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When someone thinks of investing in gold or other precious metals to keep themselves well-sustained in the long-term, it’s mostly a financial decision. It’s something that will protect you from inflation, or, after retirement, will allow you to live a comfortable life.

What most of us don’t know is that precious metals have larger roles to play on the world stage and in the history books. In fact, if not for gold, history would have been told differently.

One episode that reigns supreme is that of the French gold horde—one that was arguably the world’s largest stockpile of gold—all in Paris.

The Gold Vault of Banque de France

It took the Banque de France three years to successfully complete building its gold vault. Thousands of construction workers worked on it, and before the Second World War broke out, the vault had 2,500 metric tons of gold.

All was well. And then news of the annexation of Sudeten (in Czechoslovakia) reached France. Nazi Germany was gaining on its neighboring regions, and France wasn’t far off.

Gold Transfers

French officials, acting wisely, took 600 tons of gold, and shipped it to the United States—for storage and safety. It was also their cop-out collateral: if they should need money for weapons to fight Germany, all they had to do was tell the USA. to monetize the gold. It was a clever plan.

By 1939, other branches of the bank (in Belgium and Poland) had also shifted their gold—to France and to the United States. This transfer of gold accelerated when Hitler took over Poland and Belgium.

The gold was shipped on all kinds of modes of transport: wagons and cruisers, trains, and whatnot. Countries in the West were their sole guardians of gold, and it saved them much trouble after the capitulation of Paris.

What You Can Take Away from this Episode

There are several history lessons hidden here, but there’s also one about economy and finances: be it an individual or an invading Reich, gold is a precious metal that can make or break your future.

Investing in it, therefore, is always a good idea—because great governments have done the same. France knew that even after its surrender to Germany, its gold would be safe, and that was some respite.

If you’ve been interested in making long-term plans through gold investments or IRAs, reach out to us at Orion Metal Exchange and we can provide all the guidance you need!

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