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Libyan gold valued at $6.5bn - BBC News

23 March 2011 Last updated at 10:18 ET

Libya has gold reserves amongst the top 25 in the world, worth more than $6.5bn at current prices.

The reserves, which are kept within Libya, could see Colonel Gaddafi through an extended period of tough economic sanctions and asset seizures by the international community.

History tells us that armies have long been paid in gold or other metals - troops of the Roman empire, for example, were paid in silver and bronze coins.

Could Colonel Gaddafi use Libya's gold to pay the army or mercenaries?

World Business News' Manuela Saragosa spoke to Adrian Ash, head of research at Bullion Vault, an online gold trading firm, in London.

The full audio and transcript of the interview is below: