Where Does the Gold Go?

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A few years ago, CNBC commentator Jim Leventhal made a pretty astounding comment. When asked about gold, he said he had no interest in it because gold has no uses as a metal.

This is a pretty absurd statement. Gold has multiple uses. And it would probably have even more if it wasn’t so rare and expensive.

In 2021, gold demand came in at 4,666 tons. Where did all of that gold go?

More than half of the demand for gold is for the production of jewelry. In 2021, jewelry makers used 2,221 tons of gold.

The next largest source of gold demand stems from its role as money. Gold bars and gold coins accounted for 1,180 tons of metal in 2021. ETF holdings fell by 173 tons last year, bringing total investment demand down to 1,007 tons.

Central banks globally bought on net 463 tons of gold in 2021.

The smallest demand category for gold is industry and technology. It accounts for about 8% of gold demand. But demand for gold in tech is growing rapidly. You can find a more detailed breakdown of gold in technology HERE.

Looking at the bigger picture, the total above-ground stock of gold is estimated to be 205,238 tons. The World Gold Council broke down global gold holdings in the following chart.

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