But the Bank of England still uses not only vaults

canada goose deals 248 billion beneath its pavement

Under London streets lies a hidden gold mine.

It stretches across more than 300,000 square feet under the City, the finance quarter in the heart of Britain capital. canada goose uk shop There, beneath the pavement and commuters of Threadneedle Street, lies a maze of eight Bank of England gold vaults each stacked with gold bars worth a total sum Canada Goose Coats On Sale of around billion ($200 billion).

The bars sit on rows of blue numbered shelves. Every bar weighs precisely 400 troy ounces (about 12kg), making each currently worth some ($500,000), comfortably more than the average price of a house in the UK. Each bar looks Canada Goose online subtly different depending on where it was refined. Some bars have sloping edges to make them easier to pick up; others look more like uk canada goose outlet a loaf of bread.

What there is, however, is one of the world most important traded assets. Deals are still done in gold in almost every country in the world. Its price is a crucial barometer for consumer confidence. Prices rise when markets are uncertain, and before US elections like now.

Canada Goose Outlet is a hedge against uncertainty, says Jonathan Spall, cheap Canada Goose a long time gold trader and now managing director of G Cubed Metal.

canada goose clearance These vaults lie right canada goose at the heart of this volatile, incredibly important market.

Canada Goose sale About one fifth of all the gold held by the world governments is in Canada Goose sale London

canada goose black friday sale About one Canada Goose Outlet fifth of all the gold held by the world governments canada goose clearance is in London. In total, 6,256 tonnes of canada goose store gold are stored in vaults in and around London collectively worth about billion ($248 billion).

Canada Goose Parka View image of Beneath the Bank of England lie vaults that stash 5,134 tonnes of gold (Credit: Credit: Mike Booth/Alamy)

The Bank of England vaults alone hold 5,134 tonnes, including the official reserves of the UK Treasury and the vast majority of the physical gold traded in London. Gold owned by 30 other countries is also in these vaults along with the hoards of about 25 banks.

buy canada goose jacket So much gold is kept in Britain capital partly to keep it near where the metal is traded. It also a reflection of the security of London vaults.

Canada Goose online Hiding your stash

The Bank of England vaults were built in the 1930s. During World War II, when Britain bullion buy canada goose jacket cheap was secretly moved uk canada goose to Canada to continue the war effort if Britain was overrun, one vault was used as a staff canteen for Bank of England employees. Vintage advertisements for the P cruise line, enticing Bank employees away to holiday, are still plastered across the walls. Later, in the 1940s, the vault was used as a bomb shelter.

View image of The Bank’s gold vaults were Canada Goose Online used as a staff canteen in alifeoutofdebt the 1930s (Credit: Credit: Bank of England)

Canada Goose Jackets But since 1945, the vaults have been used primarily for gold.

Storing your assets in a huge safe might seem more fitting for a Tudor monarchy than a modern central bank

canada goose coats Storing your assets in a huge safe might seem more fitting for a Tudor monarchy than a modern central bank. But the Bank of England still uses not only vaults, but several 3ft long Canada Goose Parka keys for access. Insiders believe that canada goose clearance sale electronic access alone canada goose coats could be more prone to abuse. (You do still have to speak a password into a microphone and a computer matches your voice against a saved sample).

View image of A number of keys are needed cheap canada goose uk to access the Bank’s gold vaults (Credit: Credit: David Levenson/Alamy)

cheap Canada Goose The bars arrive in London by surprisingly traditional methods, too. Some come by sea, shipped from refineries like PAMP in Switzerland or Rand Refinery outside Johannesburg in South Africa.

canada goose coats on sale In the cargo hold of commercial passenger planes, you often find gold, fresh flowers, and buy canada goose jacket dead bodies Ruth Crowell

canada goose Gold is also moved on regular passenger aeroplanes. the cargo hold of commercial passenger planes, you often find gold, fresh flowers, and dead bodies, says Ruth Crowell, chief executive of the London Bullion Market Association.

buy canada goose jacket cheap But more difficult than canada goose coats on sale finding transport canada goose uk outlet can be finding a place to house it. Because much of the City of London is on clay ground and because gold is such a dense substance, you can only stack the bars so high before the vault starts sinking into the clay, Crowell says. (The weight of a City skyscraper is spread over a larger footprint, which makes that risk less likely).

This is less of a problem in other cities. In Manhattan, which sits on bedrock, the Federal Reserve Bank can stack bars from floor to ceiling.

View image of Stacks of gold bars are arranged on shelves in the Bank’s vaults (Credit: Credit: David Levenson/Alamy)

As a result, there are restrictions on how much gold can be stacked in the Bank vaults. On the top level, the gold bars can only be stacked four pallets high. On Canada Goose Jackets the lower, they can only be stacked up to six.

This means canada goose uk black friday London needs to spread out its gold more to stop it sinking, and needs more vaults of smaller sizes.

canada goose clearance sale Each owner attempts to https://www.alifeoutofdebt.com keep their vault location secret

As a result, it isn just the City streets that are paved with gold. There are seven smaller canada goose factory sale vaults inside the M25 (the motorway that encircles Greater London) owned by canada goose black friday sale banks like JP Morgan and HSBC, including three at transport companies around Heathrow Airport.

canada goose store Each owner attempts canadian goose jacket to keep their vault location secret. When CNBC journalists visited JP Morgan in 2011, for example, they had to surrender their mobile phones and travel in a car with blacked out windows.

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