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These 10 countries have the largest gold reserves

The Motley Fool Logo By Reuben Gregg Brewer of The Motley Fool | Slide 1 of 11: Owning physical gold as an individual investor is something that gets counted in ounces. Even full on "gold bugs," investors who are really into gold, are likely to own a relatively small amount of the precious metal. At least relative to central banks, which work on an entirely different scale. These giant government institutions own tons of gold.  Interestingly, however, a recent survey by the World Gold Council suggests that the reason a central bank owns gold and reason that an individual owns gold are roughly similar. Of the 22 central banks the Council surveyed, 94% viewed it as a safe haven asset, while 82% thought it was an effective portfolio diversifier. These are two of the biggest reasons why individuals buy gold. Meanwhile, 88% saw it as a universally accepted medium of exchange, even though the world's fiat currencies have long been disconnected from their gold-linked pasts... That's pretty much the zombie apocalypse reason for owning gold. All in, central bankers seem to like gold for the same reasons you like gold. That said, who are these giant central banks? Here's a list of the top 10 central bank owners of physical gold.ALSO READ: Which Country Has the Most Gold Reserves?

Which countries lead the pack?

Owning physical gold as an individual investor is something that gets counted in ounces. Even full on "gold bugs," investors who are really into gold, are likely to own a relatively small amount of the precious metal. At least relative to central banks, which work on an entirely different scale. These giant government institutions own tons of gold.

Interestingly, however, a recent survey by the World Gold Council suggests that the reason a central bank owns gold and reason that an individual owns gold are roughly similar. Of the 22 central banks the Council surveyed, 94% viewed it as a safe haven asset, while 82% thought it was an effective portfolio diversifier. These are two of the biggest reasons why individuals buy gold. Meanwhile, 88% saw it as a universally accepted medium of exchange, even though the world's fiat currencies have long been disconnected from their gold-linked pasts... That's pretty much the zombie apocalypse reason for owning gold. 

All in, central bankers seem to like gold for the same reasons you like gold. That said, who are these giant central banks? Click ahead for a list of the top 10 central bank owners of physical gold.

ALSO READ: Which Country Has the Most Gold Reserves?

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