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History of gold and which countries have the most

Stacker Logo By Lexi Pandell of Stacker | Slide 1 of 32: “The gold standard”—this term describes the benchmark by which something is measured. It's the most reliable and definitive form of something. This phrase originates from the gold standard monetary system, whereby a country's currency has a direct connection to real gold. Have a bill? It would represent a physical amount of gold stored in a secure location in the Treasury's vaults.

Though the United States went off the gold standard in the 1970s, there's a reason why the phrase remains a popular idiom. For much of history, gold has held significant and unique value. This immensely popular precious metal is famed for its rarity and beauty. Not only has it been used as a form of currency, but it's commonly used in jewelry and other ornamentation. Though gold is the most malleable metal and never tarnishes, pure gold is one of the densest substances on the planet.

Perhaps, then, it's no surprise that gold reserves are still an incredibly influential and important way for nations to determine their economic worth. How has the status of gold changed throughout the years and which nations have the most? To answer those questions, this list comes in two parts.

First, a brief history of gold in the United States, from the time when the U.S. established this metal as a form of currency to the Gold Rush and beyond.

Second, Stacker ranked which countries hold the most gold reserves. This list uses information from the International Monetary Fund, with the value of the gold estimated using the price of an ounce of gold as of March 1, 2019. The gold reserves for each country were up-to-date as of December 2018, except Turkey (which was updated in November of that year) and Saudi Arabia (which was updated in September 2018). All that glitters is not gold...but gold sure is nice.

You also may like: 100 iconic photos that capture 100 years of world history

Find out which countries have the largest gold reserves today

“The gold standard” — this term describes the benchmark by which something is measured. It's the most reliable and definitive form of something. This phrase originates from the gold standard monetary system, whereby a country's currency has a direct connection to real gold. Have a bill? It would represent a physical amount of gold stored in a secure location in the treasury's vaults.

Though the United States went off the gold standard in the 1970s, there's a reason why the phrase remains a popular idiom. For much of history, gold has held significant and unique value. This immensely popular precious metal is famed for its rarity and beauty. Not only has it been used as a form of currency, but it's commonly used in jewelry and other ornamentation. Though gold is the most malleable metal and never tarnishes, pure gold is one of the densest substances on the planet.

Perhaps, then, it's no surprise that gold reserves are still an incredibly influential and important way for nations to determine their economic worth. How has the status of gold changed throughout the years and which nations have the most? To answer those questions, this list comes in two parts.

First, a brief history of gold in the United States, from the time when the U.S. established this metal as a form of currency to the Gold Rush and beyond.

Second, Stacker ranked which countries hold the most gold reserves. This list uses information from the International Monetary Fund, with the value of the gold estimated using the price of an ounce of gold as of March 1. The gold reserves for each country were up-to-date as of December 2018, except Turkey (which was updated in November of that year) and Saudi Arabia (which was updated in September 2018). All that glitters is not gold .. .but gold sure is nice.

Click ahead to see the history of gold and which countries have the most.

You also may like: 100 iconic photos that capture 100 years of world history

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