Inside the Bank of England’s gold bullion vault


Chemistry Professor Martyn Poliakoff and video journalist Brady Haran get a very rare peek into a Bank of England vault where £197billion in gold bars is stored. Beneath the Bank of England in London lies 4,600 tons of gold. The Bank’s precious metal reserves, worth £197 billion ($315bn) according to the mostly recently published figures, are rarely seen by outsiders, but University of Nottingham chemistry Professor Martyn Poliakoff, obtained special permission to visit the high security vault. Accompanied by video journalist Brady Haran, he reveals the incredible sight of row upon row of shiny gold bars displayed like “chocolates in the duty free at the airport”. Standing between piles of 28lb 24-carat gold bullion, Prof Poliakoff confesses however to being somewhat disappointed by the scene. “Gold is an exciting element, it has interesting chemistry and it’s just sitting here doing nothing” he muses. “It’s enormously impressive but it’s a bit sad, rather like a mausoleum where the dead gold is sitting waiting for people to remember it.”

37 thoughts on “Inside the Bank of England’s gold bullion vault”

  1. Only a ton of gold per shelf? There had better be a hell of a lot more than a ton per shelf because those ba should weigh 75 lbs each easy. There’s 30+ in each row and two full rows with some tossed in the middle straddling the rows on several shelves. That’s 60-70 bars per shelf on average and 4500 to 5250 lbs per shelf. Over two “long tons”. What’s interesting is the uniformity of color over what must be hundreds of years worth of gold from a lot of different mines. No metal is that uniform in color over that kind of “history”. It’s said gold doesn’t oxidize but that’s b.s
    Handle it enough and the oils, salts and metals and on our own skin will create acidic deposits on gold that nice, soft, dry gold will easily soak up and soak in. The more “pure” any element it is, the easier it is to contaminate. Melt and pour and mold temps dramatically effect the “finish” of cast ingots of “pure” metals and the more dense the metal and the lower it’s melting point, the harder it is to get a “perfect pour”. As you heat it beyond the melting point so it’s as thin and “wet” as possible, you move closer to the point where upon striking the “cold” mold, the temp differential causes the metal to “crystallize” as it flash boils air and water vapor out of the mold and form a boundary layer and a very porous and even “crumbling” ingot. An overheated mold can cause the same issue. And “cold” melt into a “cold” mold produces a “wavy” and “layered” ingot. And since all ingots are poured “upside down” and the bottom of the mold produces the top of the ingot, any inconsistencies – which are absolutely unavoidable over a “run” of something as small, simple and easy to manage as lead bullets and 1-2 lb lead ingots – there’s no way in hell any two bars cast sequentially from the exact same “supply chain” end up producing one “perfect” bar and one “excellent” bar, much less two perfect identical twins.

    Casting is hot, hard, dirty and dangerous work – laughing my ass off at “metals don’t smell – sulfur is a metal and all metals “smell” with “smell” being the most reliable way to identify them in rock or ore “in the field” – and it does not ever get any easier. At the beginning of a “pour” of several ingots usually you fight “cold” molds and/or melt. That’s a real buzz-kill but every caster knows there will be some “scrap” getting started and you can see the waves and layers “freeze” as you’re pouring. About the time you start getting your heats right it’s usually to think about replenishing the melt. Let it get too low while your molds are just right and you’re really kicking ass and you’ll overheat the melt and endup wit “frosted” ingots. Plus if you let the “pot” get too low when you do add more stock it’s like having to start over again somewhere between “wavy” and “just right” or “just right” and “frosty”. It all depends on the mold temps after recharging and the “trapped” heat in the pot when the melt temp is “right”.

    The temp of a melt is never static. It’s always rising or falling and it has ‘momentum” going both ways because all the heat gets in through the bottom and sides of the pot and out through the “spout”.

    I read awhile back China “withdrew” some gold from that “secure” depository and found they we’re gold-plated or gold-painted tungsten. And I’ve heard amateur YouTube “metallurgists” (gold and/or silver “stackers” from the UK and “Commonwealth” countries mainly) claim that due to the allowable variation in “Good Delivery” bar weights, it’s possible to “plug” hollowed-out gold bars with “tungsten” and make them ‘udetectable” without “destroying” them.

    Boy, with “knowledge” of basic “Earth Science” like that and “Commonwealth” education systems being what they must be to “educate” people that clueless, is it a coincidence several “Commonwealth” governments – i.e. “Her Majesty’s Treasury – fairly recently got into the “legal tender” gold coin “biz” in a BIG way?

    I mean if you have “citizens” that stupid and/or dishonest out therethere buying and/or shillng your “four nines” legal tender for you, assuming yur “citizens” really are the “smartest” and “best-educated” folks on Earth, you could really break it off in every “gold bug’s” ass and screw over your “allies” and “enemies” and even your own “citizens” with complete confidence no one will ever know
    As long as you “control” the “gold market” and can play the old shell game with “vaulted gold” and keep everybody stupid about basic physics.

    Otherwise, if it turns out YOUR “citizens” are idiots amd your education system is shit and other “developed nation’s” teach kids things like density and specific gravity and the Periodic Table, all it takes is a junior high science class graduate with a really big graduated cylinder level full of fresh water, a means of collecting all the “spillover” when a “plugged” bar is lowered in and measuring the remainder after lifting it out, some really simple math to determine the volume of the bar by measuring the water volume “lost” which is that displaced by the bar (subtracting the remainder plus the “loss” from the original volume is a good “proof” your original-minus-lost volume calculation is legit) and then an accurate scale is used to weigh the bar. Density = Mass/Volume.

    And there is no way in hell to get a “solid gold” bar’s density to be anything other than the density of “pure gold” minus a very tiny percentage for the “not quite pure” factor.

    And there is no way in hell to make or fake a “solid gold bar” using any other metal as “filler” with gold around it or alloyed with gold and painted or plated over to give it that impossible “perfect” shine pretty much every bar in your “vault” there has.

    The density test never, ever lies. Which is probably how the Chinese just KNEW they weren’t “defacing” or “destroying” a real “Good Delivery” bar.

    If your “math” only shows a “ton” of gold per shelf, maybe you’d best hire some Chinese or American middle-schoolers to “assay” all that “pure gold” before the next shipment of “plugs” goes out.

  2. The banksters are all common thieves , check these minutes I found on google that was taken from a meeting back in 1920’s
    Macmillan, New York, p. 326
    * When people of this class are stricken by guilt feelings while plotting world wars and economic depressions which will bring misery, suffering and death to millions of the world’s inhabitants, they sometimes have qualms. These qualms are jeered at by their peers as “a failure of nerve”. After a bout with their psychiatrists, they return to their work with renewed gusto, with no further digressions of pity for “the little people” who are to be their victims. Carroll Quigley : Tragedy & Hope
    The Ultimate Bankster Quote – from a former Governor of the Bank of England (1920 – 1944)
    Posted on April 4, 2011 | 32 Comments

    “Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.
    “When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.
    “These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance.
    “It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”
    All these scumbags should be strung up like that other gangster Mussolini was

  3. The Bank of England, should change their brand label to the Bank of the United Kingdom, or another name that encompasses the entire 5 nations of the UK, rather than just one. Surely as the central bank of the United Kingdom, it should not be just named after one of the 5 countries of the United Kingdom. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Cornwall should also be represented by the Bank of England. Also the Bank of the United Kingdom should have members made by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish elected rulers? How would the English like it is the Bank of England was named after Scotland or Wales or Cornwall, or Northern Ireland? It is offensive to the Celtic nations that the Celtic nations are not represented in the label.

    1. You had the Royal Bank of Scotland that went well didn’t it. Its a name of a business its got nothing to do with England only the fact that 310 tons belong to the treasury. Its in the square mile which is owned by the banks has its own police force and the Queen has to have permission to enter in an official capacity. Its like the Vatican in Rome.

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