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Posts Tagged ‘New York Federal Reserve’

Winner: TJ, followed by Tall Paul and TomTwin

Two weeks ago TJ won and told us he was headed to Las Vegas to start a new career. We wished him well. Tonight he showed back up and wins again. So we chipped in to buy him a one-way ticket to Las Vegas and told him to stay there this time. Let someone else win.

Tonight we learned that Columbus, who had only three ships on his first voyage to America, was in charge of 17 ships on his second expedition. Who knew?

Good Question!: Where is the world’s largest gold depository?

Choices: a. Denver   b. Manhattan   c. Fort Knox   d. West Point

Answer: Manhattan

Too many of us remembered James Bond’s “Goldfinger” and so we answered Fort Knox.

You remember Goldfinger, don’t you:

The New York Fed’s gold vault is on the basement floor of its main office building in Manhattan. Built during the construction of the building in the early 1920s, the vault provides account holders with a secure location to store their monetary gold reserves.

Much of the gold in the vault arrived during and after World War II as many countries wanted to store their gold reserves in a safe location. At its peak, the vault contained over 12,000 tons of monetary gold. Since that time, gold deposit and withdrawal activity has slowed and the vault has experienced a gradual but steady decline in overall holdings. However, the vault today remains the world’s largest known depository of monetary gold.

As of 2015, the vault housed approximately 508,000 gold bars, with a combined weight of approximately 6,350 tons. The vault is able to support this weight because it rests on the bedrock of Manhattan Island, 80 feet below street level and 50 feet below sea level.

Safekeeping

Once inside the vault the bars become the responsibility of a control group consisting of three representatives: two members of the New York Fed gold vault staff and one member from the New York Fed internal audit staff. These three individuals must be present whenever gold is moved or a compartment is opened in the vault—even to change a light bulb. This helps ensure proper safekeeping and maximum security for the gold.

All bars brought into the vault for deposit are carefully weighed, and the refiner and fineness (purity) markings on the bars are inspected to ensure they agree with the depositor instructions and recorded in the New York Fed’s records. This step is vital because the New York Fed returns the exact bars deposited by the account holder upon withdrawal—gold deposits are not considered fungible.

Following the verification process, the gold is moved to one of the vault’s 122 compartments, where each compartment contains gold held by a single account holder (meaning that gold is not commingled between account holders). Each compartment is secured by a padlock, two combination locks and an auditor’s seal. Compartments are numbered rather than named to maintain confidentiality of the account holders.

BTW, every year tens of thousands of visitors from around the world visit the gold vault as part of a free, public tour of the New York Fed.

If you interested in getting your hands on some gold bullion better read this:

The 5 Greatest Gold Heists in History (kind of long)

OR

The 15 Greatest Gold Heists of All Time (Infographic, much easier to get through)

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