The New York headquarters of the Federal Reserve is either home to 6,200 tons of gold, a bunch of fake gold bars, or next to no gold, depending on whom you ask. 

The Fed has long claimed its vaults hold the world's largest gold stockpile worth as much as $260 billion. But some "wonder if the bank is hiding something about what it's hiding," in the words of the Wall Street Journal. As one precious-metals analyst explains, the Fed has "never in its history provided any proof" of its gold stores beneath lower Manhattan. 

Visitors see only a sample of bars—which some suspect could be gold-plated tungsten of an equal weight—and only auditors and account holders are allowed to review records; the last audit of Fed gold, involving 367 samples, was in 2012.

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