China is the country that buys the most gold. Next on the list of countries that consume the most gold is India. Weddings are the main reason for jewelry-related demand for gold in the United States. For millennia, cultures around the world have coveted gold jewelry because of its bright yellow color and its imperviability to rust and corrosion of any kind.
That same obsession survives today, especially in countries where it is considered auspicious to give gold jewelry during birthdays, weddings and holidays. For many, gold jewelry is the ideal gift, not only because it is beautiful and decorative, but it also maintains its value and can be passed on to future generations. As early as the 13th century BC. C., the ancient Egyptians were responsible for creating what is believed to be the first topographic map, known today as the papyrus map of Turin, which showed the location of gold deposits and a gold mining settlement.
They worshiped gold so much that they referred to it as “the flesh of the gods”. Today's Egyptians are still strongly attracted to the yellow metal. The California Gold Rush (1848-185) not only put the Golden State on the map, but it also served as a turning point in the history of global gold mining. It has been estimated that nine out of 10 tons of gold on the ground have been mined since the gold rush, just 170 years ago.
Today, Americans' obsession with the yellow metal remains as strong as ever. Get the latest gold price here. Listen to The Refresh, Insider's real-time news program. The top 10 central banks with the largest gold reserves have remained virtually unchanged over the past few years.
The United States is in first place with more than 8,000 tons of gold in its vaults, almost as much as the next three countries combined, and represents 79% of total reserves. The only countries where gold represents a higher percentage of reserves are Portugal, with 80.1%, and Venezuela, with 82.4%. It's no surprise that the Bank of India has one of the largest gold reserves in the world. The South Asian country, home to 1.25 billion people, is the second largest consumer of precious metals and one of the most reliable drivers of global demand.
Historically, India's festival and wedding season, which runs from October to December, has been a great help for Love Trade, of gold. In seventh place is Switzerland, which actually has the largest per capita gold reserves in the world. During World War II, the neutral country became the center of the gold trade in Europe, transacting with both the Allies and the Axis powers. Nowadays, much of its gold trade is done with Hong Kong and China.
France's central bank has sold little of its gold in recent years. The current reserves consist of 100 tons of gold coins and the rest of ingots that weigh around 12.5 kilograms each. The vaults of the Bank of France in Paris are one of four deposits designated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Most of Russia's gold is in the hands of the Bank of Russia, which is owned by the Russian Federation.
Bullionstar points out that “in the central bank's gold market, the Bank of Russia stands out for having increased its monetary gold reserves almost six times in just 12 years by buying gold on the Russian domestic market. India and China are still in the top two when it comes to buying gold jewelry, according to figures published in the latest Thomson Reuters GFMS Gold Survey report.