The gold market is not centralized only in the buying / selling of physical gold or its derivatives called "futures" are traded on the stock exchange. This is a huge market. And only through the LBMA agency is one of the most important markets based in London, is traded daily gold value greater than the cost of the oil consumed every day around the world, ie, 87 million barrels (8.7 billion dollars if we calculate the price of 100 USD / barrel). There is a huge paper gold market and imaginary movable price regardless of the status of the physical market. And that's not all. According GATA (Gold Antitrust Action Committee), banks sold gold based on the fractional system. GATA assumed that was sold around 50,000 tonnes of imaginary physical gold.
It is divided into three parts:
COMEX: is the exchange where gold is trading (futures contracts traded gold here). In other words when we talk about the price of gold, we often talk about the current future contract traded on COMEX. It should be noted that this price is different to the prices of the physical market. However, the COMEX price is taken as a reference point.
OTC DERIVATIVES MARKET: OTC is short for OVER-THE-COUNTER and represents the market for equities, bonds, commodities and financial derivatives exchanges. This is the market that closes between two parties without the intermediation of the bag. In the case of gold talk about the OTC derivatives are forwards, swaps and options. The largest OTC market can find in London. This is the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) there is trading each day with more than 20 million ounces of gold (OTC derivatives and physical gold). LBMA represents 95% of the global OTC market in precious metals.
PHYSICAL MARKET: The physical market is the largest market. The LBMA represents over 90% of all the precious metals market. The partnership allows only business between its members and the business is overseen by the Bank of England. In LBMA is trading with gold and silver. The minimum market size is 50,000 ounces of silver and 1,000 ounces of gold. In the partnership, more than 120 members of various levels - the most important members are market makers.