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I recently saw a National Geographic special about money and the central bank. The documentary took viewers into the vault at the NY Fed, where gold bars are stored. Although the security is really tight, anyone may sign up for a tour there. The film also went to places where cameras are usually not allowed, like the National Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which prints dollar bills.

It also went to offices deep underground in the gold and diamond district of New York City. I thought Suzanne would be interested to see the broker who buys gold. Being in the jewelry business with Luna & Stella, she naturally is aware that gold has been expensive since the economic downturn. The film showed the multilingual broker buying small bags of gold objects, which were then shown being melted down and made into a gold bar.

National Geographic has also blogged about the movie: “What Jake Ward of Popular Science magazine discovers in this one hour special is that without the engines that power the world’s financial systems, that world would grind to a halt.

America’s Money Vault follows 55 million dollars worth of gold as it makes its way down into the most valuable gold vault in the world. Hidden deep under the streets of New York City, hundreds of billion dollars in gold bars  …

“Jake goes behind the storefronts to see how everybody from the street level to the brokers make their money buying, selling and even finding gold. He meets Onikwa Thomas who calls himself the urban miner and claims to earn up to four hundred dollars a week off of gold specks found in the cracks of sidewalks.”  More from the documentary.

P.S. Speaking of Luna & Stella, Suzanne’s birthstone jewelry company, gold vermeil angel wings can make a lovely gift for the right person.

Photograph: National Geographic

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