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Gold reserves (or gold holdings) are held by central banks as a store of value. At the end of 2004 central banks and official organizations held 19% of all above ground gold as a reserve asset. In 2001, it was estimated that all the gold ever mined totalled 145,000 tonnes. As one metric tonne equals 1,000 kilograms (or 32,150 troy ounces), this equated to a value of US$3 trillion in April 2006. For comparison, the entire global market capitalization for all stock markets was US$43.6 trillion in March 2006. About one percent of all above ground gold (370 metric tonnes) was mined in the first five years of the California Gold Rush (worth approximately US$7.2 billion at November 2006 prices).

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