When the word Fort Knox is spoken, it is associated with high security and overflowing levels of wealth. The reason for this actually holds in a misconception that Fort Knox holds a treasure of U.S gold within its buildings. The true “gold house” of Fort Knox however is The United States Bullion Depository which is located adjacent to Fort Knox in Kentucy. Because of the Depository’s proximity to the fort, the two have become almost synonymous in common American English and culture.
The United States Bullion Depository is the second largest gold storage location in the United States (The Federal Reserve Bank of New York being number 1) and it currently holds 5046 tons of gold bullion. The mammoth amount of gold stored here translates to 2.5% of all the gold ever refined in the history of mankind.
The creation of the Depository came as a direct result of Executive Order 6102, a law passed in 1933 by U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt that made it illegal to privately own gold coins, gold bullion and gold certificates by American Citzens, forcing them to sell their gold to the Federal Reserve. When the law was passed, the Federal Government suddenly came into the possession of more than triple their previous gold ownership, and needed to build a vault to store it in. The United States Bullion Depository was thus created in 1936 as a storage building for the new influx of gold bullion.
During World War II, the Depository also held many other famous objects besides gold bullion, including the famed “Crown of St. Stephen” the most precious item in all of Hungary, and the United States own original U.S Declaration of Independence and original U.S Constitution.
So how much is the gold in The United States Bullion Depository actually worth? As of March 2010, the total amount of gold inside the Depository was set at $206 billion. With the recent climb in gold prices, gold has set new record prices and is now the highest it has ever been in history with prices scaling at $1500 an ounce and higher. The gold holdings in the Depository should thus be considered significantly higher but no future estimates have been published as of 2011.
The United States Bullion Depository continues to function to this day as one of the world’s largest holders of gold, and is embedded in American and Worldwide commerce and culture.
Further sources: http://www.gold.org/investment/why_how_and_where/faqs/