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Gringotts Wizarding Bank is the only known bank of the wizarding world and it is operated primarily by goblins. A snowy white building, near the intersection of Knockturn Alley and Diagon Alley, Gringotts towers over all neighbouring shops. Customers pass through a set of bronze doors and then silver ones before entering the lobby. The main floor is paved with marble and has long counters stretching along its length. Within, wizards and witches keep their money and other valuables in vaults that are protected by very complex and very strong security measures. The vaults extend for miles under London and are accessible through rough stone passageways and then by means of magic carts that travel speedily along their tracks.[PS Ch.5] Gringotts also offers Muggle-Wizarding currency exchange.[CS Ch.4]
When Harry first visits Gringotts, he is told by Hagrid that one would have to be mad to try to rob Gringotts.[PS Ch.5] Goblins are extremely greedy and will protect their money and valuables at any cost, which is the reason why they are ideal guardians for the valuables of the wizarding world. In addition, according to Hagrid, apart from Hogwarts, Gringotts is considered "the safest place in the world for anything you want to keep safe".
There are a number of methods to opening the vaults. Most vaults, such as Harry's, use small golden keys. Higher security vaults may have various enchantments or other measures upon the doors. For example, the door to Vault 713 needs to be stroked by a certified Gringotts goblin, which causes the locks to retract to the centre of the door. If anyone other than a certified Gringotts goblin touches the door, that person will be sucked into the vault, which is only checked for trapped thieves about once every 10 years. Dragons guard the especially high security vaults found in the lowest reaches of the bank.
Gringotts Vault 713 held a small parcel wrapped in paper, inside of which was the Philosopher's Stone. Dumbledore sent Hagrid to retrieve it while he escorted Harry.[PS Ch.5] Later that very same day, Professor Quirrell broke into the vault under orders of Voldemort. Although he was unsuccessful in obtaining the Philosopher's Stone, the break-in shocked the wizarding world because it was practically unheard of for Gringotts to be robbed. In Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, aided by a reluctant Griphook, break into the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange where a Horcrux of Voldemort (Hufflepuff's cup) is hidden. However, when they go into Bellatrix's vault, which is stocked with all manners of treasure, they find out that the treasure has had Gemino and Flagrante charms placed on it, which, respectively, cause any item to multiply rapidly and go red-hot whenever it is touched. The trio escape with the Horcrux by freeing a half-blind dragon that was part of the security for the vault, and clambering onto its back. The trio inside the vault and the subsequent escape by dragon are illustrated in the U.K. Edition, the U.S. deluxe edition and on the cover of the Dutch translation of the book.
While Gringotts is largely staffed by goblins, including Griphook and Ragnok, it is known that the bank has human employees, though not apparently for banking and accounting services. Bill Weasley worked as a curse-breaker for Gringotts in Egypt, retrieving artefacts from ancient Egyptian tombs and pyramids. Fleur Delacour took a part-time job with Gringotts after participating in the Triwizard Tournament, apparently to improve her English skills, and Wizard guards are mentioned in Deathly Hallows during the break in.