Take a trip to the Bank of England’s gold vault

Mike Krumboltz
The Sideshow

It's a video that would make 007 supervillain Goldfinger drool. A professor and cameraman were allowed inside the Bank of England's gold bullion vault, where they captured footage of tons and tons of gold bars.

All told, the bars are worth an estimated $315 billion. The scientist in the video, Professor Martyn Poliakoff, explains that the Bank of England and other central banks keep the gold locked up because while other forms of currency rise and fall, the value of gold is relatively stable throughout the years.

[Related: Economic uncertainty chips away at gold prices]

The vault, of course, is very secure. And yet, the decor is a bit drab. Blue metal shelves. Boring green floor. Based on the heist movies we've seen, we were expecting the vault to look like the inside of an Apple store. Instead, it resembles a high-school basement.

Poliakoff doesn't lament that he can't sneak a bar or two under his jacket. Rather he expresses regret that the gold is just sitting in a vault when it could be doing something more interesting. "Gold is an exciting element," he said. "It has interesting chemistry. And it's just sitting here doing nothing. It's enormously impressive, but it's a bit sad."