Gringotts had branches across the wizarding world, in England and abroad.
The goblin workers wear a uniform of scarlet and gold and they welcomed people when they enter the bank. The goblins wrote on large ledgers, weighed coins and glowing rubies the size of coals on brass scales, and examined stones. To gain access to any vault in Gringotts, you had to have a specific token. A goblin will take you to a cart and drive you underground to get what you need.
There were three kinds of coins: gold Galleons, silver Sickles, and bronze Knuts. There were seventeen sickles to a galleon and twenty-nine knuts to a sickle. Gringotts exchanged Muggle currency for these coins.
The level of security around each vault increased the deeper down the cart goes and vary in size. The vaults near the surface were smaller and had minimal security but the deepest vaults belonged to ancient and wealthy wizarding families.
At the medium level where the Potter family kept their valuables, the right key would unlock the door. At a deeper level where the Philosopher's Stone was kept, any thief will be pulled through the door and be trapped in there until a goblin checked to see whether anyone was inside, which only happened once every ten years.
(? - 1981)
(1981 - )
Diagon Alley branch
The building towered above every shop in Diagon Alley. It was snowy-white and had white stone steps leading up to bronze doors. These doors in turn led to another pair of doors, now silver. Through the silver doors was a marble hall that had long counters. There were many doors which led to rooms adjacent from the hall.
Through a door in the main hall was a narrow stone passageway which sloped steeply down towards railway tracks. The goblin worker accompanied and guided the customer to their vault, whistling at the railway tracks for a cart to arrive. The rattling cart, for which there was only one speed, would travel through tight maze of twisting passages and corners going deeper and deeper into the ground. It got colder and colder the deeper the carts go. There was a ravine.
The silver doors had these words engraved:
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
In summer 1991, the vault that had the Philosopher's Stone was broken into the same day that Hagrid took the Philosopher's Stone from it. An investigation was launched and it was determined that unknown Dark witches and wizards probably tried to get in but in a statement, the workers stated that nothing had been stolen. A goblin spokesperson later told interviewers he wasn't going to tell anyone what was in it. It was later discovered that the thief was Voldemort searching for the Philosopher's Stone.
In summer 1992, Harry and the Weasley family collected funds for their shopping trip. Harry saw how empty their vault was, and thought he had to hide the inside of the Potter vault because he was way richer. In summer 1993, Harry collected funds again when he was staying at the Leaky Cauldron, and purchased new school things, and dined at cafés.
Notes and sources
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 1
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 25
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 4