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gold Vault
Learn about the commonwealth Reserve bank of brand-new York's gold vault
Gold Custody
Storing the Gold
Gold Bars
Security
Touring the brand-new York Fed

gold Custody

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Gold custody is among several financial solutions the federal Reserve financial institution of brand-new York provides to central banks, governments and also official international organizations on behalf of the federal Reserve System.

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The new York Fed’s yellow vault is top top the basement floor that its main office building in Manhattan. Developed during the building and construction of the building in the early 1920s, the vault provides account holders with a secure place to keep their monetary gold reserves.

None the the yellow stored in the vault belongs come the brand-new York Fed or the commonwealth Reserve System. The new York Fed acts together the guardian and also custodian of the gold on behalf of account holders, which include the U.S. Government, international governments, other main banks, and official worldwide organizations. No individuals or exclusive sector entities are permitted to keep gold in the vault.


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Storing the Gold

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Much of the yellow in the vault come during and after human being War II as plenty of countries wanted to keep their yellow reserves in a safe location. Holdings in the gold vault ongoing to increase and peaked in 1973, shortly after the United says suspended convertibility that dollars right into gold for international governments. In ~ its peak, the vault included over 12,000 lots of financial gold. Because that time, yellow deposit and also withdrawal activity has slowed and also the vault has actually experienced a gradual but steady decline in as whole holdings. However, the vault today stays the world’s largest known depository of financial gold.

As of 2019, the vault housed about 497,000 gold bars, with a an unified weight of around 6,190 tons. The vault is maybe to assistance this weight due to the fact that it rests ~ above the bedrock of Manhattan Island, 80 feet below street level and also 50 feet below sea level.

Gold bars space transported by elevator from street level to the vault’s basement location. Once inside the vault the bars end up being the duty of a regulate group consist of of 3 representatives: two members the the brand-new York Fed yellow vault staff and also one member native the new York Fed inner audit staff. These three individuals must be current whenever gold is relocated or a compartment is opened in the vault—even to change a light bulb. This help ensure ideal safekeeping and maximum protection for the gold.

All bars brought into the vault because that deposit are very closely weighed, and also the refiner and fineness (purity) markings top top the bars room inspected come ensure castle agree with the depositors instructions and also recorded in the new York Fed’s records. This action is an essential because the brand-new York Fed returns the exact bars deposit by the account holder top top withdrawal—gold deposits room not taken into consideration fungible.

Following the confirmation process, the yellow is moved to among the vault’s 122 compartments, where each compartment consists of gold organized by a solitary account holder (meaning the gold is not commingled in between account holders). In rare cases, tiny deposits are inserted on individually numbered spaces on shelves in a “library” compartment shared by numerous account holders. Every compartment is secured by a padlock, two combination locks and also an auditor’s seal. Compartments are numbered rather than named to maintain confidentiality the the account holders.

The new York Fed charges account holders a dealing with fee for gold transactions, consisting of when yellow enters or leaves the vault or ownership transfers (moves in between compartments), however otherwise does not charge fees because that gold storage.


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While yellow bars are mainly uniform, there are subtle differences that have the right to signify, amongst other unique characteristics, when and where a bar to be cast.

Before 1986, bars actors in the unified States generally were rectangular bricks. Currently, however, bars cast in the United says conform to the long-standing global standard for most bars actors overseas, which are trapezoidal in shape. For bars actors in the United states under the pre-1986 standard, a bar’s shape can additionally indicate where it was cast. Bars from the Denver Assay Office have rounded sides; bars native the san Francisco Assay Office have actually rounded corners; and bars from the new York Assay Office have square edges. Markings ~ above the bar also reveal information around its production. Because that example, a collection of numbers on the bar frequently identifies that melt—the molten gold from i beg your pardon a bar is made—while another set indicates that is fineness or purity. A stamped seal that a refiner often identifies where the gold to be cast.

Surprisingly, yellow bars are not 100 percent pure gold. If they were 100 percent pure, the bars would certainly be also malleable to keep their shape. This would render them difficult to store or move. Therefore, each bar contains a small amount of at least one various other metal, such together copper, silver or platinum. Tinges of color can suggest the form of alloy, yet modest, indigenous which a particular bar is composed. For instance, traces of silver and also platinum give the gold a whitish shade, copper is most often uncovered in reddish bars, and iron produces a greenish hue.

The industry value of a gold bar depends on that is weight, purity level, and the prevailing sector price because that gold. Quite than industry pricing i beg your pardon fluctuates daily, the new York Fed supplies the United claims official book value of $42.2222 per troy ounce because that gold holdings.


The vault is safeguarded by a considerable multilayered protection system, highlighted by a 90-ton steel cylinder protecting the only entry right into the vault. The nine-foot-tall cylinder is collection within a 140-ton steel-and-concrete frame that, when closed, create an airtight and also watertight seal. Also, once closed, four steel rods are put into feet in the cylinder and time clocks space engaged, locking the vault until the next organization day.

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Security is further enhanced by the huge steel-reinforced concrete walls bordering the vault and 24-hour security of task inside and outside the vault by security cameras, and the usage of motion sensors once the vault is closed. Constant supervision through the vault control group also ensures that ideal security steps are adhered to at every times. Additionally, the gold is defended by the new York Fed’s robust building security system and also the equipped Federal make reservation police force.