You can find 37 gold bars in the Sierra Madre Vault, which is accessible only during the quest Heist of the Centuries. Due to their tremendous weight and the script of the final quest-line, it is difficult, but possible, to retrieve them all.
There are 36 gold bars on a table to your right as you open the vault door together with some pre-War money, and the 37th is on the desk near the Vault control terminal.
- The gold bars are symbolic of the Sierra Madre's moral lesson. The 37 bars found have immense value, but are not meant to be obtainable outside the vault, due to their extraordinarily high weight and the fact that players attempting to keep them (without utilizing a glitch or complicated method) will die. This is a nod to the message constantly restated in the add-on - the hardest part of the Sierra Madre is letting go.
- This item is currently the fourth most valuable item in New Vegas, being surpassed in value only by the unique Tesla-Beaton prototype, Red Glare and Elijah's jury-rigged Tesla cannon. 37 bars are found in the game, adding up to a value of 389,943 caps and a total weight of 1,295 pounds.
- Possible buyers of gold bars:
- The hologram vendors in the Sierra Madre each have 2,500 units of pre-War money. Bear in mind that you will only be able to do this before leaving the Sierra Madre as you can't return.
- The Vendortron at the Gun Runners has around 8,000 caps.
- The Quartermaster in the Brotherhood of Steel Bunker; Knight Torres often has 8,000 caps.
- Daniel Contreras the NCR Supply Merchant in Camp McCarran also usually has 8,000 caps and above.
- Arms merchant, A supply merchant at the 188 Trading Post usually has around 8,000 caps or more.
- Alexander, a Gun Runner merchant at the 188 Trading Post also has 8,000 caps or more.
- Blake will sometimes spawn with 12,000 caps or more.
- Cliff Briscoe has a Paciencia (GRA) in his stock which easily worth over 10,000 caps.
- Old Lady Gibson may have 8,000 or more caps later in the game.
- Sink Central Intelligence Unit has a variable high amount, up to 24,000 caps.
- The Commissary terminals in the Divide will have around 6,000 caps, and will replenish anytime their reserves drop below 200 caps after the player exits the menu.
- Calamity in the Jacobstown lodge usually has around 4,000 caps or more later in the game.
- The total weight of the 37 gold bars combined is 1,295, but the highest possible Carry Weight that can be reached by normal means is 375 (10 Strength, the Strong Back and Burden to Bear perks, the Hoarder trait). This means that a maximum of 10 of the 37 bars (for a total of 350) can be taken without the Courier becoming over-encumbered.
- A gold bar cannot be moved with the "grab" command when dropped.
- Despite their large base value, gold bars are only worth 301 caps or roughly 750 NCR dollars per pound.
- The gold bar shares the same Pip-Boy icon as the steel ingot from the Fallout 3 add-on The Pitt.
- The imprint on the gold bars says "10 oz pure gold" however this does not make any sense given their size and weight. A 10 ounce bar of gold is only a few centimeters thick, it is about the length of a credit card and half the height of one, and weighs only slightly more than half a pound. In reality 37 10 ounce gold bars only weigh a bit over 23 pounds. These gold bars weighing 35 pounds means that they are 560 ounces of gold each which is not a traded gold bar. The most common large gold bar is 400 ounces and it is physically larger than the ones in game appear to be. Making them the standard 400 ounce bar would still mean that they were 25 pounds each and you would never be able to bring all of them back in a legitimate way. It seems odd that the developer didn't look into this very well and the numbers assigned to the bars appear to be based on how many you can carry out without being overencumbered.