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Here’s a question from a reader:
“How many US dollars is all the gold in the world worth?”
How Do You Calculate the Total Value of All the Gold in the World?
First we need to know what is the total amount of gold in the world. Then we simply multiply that by the current spot price of gold.
How Much Gold is There in the World?
There are actually a couple of sites already keeping track of the total value of all the gold in the world.
Here’s one of them:
Currently they list the value of all the gold in the world as $9963917897634.299. Or to save you having to count up all those digits, that’s just under US$10 Trillion.
It appears their value is based upon a total amount of gold of 140,000 tonnes. This being all the gold ever mined in the world since the beginning of human history.
However the World Gold Council says:
“The best estimates currently available suggest that around 197,576 tonnes of gold has been mined throughout history, of which around two-thirds has been mined since 1950”.
This may sound like a lot, but just under 200,000 tonnes takes up a surprisingly small space. See the pictorial representation of it below from visualcapitalist.com. As they say all of the world’s mined gold would make up:
“…one cube with dimensions of 20.5m. If it was all melted, it would fit within the confines of an Olympic Swimming Pool.”
Here’s the Value of All the Gold in the World in US Dollars
To determine the value of this World Gold Council estimate, we need to convert the total tonnes into grams. Then multiply this by the current gold spot price in dollars per gram.
Therefore the calculation would be:
197,576 tonnes x 1000kg x 1000gm x $61.97 (gold price per gram) = $12,243,784,720,000.00 11,076,110,560,000.00.
That is almost US$12.25 trillion. Up US$1.16 trillion since we last did this calculation in March 2021.
So it depends whose numbers you use. The total mined gold is just an estimate either way. This interesting BBC article has some figures much lower than those above. It also has a higher figure too.
But let’s go somewhere in the middle of the 2 figures stated above. We get a value for all the gold in the world of around US$11 trillion.
How Does This Value Compare to all the Debt in the World?
Whichever figure we use for the total amount of gold, either way the total value of the gold is a lot!
But not as much as all the debt in the world currently. S&P reports that as of June 2022 global debt is estimated to be $300 Trillion:
Three hundred trillion dollars. That is the record debt which global governments, households, financial corporates and nonfinancial corporates owed in June 2022, as estimated by the Institute of International Finance
That is up from $281 Trillion in 2021.
Below is a chart showing how low the value of all the gold is compared to global debt levels.
Or said in another way, the value of all the gold is currently 3.67% of all the debt in the world ($11 Trillion / $300 Trillion).
This previous article of ours discusses the previous times gold peaked. Once in 1933 and again in 1980. On both occasions, the debt to gold value in the USA reached around 26%. That is, the value of the US government gold reserves reached 26% of the US government debt. See: Gold Backing to Debt Ratio: A Reset Like in 1934 and 1980 Would Mean $25,000 Gold
To return to a similar level again on a global basis, either the debt has to plummet, or the gold price has to rise by quite a bit – around 7 times in fact.
Here’s the calculation for that rise: Global debt is $300 trillion. For gold to back this debt, like it did in 1933 and 1980, would mean a gold value of 26% of $300 Trillion which is $78 trillion. So $78 trillion divided by $11 trillion is a rise of over 7 times for the price of gold. Or at today’s price of US$1930 per oz is a gold price of $13,685.
Just an interesting thing to think about – no guarantees it would happen of course. But it does show a historical precedent. It also shows gold is likely still very undervalued.
You can view the range of gold and silver products to buy here.
Editors note: First published 23 March 2021. Updated 1 February 2023 with latest charts and numbers.