The first gold coins were minted around 550 BC under King Croesus of Lydia — a province in modern-day Turkey. It quickly became accepted payment for merchants and mercenary soldiers around the Mediterranean. Up until 1492, the year Columbus sailed to America, Thomson Reuters GFMS estimates that 12,780 tones of gold had been extracted.The World Gold Council estimates that all the gold ever mined totaled 187,200 metric tons in 2017. At a price of US$1,250 per troy ounce, reached on 16 August 2017, the total value of all gold ever mined would exceed US$7.5 trillion using WGC 2017 estimates. Gold is a safe and secure way for an individual or a country to store its wealth.
According to a World Gold Council January 2019 estimate the gold holding by top countries/organisations is shown in the table below. Gold has been a safe and secure way for individuals and countries to store their savings and wealth for more than 2,000 years.