Fifteen years since Gordon Brown announced sale of UK’s gold reserves

7th May 2014

On the 15th anniversary of the UK’s gold sale ushered in Gordon Brown, Bullionvault has calculated what the gold would be worth if sold at today’s prices.

Fifteen years ago the UK government announced it would sell 415 of the country’s 715 tonnes in gold reserves.

Head of research Adrian Ash says: “The UK wasn’t alone in selling down its national gold reserves at the turn of the century. Plenty of politicians mistook Europe’s hard-won peace and economic stability for the ‘end of history’.

The manner of New Labour’s announcement was unique however, shocking the market whilst at the same time giving it 2 months to drop before actual sales began. Gold prices fell 10% between the May announcement and the first auction in July 1999.”

What if…?

He adds: “Sterling value of sales achieved was some £2.3bn between July 1999 and March 2002. If all those 395 tonnes were sold at this morning’s AM Fix, the sale would have fetched £9.8bn. You can’t sell that much all at once of course. If done instead over the last 3 years, average price would mean proceeds above £12.2bn.”

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