3. Gold Sight and Gold Earmarked Accounts by BOB LAMBORNE

The above description of gold trading introduces two important types of gold account used by the BIS and central banks for gold trading. These two different account types are in use today and are mentioned in recent BIS Annual Reports, but they are not, unfortunately, defined in these Annual Reports.

The May 1997 document, INTRODUCTORY NOTE ON THE BANK FOR INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS 1930 – 1945, provides the following definitions in a footnote, which have been confirmed via an email to the writer as still in use today by the BIS:

Gold on earmarked accounts is allocated gold. The Bank's obligation with respect to gold held in such accounts is to place on demand at the disposal of its depositors, at the central bank where the deposit was constituted, the identical bars which had originally been deposited with it.

Gold on sight accounts is unallocated gold. The Bank's obligation with respect to gold held in such accounts is to place on demand at the disposal of its depositors, at the central bank where the deposit was constituted, gold bars of the same type as it has received, up to the total fine weight standing to the credit of the account.

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