I held £400,000 of gold in my hands this morning, in the Bank of England, and no I wasn’t chased out by security. They let me.
We couldn’t take any photos of it, but we walked through along the fabulous mosaic hallways, were taken through a brief history of the bank site (originally in rented accommodation, they moved to a purpose-built site in Threadneedle street, where they are now, then compulsory purchased the next-door church! which they bulldozed), wandered through the incredibly plush bank governers quarters, perused the Polish crystal-ware kept for the Queen luncheons, before we came to the highlight of the tour – the banknote museum. No really, the gold bar holding. Awesome. It’s 13kg and heavier than you think it would be.
Cool geek fact – Queen Elisabeth II is the first UK monarch to be featured on UK paper notes.
I’m just disappointed we couldn’t keep the gold bar.
I have however ever put in a good word for you with the security guards, and if you ask nicely you can play with 17kgs of a gold bar. How is that for an unexpected blog reading perk? It was pretty cool, an unusual ways to spend a morning. Check out their website if you’re interested (and get there early!). There are only a few weekends they open in the year, but it’s worth it.