The first gold reserves in France were created in 1285 by King Philip the Fair. The reserves were used to finance the military campaigns of the Hundred Years’ War. The reserves were depleted during the reign of King Charles V, who used the gold to finance his wars in Italy. King Charles VI restored the reserves, but they were again depleted during the Hundred Years’ War. King Louis XI created a new set of reserves in 1464, which were used to finance his wars in Italy and Burgundy. These reserves were once again depleted during the French Wars of Religion. King Henry IV replenished the reserves in 1604, but they were again depleted during the Thirty Years’ War. King Louis XIV increased the reserves in 1693, but they were depleted during the War of the Spanish Succession. King Louis XV increased the reserves again in 1715, but they were once again depleted during the Seven Years’ War. King Louis XVI increased the reserves for the last time in 1789, just before the start of the French Revolution.
The first official French gold reserves were created in 1792, during the French Revolution, and consisted of gold coins seized from the French royal family and the Catholic Church. These reserves were later increased during the Napoleonic Wars, when France acquired large amounts of gold from its conquests. After the fall of Napoleon, the French gold reserves were once again increased, this time through the sale of French colonial possessions in North America. This gold helped fund the construction of the Panama Canal and the purchase of the Suez Canal. During the First World War, the French gold reserves were once again depleted, as the country was forced to finance its war effort through borrowing. In the inter-war period, the gold reserves were gradually rebuilt, and by the time of the Second World War, they had reached their pre-war levels. During the Second World War, the French gold reserves were once again confiscated by the German government. However, they were later returned to France after the war. The French gold reserves have continued to grow in recent years, and as of 2019, they are valued at over $100 billion.