The statue is located in the temple of Wat Traimit, Bangkok, Thailand. At one point in its history the statue was covered with a layer of stucco and coloured glass to conceal its true value, and it remained in this condition for almost 200 years, ending up as what was then a pagoda of minor significance. During relocation of the statue in 1955, the plaster was chipped off and the gold revealed.

The origins of this statue are uncertain. It is made in the Sukhothai Dynasty style of the 13th-14th centuries, though it could have been made after that time. The head of the statue is egg-shaped, which indicates its origin in the Sukothai period. Given that Sukothai art had Indian influences and metal figures of the Buddha made in India used to be taken to various countries for installation, this suggests the Golden Buddha statue may have been cast in parts in India. Later, the statue was probably moved from Sukhothai to Ayutthaya, about 1403.

At US$1,400 per troy ounce, the gold in the statue (18 karat) is estimated to be worth 250 million dollars. The body of the statue is 40% pure, the volume from the chin to the forehead is 80% pure, and the hair and the topknot, weighing 45 kg, are 99% pure gold.

On 14 February 2010, a large new building was inaugurated at the Wat Traimit Temple to house the Gold Buddha. The building also contains the Bangkok Chinatown Heritage Centre and an exhibition on the origin of the Gold Buddha.

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