The Bank of England recently provided a rare and spectacular glimpse at one of the largest gold reserves in the world. Secured within the bank's fortress-like walls are a series of vault rooms containing $315 billion in gold bars, stacked four high like children's blocks on open shelves. In total, the bank is responsible for securing 4,600 tons, or 9.2 million pounds, of gold.
The eccentric and wild-haired University of Nottingham professor Martyn Poliakoff, who hosts a science web site, periodicvideos.com, and a YouTube channel called The Periodic Table of Videos, was thrilled with his opportunity to report from inside the gold vault.
In a YouTube video that has accumulated nearly two million views since December 7, Poliakoff ticks off a bunch of neat facts about the bars secured by The Bank of England:
- Every bar has a registration number. When a bar is bought or sold, it rarely leaves the vault. The bar's registration number is simply transferred from the seller's account to the buyer's account.
- Each bar of .999 gold weighs about 28 pounds and is worth about $748,000.
- The oldest bar in the vault dates back to 1916.
- Gold is non-reactive and does not tarnish, so the gold from nearly a hundred years ago looks as good as it did the day it entered the vault.
- Every shelf in the vault contains about a ton of gold, worth $53.4 million.
- The Bank of England stores $315 billion in gold on behalf of the U.K. and other countries.
- All the gold that has been mined from the beginning of time could be stacked in a cube 60 feet square. This is the size of two volleyball courts side by side.
See Poliakoff's full report in the video below... (A commercial may appear before the video. You should be able to skip it after five seconds).