In 1965 Canada was one of the top ten gold reserves in the world at over 1,000 tons of the precious metal. Now it sold off a large portion of its small remaining holdings.

In 1965 Canada had one of the top ten gold reserves in the world at over 1,000 tons of the precious metal. Now it sold off a large portion of its small remaining holdings.
Photo Credit: Associated Press via CBC

Canada quietly sells its gold

Throughout history, gold has always fascinated mankind. Lately it seems some of that attraction is starting to wear off, at least for governments.

In recent weeks Canada has been selling off its gold reserves, in fact, almost half of the relatively small amount of what it held.

The International Monetary Fund’s International Financial Statistics tracks gold sales and it indicates Canada held 3 tonnes of gold late last year, but that Canada has sold 1.3 tonnes in recent weeks, or just a little over 43 percent of its holdings.

Canada moved off the gold standard in 1929. And some analysts say the Bank of Canada doesn’t need to hold reserves of gold because the country has so much gold *in the ground*. Canada now has just a little over a tonne and a half of gold left in its vaults.
Canada moved off the gold standard in 1929. And some analysts say the Bank of Canada doesn’t need to hold reserves of gold because the country has so much gold *in the ground*. Canada now has just a little over a tonne and a half of gold left in its vaults. © via CBC

The latest sale is part of a long-term plan to move away from gold as an asset. The United States, which holds the largest gold reserves at over 8,000 tonnes, moved away from the gold standard  officially in 1971.Canada abandoned the gold standard in 1929.

Canada has been selling off its gold reserves since the 1965’s when it held over 1,000 tonnes, the highest amount in it’s history.  By 1985, the amount was down to 500 tonnes and it has been decreasing slowly ever since.

This seems to be in favour of holding more readily cashable items like foreign government bonds, or actual currency.

It’s not the first time Canada has sold off large quantities of gold.

A 100th anniversary 2012 minting of a 500 dollar Canadian gold coin bearing the shield of Canadian provinces of the period that appeared on the original 1912 five and ten dollar gold coins
A 100th anniversary 2012 minting of a 500 dollar Canadian gold coin bearing the shield of Canadian provinces of the period that appeared on the original 1912 five and ten dollar gold coins. Some of the originals which had been held for several decades by the Bank of Canada were sold to collectors in 2013 as part of a plan to help balance government books. © mint.ca

In 1912 to 1914 when Canada minted it’s first gold coins, in five and ten dollar denominations, they almost immediately pulled them from circulation to prevent gold falling into enemy hands in the First World War.

Since then most of the coins, almost 250,000 of them had been sitting in bags in government vaults.

In 2013 as part of a larger effort to balance the books, the government offered 30,000 of the coins to collectors, before melting down the rest.

The Canadian five and 10 dollar coins were 90 percent gold, and roughly 8 grams and 16grams respectively. The ten dollar coins sold for between $1,000 to $1.750.

While the government was pleased with the money, collectors who already had the coins were less pleased saying the Bank of Canada sale “flooded the market” and would devalue their collection.

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3 comments on “Canada quietly sells its gold
  1. Gary says:

    Is Canada totally gone insane with the sales of our gold reserves. As fiat currency deminishes to a worthless paper which it is written on.
    Why are all the other countries buying all the gold that they can get?
    The lame excuse that Canada has lots of Gold, but it is still in the ground. Brilliant, a typical responce from a politian.

  2. Sharleen Davies says:

    When and by who was this decision made? I find it alarming that our gold is being sold off with no explanation as to why and where the money is going. I also find it odd that there has not been a lot of reporting on this. Please inform the public as to what is really going on with this issue.

  3. Bonaventure D'sa says:

    The Great Commodity Cycle ended 4 Years ago. No More “Deer in the Headlights look” please. We knew this was coming. Gold climbed from 2000 to 2011 topping out at $ 1923. Oil was one of the last Commodity to drop. I have been sending the warning signals for the last 4 years. We know what to expect, shade of 1982 all over again. Bonaventure D’sa