). Although the United States has the largest reserves of individual countries, in total the eurozone gold holdings are greater (11,065 tonnes as of December 2007).
|World official gold holding (June 2008)|
| Gold's share of reserves|
|3||International Monetary Fund||3,217.3||-|
|9||People's Republic of China||600.0||1%|
|10||European Central Bank||563.6||24.8%|
|25||Bank for International Settlements||134.9||-|
|44||West African Economic and Monetary Union||36.5||9.4%|
|67||Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa||7.1||1.6%|
|89||Papua New Guinea||2.0||2.6%|
|91||Trinidad and Tobago||1.9||0.7%|
|100||Central African Republic||0.3||10.3%|
|102||Republic of the Congo||0.3||0.4%|