Is There Gold in Fort Knox? Yes, It Isn't Just a Conspiracy Theory

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Aug. 24 2021, Published 2:49 p.m. ET

Don't go grabbing your gold sifter and scale for this one. While there might be gold in Fort Knox, it isn't underground. Instead, it's under serious lock and key.

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Here's what to know about the Fort Knox Bullion Depository—the extremely high-security government facility in Fort Knox, Ky. that leaves no gold unturned.

What is the Fort Knox Bullion Depository?

The Fort Knox Bullion Depository is a vault that holds valuable assets under U.S. government ownership. The U.S. facility is situated adjacent to the U.S. army post that Fort Knox is well known for. The U.S. Department of the Treasury operates the facility, which houses various assets (including, of course, gold).

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Gold bullion is high-purity physical gold that comes in the form of bars or coins.

Can you visit the Fort Knox Bullion Depository?

Visitors aren't allowed in the Fort Knox Bullion Depository. For anyone wondering, that's a hard and fast rule that has been in place since the building completed construction in 1936. Now, 85 years later, the building still houses various commodities.

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Here's how much gold is in Fort Knox

According to the U.S. Mint, the Fort Knox Bullion Depository currently houses 147.3 million ounces of gold. That amounts to approximately half of the U.S. Treasury's total stored gold.

Historic gold holding records

Gold first found its way to Fort Knox in 1937. The record for most gold holdings at the Fort Knox vault is 649.6 million ounces. The U.S. set this record on December 31, 1941.

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Currently, it has been decades since any gold has been moved to or from the facility. Gold is only moved when experts sample small amounts to test its purity.

The U.S. government uses gold as a strategic asset (and no unwelcome guests can get in).

The U.S. government uses gold as a diverse asset to hedge against economic downturns. The government takes the Fort Knox facility very seriously. Only a few individuals are aware of the building's actual layout, structure, and breadth of contents. Also, no single individual knows the entire procedure of opening the vault. The Fort Knox Bullion Depository is one of the most secure buildings in the world.

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The facility is thought to be made from a mix of granite, concrete, reinforced steel, and structural steel. The blast-proof exterior is built from granite-lined concrete. The gold vault itself is made of steel plates, steel I-beams, and concrete-encased steel cylinders. Of course, there's also an escape tunnel in case anyone gets locked in unwillingly.

The U.S. holds its gold storage at a book value of $42.22 per ounce. With 147.3 ounces of gold currently in the facility, that's $6.2 billion worth of gold. If you're thinking about weaseling your way in, think again. U.S. Mint Police guard the building steadfastly, and razor wire and minefields scatter the land surrounding it.

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