248 billion beneath its pavement

Under London streets lies canada goose uk shop a hidden gold mine.

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

canada goose black friday sale 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 canada goose uk black friday price of a house in the UK. Each bar looks subtly different depending on where it was refined. Some bars have sloping edges to make them easier to pick up; others look more like a loaf of bread. canada goose black friday sale

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 Canada Goose online elections like now.

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

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

canada goose deals About one fifth of all the gold held by the world governments is in London canada goose deals

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

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 cheap canada goose jackets the physical gold traded Canada Goose Online in London. Gold owned by 30 other countries is also in these vaults along with the hoards of about 25 banks.

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

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canadian goose jacket The Bank of England vaults were built in the 1930s. During World War II, when Britain bullion was secretly moved 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. canadian goose jacket

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

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

canada goose clearance Storing your assets in a huge safe might seem more fitting https://www.canadagoosepark.com for a Tudor monarchy than a modern central bank canada goose clearance

buy canada goose jacket cheap 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 keys for access. Insiders believe that electronic access alone could be more prone to abuse. Canada Goose sale (You do still have to speak a password into a microphone and a computer matches your voice against a saved sample). buy canada goose jacket cheap

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

buy canada goose jacket 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. buy canada goose jacket

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

Canada Goose Parka 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. Canada Goose Parka

But more difficult than finding transport can be finding a place to house it. Because much of the City of London is on clay ground and Canada Goose Coats On Sale 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).

canada goose This canada goose factory sale 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. canada goose

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

canada goose coats on sale As a result, buy canada goose jacket there are restrictions on how much gold can be stacked in the Bank vaults. On canadian goose jacket the top level, the gold bars can only be stacked four pallets high. On the lower, they can only be stacked up to six. canada goose coats on sale

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

Each owner attempts to keep their vault location secret

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

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