How much gold is in Fort Knox?

How Much Gold is in Fort Knox? And Other Fun Fort Knox Facts


Written by John Rothans

Oct 3, 2018

Fort Knox, KY. It's home to a well-known Army base, but it's also home to the U.S. Bullion Depository, which used to house a large portion of the country's official gold reserves. Does it still? As America's Gold Authority®, U.S. Money Reserve is here to shed light on this iconic American facility.

5 Fort Knox Facts for Gold Fans Everywhere

The first gold arrived at Fort Knox in early 1937—by mail.

Congress passed the Deficiency Act on July 22, 1936, which established a bullion depository in Fort Knox, KY to store the nation's precious metal bullion reserves. Since the gold was too heavy to fly in by plane, it was mailed to Fort Knox by train through the United States Postal Service. Can you imagine how dangerous such a trip would've been by train in the 1930s? Talk about precious cargo…

There are 147.3 million ounces of gold in Fort Knox.

How much gold is in Fort Knox? We're not exaggerating when we say that this question is on thousands of people's minds. There are close to 3,000 online searches for it every month, so we'll get down to it!

According to the Bureau of the Fiscal Reserve, there are 147,341,858.382 ounces of gold in Fort Knox as of August 31, 2018. The gold is held as an asset of the United States at a total book value of $6,221,097,412.78. This gold is primarily in the form of gold bars.

Fort Knox gold isn't used to make gold coins, medals, and bars for citizens.

The United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox is not a production facility like the mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver, and West Point. Fort Knox was established as a storage facility and remains a storage facility to this day.

The gold inside Fort Knox is held in deep storage. The Bureau of Fiscal Reserve defines deep storage as:

“That portion of the U.S. Government-owned gold bullion reserve which the Mint secures in sealed vaults that are examined annually by the Treasury Department's Office of the Inspector General and consists primarily of gold bars.”

Fort Knox holds the majority of the U.S. Treasury's deep storage gold reserves, but Denver and West Point hold a good portion, too.

The U.S. Government Gold Reserves (Deep Storage)
U.S. Mint Troy Ounces of Gold Book Value
Fort Knox, KY 147,341,858.382 $6,221,097,412.78
West Point, NY 54,067,331.379 $2,282,841,677.17
Denver, CO 43,853,707.279 $1,851,599,995.81

The gold that's used to make consumer-ready gold products, like Gold American Eagle Bullion Coins, comes from the U.S. Mint's working stock. The Bureau of the Fiscal Reserve defines this stock as:

“That portion of the U.S. Government gold reserve which the Mint uses as the raw material for minting congressionally authorized coins and consists of bars, blanks, unsold coins, and condemned coins.”

The Bureau's website doesn't specify where this gold is stored. It could be held at Fort Knox or distributed between America's coin producing facilities. Instead, the Bureau notes that the amount of working stock in all locations totals 2,783,218.656 troy ounces of gold as of August 31, 2018.

So who owns all the gold in Fort Knox? The U.S. Department of the Treasury owns the gold in Fort Knox, as well as the gold that's held in Denver, CO and West Point, NY.

Fort Knox gold could help stabilize the world economy.

President Richard Nixon officially took the country off the gold standard in 1971, so why is there still gold in Fort Knox? Philp N. Diehl explains that there are two reasons the U.S. keeps gold: support for the world economy and the simple politics of gold.

As the former Director of the U.S. Mint, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Treasury Department, and current Chairman of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) and President of U.S. Money Reserve, Philip N. Diehl is among the most qualified persons to provide such insight.

Diehl suggests that any sign the U.S. was considering selling its gold could wreak havoc in the marketplace. In 2013, Cyprus looked into selling their gold reserves to deal with its debt crisis, and in response, world gold prices plummeted. The U.S. gold reserves are 330 times larger than Cyprus's reserves.

He also writes, “The politics of gold [are] complicated, highly emotional and very partisan. There's no compelling reason to empty the vaults at Fort Knox and selling the gold would ignite a political firestone. Better to let sleeping dogs lie.”

And so, the gold stays at Fort Knox!

Fort Knox safeguards priceless artifacts.

What else is in Fort Knox? It depends on the needs of the nation!

According to the U.S. Mint, Fort Knox stored the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights during World War II to protect them from danger. These founding documents were returned to Washington D.C. in 1944. (Fort Knox also held more than four times its current amount of gold during WWII.)

During the Cold War, Fort Knox stored opium and morphine in massive quantities in case they were needed after a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.

Over the years, Fort Knox has safeguarded many historically valuable items including the Gutenberg Bible, the Gettysburg Address, Magna Carta, and the crown, sword, scepter, orb, and cape of St. Stephen, King of Hungary. These last few items were returned to Hungary in 1978.

You can't visit Fort Knox.

Fort Knox is not open to the public and has had very few visitors over the years. A group of journalists and a Congressional delegation were allowed to view the gold reserves on September 23, 1974, after rumors persisted that all the gold had been removed from the vault. Previously, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was authorized to access the vaults.

On August 24, 2017, however, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, and a civilian delegation visited the Fort Knox vaults.

Bevin spoke about his visit on WHAS radio, reporting that it took “quite a bit of time” to get in and out of the facility and that officials had to cut a seal to open the vault. While visiting Fort Knox, Bevin said he got to hold gold bricks and a 1933 Double Eagle Coin that was never circulated.

Bevin compared the experience to “seeing a leprechaun on a unicorn,” and affirmed that “the gold is safe,” and “it is freakishly well secured.”

Other than this handful of visits, Fort Knox has remained closed to non-authorized personnel since it was first constructed.

You can own gold bars, similar to the ones at Fort Knox.

You may not be able to visit the nation's bullion depository, but you can own gold bars that are similar to the ones stored in the vaults of Fort Knox. There are many advantages to buying gold bars, advantages that the U.S. Treasury appreciates firsthand.

  • Gold bars make high-volume gold diversification easy. Gold bars are one of the fastest ways you can build your precious metals portfolio, essentially in as little time as it takes to process your payment and ship your order. When time is of the essence, buying gold in the form of a 1-kilo gold bar (32.5 ounces of .999 pure gold) can be your fastest route to large-scale gold ownership.
  • Gold bars offer more ounces of gold, for less. You can generally purchase more ounces of gold for less than if you bought the same amount of gold as individual coins.
  • Gold bars are simple to store at home. Gold bars can be stacked on top of each other or stored side by side, with or without protective packaging. A gold bar can also take up less space than the same number of ounces in coins, depending on the type of coin and your storage method.

Call 1-844-307-1589 to learn more about buying gold in bulk or about America's history with gold. Knowledgeable Account Executives are standing by to answer your questions. Fort Knox may always be mysterious but buying and owning gold doesn't have to be—especially when you have America's Gold Authority® on your side.


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