Fort Knox is famous as one of the largest depositories of gold in the world. But how much is in Fort Knox, exactly? Altogether, there is said to be $278.3 billion worth of gold of various standards of purity in the depository. As you might expect, the security around Fort Knox is very tight, with some people even speculating that the vaults are actually empty (!).
The vault was built in 1936 in Fort Knox, Kentucky, in order to hold all of the gold collected from President Roosevelt's Executive Order 6102. The law made owning gold coins, bullion, and certificates, privately, illegal. By the time all of the gold was rounded up from US citizens, there was nearly $12 billion worth, 3 times the amount controlled by the government prior to the law going into effect. The vault where the gold is kept, is only accessible via a 20-foot, 21-inch thick door. Inside the vault, there are many other doors that control entry to small portions of the gold. Fort Knox also houses rare coins and items of historical significance. For example, the Declaration of Independence is moved there during times of war.
Between Fort Knox and the U.S. Federal Reserve in Manhattan, the US holds 2.5% of all of the gold ever refined, and owns more gold than any other nation. If all of the gold in Fort Knox was melted down into a cube, the cube would 20.3 feet on each side!