Following the essential gold mining discoveries from the USA and Australia around 1850, those two nations remained important gold producers.
However, South Africa has bigger reserves, and from 1930 was producing 53 percent of the world’s new gold. This was the start of the Great Depression that slowed economic activity across the world, starting with the 1929 Wall Street stock market crash, the collapse of the Credit Anstalt Bank of Austria in 1931 and Great Britain’s suspension of the gold standard in 1931.
President Franklin Roosevelt increased the official price of gold (in effect, inflating the value of their US dollar, which was suffering in the deflationary effects of the Depression) from $20.67 to $35.
The United States government turned into a purchaser and seller of gold in the price. But, United States residents couldn’t have gold except in the form of jewelry. Now, the US government held 6070 tons.
In the new cost of $35 per ounce, gold production increased to 1200 tons from 1940. (A “ton” is 1000 kilograms or 2205 lbs). By 1938 it’d 11,340 tons. Its holdings surfaced in the early 50s in 22,000 tons. So Ian Fleming’s James Bond book GOLDFINGER (where Goldfinger plots to steal the gold out of Fort Knox) came out at roughly the summit.
Even though the US dollar was officially redeemable for gold in the 35 per oz speed, the majority of the planet was pleased to leave the gold at Fort Knox and hang on for their bucks. From the early 1960s, however, President Charles de Gaulle of France created a political and economical point of redeeming US dollars for gold. After all, we had already driven the Nazis out of France, forgiven France’s war debts, and when the USSR actually invaded Western Europe he would rely on our service anyhow.
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