Why Are Government Banks Dropping the U.S. Dollar for Gold?





Why Are Government Banks Dropping the U.S. Dollar for Gold?
Why Are Government Banks Dropping the U.S. Dollar for Gold?


In 2022 and 2023, central banks around the world have purchased more gold than they have since the 1950's.

This may seem rather odd, unless you understand the full picture of how gold benefits these government banks and where the U.S. dollar falls short. Here’s why it’s happening and how this phenomenon can impact individual gold investors.

Chart Central Bank
Sources: Metals Focus, Refinitiv GFMS, World Gold Council; Disclaimer*Data as of 31 December 2023

Why Central Banks Choose Gold

There are a variety of reasons that central banks choose gold. Gold reduces several types of risk for these government banks. It has a good long-term outlook, and it’s a store of value that is hard for other countries to manipulate. Let’s dive deeper into each of these reasons.

Diversifying to Minimize Risks Associated with the Dollar

Central banks still keep many investments based on the U.S. dollar, even though they are buying more gold. Diversifying with gold makes sense for them because gold prices usually have an inverse relationship with the value of the dollar. When the dollar is weak, gold is worth more. Thus, gold has a counterbalancing effect for any investments they have that go down as the dollar goes down.

Reducing Geopolitical and Economic Risks

In many countries, the political scene is in chaos these days. Even the United States has seen some political turmoil. When this happens, it affects the dollar more than it affects gold. Gold is always valuable, as shown by its historical performance. When a war is going on or the economy crashes in one of these countries, their currency may lose value rapidly. Gold, though, maintains its value, primarily because when people no longer trust the U.S. dollar, they still trust in the value of gold. 

Less Worry About Other Governments Controlling Their Assets

One reason many countries’ central banks prefer gold is because the U.S. has so much global power that it can often control these countries’ assets. For example, by imposing economic sanctions, the United States or another country or group of countries can freeze a country’s assets. However, it’s much harder for them to freeze the gold than it is to freeze the dollar. This is a major reason why, for the last few years, Russia and China have dramatically increased their gold purchases.

Long-Term Outlook for Gold Is Positive

This move towards hoarding gold is not just a flash in the pan. When central banks recognize that the future of gold looks extremely positive, they’re not just thinking of the short term - they’re considering how gold will benefit their bank in the years to come.

Finding and Mining New Gold Is Getting Harder

There was a time when being able to find and mine gold was a given. However, there are more people now, so even if the percentage of people that buy gold is the same as before, the total gold demand is higher. That means newly mined gold is needed to meet that demand.

Unfortunately, finding new sources of gold is getting harder. After all, gold is a finite resource, and we have already taken much of it from the earth. In addition, many of the locations where gold could be found are so politically unstable that mining companies avoid them. While the technology for mining is improving, the cost of mining it is increasing. When gold mining companies need to use more elaborate equipment to extract the gold, the cost of getting it is higher, driving the price of gold up with it.

Gold Charts

Currency Fluctuations

Central banks may have some of their holdings in U.S. dollars as well as other currencies. There may be times when they need to do business with another country, but their currency is weak. In that case, they can make the exchange in gold. The other country will trust that gold more than they might trust a weak currency. 

How Central Banks’ Gold-Buying Affects Individuals

So, what does this accumulation of gold in central banks have to do with the individual investor? Buying gold now, when central banks are adding it, makes sense for several reasons.

  • When central banks buy more gold, they drive its price higher for individuals, too. At this point, the price is likely to go higher still..
  • Banks recognize the increased demand and limited supply of gold, and investors who invest in gold now will benefit the most from the situation.
  • If the U.S. imposes sanctions on an individual’s country, that action affects the individual, too. Those who have gold will be able to withstand the sanctions.

When the central banks buy more gold, it’s usually an excellent time to follow their lead. In the past, at times when central banks were selling more gold, gold prices dropped. However, currently, as banks buy more gold, the gold price is rising, and is expected to continue going up overall for the long term.

True Gold Republic Offers Expert Insights

True Gold Republic is a gold seller focusing on Gold IRAs for individuals. We believe in educating our customers so they can understand the value of gold and what that means for them. Learn more about gold today by contacting us. Here, you can speak to experts and gain fresh insights into the world of gold investing. 


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