SAFELY STORING PRECIOUS METALS

So you have made the decision to add physical gold to your investment portfolio. Congratulations! A portion of your wealth is now outside the fragile global financial system. Your investment in gold and precious metals is completely private and tangible. You actually have it in your hand! Perhaps you have already received your gold. If you purchased from Midas Gold Group, that boasts the industry’s fastest delivery times, you likely have received it.

We believe your decision to diversify your portfolio with gold is responsible and likely to prove profitable in years to come. However, you are now faced with an entirely new responsibility: keeping your gold safe and secure.

Investors employ a number of different strategies to secure their precious metals but you essentially have four main options to consider:

  1. Storing precious metals in your home
  2. Storing gold in a secret location outside of your home
  3. Storing precious metals at your local bank or credit union
  4. Storing gold at a private depository

Some of our clients even spread out their holdings between two or more of these options. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks. Based on our experience and our understanding of the reasons people buy gold, we have certain preferences. Here we provide an overview of each option as well as the benefits and drawbacks to each.

STORING PRECIOUS METALS IN YOUR HOME

If you are like a majority of gold investors, at least part of your motivation for owning gold was to take a percentage of your wealth out of the financial system of paper and electronic assets. Perhaps part of your motivation was also a desire to have private wealth that was not recorded on a ledger accessible to third parties.

When you can safely hold your precious metals at home, we believe that this is an ideal option. Many investors like the security of having direct control over and ready access to their gold bullion or coins.

Of course, this may not always be possible or practical. If you rent, you may not be able to install secure storage or a home security system. If you live in an unsafe neighborhood, it may not be a wise or practical option.

Other downsides to storing precious metals in your home is that you may not have the 24-hour surveillance and monitoring of third-party storage facilities. You also may not have insurance against loss or theft that you can get through third-party storage. If you are storing gold in your home, we recommend that you check to see if you have coverage under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy or if such coverage is available.

Options for Storing Your Gold at Home

upright safe for storing precious metals

Home Safe

You may have made a significant investment in precious metals, and you wish to participate in the full benefits of having private assets at home. If so, it is probably worth making an additional investment in a home-safe if you do not already have one. However, don’t simply buy any safe. A cheap tin safe that an intruder can easily identify and simply pick up and walk off with may be worse than no safe at all.

Upright Safes

Upright safes come in many sizes. Some cheap safes weigh only a few pounds and some of the more secure and costly versions can weigh thousands of pounds. A secure upright safe combined with a home security system can be a very effective way to secure your gold. An upright safe, especially when bolted to the foundation of your home, can be extremely difficult for a thief to break or move. However, a large safe is very hard to hide, so if a break-in does occur it will be a target. If you do move or ever wish to relocate your upright safe, it can be moved with manpower and proper moving equipment. When shopping for an upright safe, you should check the burglary ratings and fire ratings for that safe.

One common burglary rating for safes is the TL rating. TL rated safes are combination locking safes that offer protection against cutting tools. A safe rated TL-15 has passed a standardized test that 15 minutes of working time was required to be opened by a locksmith with electronic cutting tools. Safes rated TL-30 and TL 60 required 30 and 60 minutes of working time respectively.

Floor Safes

A floor safe is both a discreet and secure way to safeguard your gold. A floor safe is actually installed in your home by creating a hole in the home’s foundation, inserting the safe, and then securing it by pouring cement around it. The floor safe can be hidden below carpeting and even floorboards. Ken Kitchens, the owner of Arizona Lock & Safe has installed hundreds of floor safes. Ken recommends against installing the floor safe in a closet, which is the first place that burglars tend to look but hidden in a place like a living room under both carpet and a heavy piece of furniture such as a bookcase or piano.

The floor safe is both discrete and secure. Short of destroying a home foundation, the floor safe is virtually impossible to move. This is a great feature for protection but it also means you probably can’t move the safe and if you move you may just need to leave it behind. The floor safe is also not an option for renters or homes without a foundation such as a high-rise condo.

floor safe to store gold

Selective Storage

Selective storage is the simplest and least expensive method for storing precious metals. This is the theory of “hiding in plain sight”. The theory is to put the gold where no one would think the look such as in a coffee can or inside of the mattress.

Some people get very creative with selective storage and employ such strategies as:

  • Building secret components into walls for furniture
  • Inside of the dirt of a potted plant
  • In air conditioning ducts
  • In false piping that appears to be simply plumbing, but is not connected to a water source

Because gold is non-corrosive, people can store it in water such as inside of a fish tank. People have baked gold coins and bars into loaves of bread that are put in the freezer.

Selective storage can become very creative but is not without risk. If the gold is found, a thief can quickly take off with it. Further, people can lose track of their secret hiding place after years.

STORING PRECIOUS METALS OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME

As creative as people can get storing gold at home, they get equally creative finding places to store the gold outside of the home. Yes, we even have clients with hidden “treasure maps” to their gold buried in remote locations.

Treasure Maps

Burying gold in a desert or wilderness can be a very risky venture for many of us. Many people would have difficulty locating the exact burial location especially after years of possible overgrowth. If you don’t pay attention to such things as elevation and flood patterns, your secret burial location can be washed away in a flood. This tactic might be a good option for the avid wilderness enthusiast but is a risky tactic for most investors.

treasure map

Leaving With a Trusted Third Party

Some investors may have a trusted family member or even an attorney-trustee with secure storage capability, with whom they can leave their gold. Many people feel secure with their assets stored with a trusted third party. However, when your gold is in the hands of a third party, no matter how trustworthy, you may give up some control and some ease of access.

STORING GOLD AT A BANK OR LOCAL CREDIT UNION

Some clients are not comfortable with the idea of having their precious metals in their home. For these clients, a bank safety deposit box or bank depository may be an ideal solution. Banks offer multiple layers of internal and external security so you can rest assured that your gold is very safe from theft. However, this method may cost you several hundred dollars in fees every year.

When storing your gold with a bank, you may lose some of gold’s advantage of acting as diversification away from the banking system. If your gold is stored in a bank safety deposit box, your access to that gold is limited to the bank’s hours of operation.

Again, with your gold at the bank, your safety deposit box contents may take on risk related to the stability of that bank. In 2008, the US taxpayers bailed out many of the country’s banks and financial systems. A number of financial experts agree that during the next crash, the US cannot initiate another bailout. Rather, this time the banking system may require a bail-in, meaning that deposit holders will be on the hook for the bank’s credit obligations and will give up at least portions of their deposits. We saw this bail-in in action during the European debt crisis when large account holders with Cypress Banks were on put on the hook for their bank’s obligations when they failed. Forbes magazine called this bail-in a “test run” for the world banking system. If you read your safety deposit box agreement, you may find that the contents of your safety deposit box may hold the same status as deposits in your account with that bank, except that the contents of your safety deposit box are not covered by FDIC insurance.

safety deposit box

If you are choosing your bank safety deposit box for storage of your gold, make sure you read the fine print. In 2015 Chase Bank amended safety deposit box agreements to prohibit the storage of cash or coins in the safety deposit boxes.

STORING GOLD AT A PRIVATE DEPOSITORY

Private depository storage can be an ideal solution for those not wanting the gold in their home AND not wanting to leave it with a local bank. Most private depositories offer sufficient space for large volume collections of precious metals and large bulky silver portfolios. Private depositories are not subject to banking regulations and some even offer 24-hour access.

Private depositories generally offer an optimal level of advanced security and 24-hour surveillance. Additionally, private depositories often carry optimal levels of private insurance through major insurance carriers such as Lloyd’s of London.

Midas Gold Group can assist with private depository options all over the United States as well as some international locations.

Internationally, we work with depository locations in Canada, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Australia, and Singapore.

storing gold bars in vault

A few of the depositories with positive global reputations:

  • Delaware Depository – Wilmington, DE 302-765-3889
  • Diamond State Depository – Wilmington, DE 302-322-6150
  • First State Depository – Wilmington, DE 866-972-3732
  • IDS of Delaware – New Castle, DE 888-322-6150
  • Dakota Depository – Fargo, ND 855-532-5682
  • Brinks – Salt Lake City, UT 801-978-9420
  • Brinks – Los Angeles, CA 213-627-4609
  • Brinks – Jackson, OH 740-286-3723
  • Brinks – Springfield Gardens, NY 718-949-2186
  • Brinks – Chicago, IL 312-475-2600
  • CNT Depository – Bridgewater, MA 508-807-4800
  • Citadel Global Depository Services – Oklahoma City, OK 888-518-7596
  • Gold Silver Vault LLC – Nampa, ID 208-468-3600
  • Strategic Wealth Preservation (SWP) – Cayman Islands- 345-640-2111
  • Transcontinental Depository – Santa Monica, CA 310-587-1408
  • Blue Vault – San Diego, CA 619-342-8090
  • Mountain Vault – Phoenix, AZ 602-943-9796
  • First Canadian Depository – Toronto, ON 416-645-8731
  • Manfra, Tordella & Brookes – New York, NY 800-535-7481
  • Commonwealth Vault – Ashburn, VA 571-919-4912
  • Colorado Vault & Safe Deposit Box Company – Centennial, CO 720-879-7134
  • The Gold Center – Springfield, IL 217-793-8000
  • Inwood Security Vaults – Dallas, TX 214-357-6888
  • Robovault – Fort Lauderdale, FL 954-697-9389
  • Safe Haven Vaults – Sandy, UT 801-569-3000
  • The Security Center – New Orleans, LA 504-522-1254
  • US Private Vaults – Beverly Hills, CA 888-948-8778
  • The Vault – Tempe, AZ 602-288-9150
  • The Vault – Newport Beach, CA 949-660-9222
  • Intervault – Fort Lauderdale, FL 954-565-7233
  • Vegas Vaults – Las Vegas, NV 702-967-5750
  • The American Guardian – Las Vegas, NV 702-222-4433
  • Safe Deposit Center – Bellevue, WA 425-455-8333
  • Los Altos Vault and Safe – Los Altos, CA 650-949-5891
  • The Safe Deposit Company – St. Louis, MO 314-991-3858
  • Security Vault – Huntsville, AL 256-881-9023
  • Safe Deposit Center – Honolulu, HI 808-949-2882
  • IDS of Canada – Toronto/Calgary, Canada 905-362-2431
  • Sarasota Vault – Sarasota, FL 941-217-7851
  • TDS Vault of Singapore – Singapore, Singapore 855-482-8587

OTHER IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS WHEN STORING PRECIOUS METALS

Consider the Size of Your Asset Purchase

If you are dealing with size constraints as related to your purchase, discuss this with your representative prior to making your purchase. Gold bullion, platinum bullion, and palladium bullion in most cases have a very high value to size ratio. $100,000 worth of gold bars, for example, can possibly be stored in a space no bigger than 6 inches cubed.

Silver, on the other hand, can be extremely bulky. You should also consider any packaging that may accompany your gold or silver purchase. Most numismatic gold and silver coins come in plastic cases from a certifications company; most proof coins come with presentation boxes that can also take up space. We do not believe that a wise investment decision should be entirely dictated by storage planning, but it is important to understand the physical size of your investment so that you can plan storage accordingly. Your representative at Midas Gold Group can help you plan for your storage needs when placing your order.

Make Sure You Leave Instructions for Locating Your Gold with a Trusted Source

At Midas Gold Group, we have had a number of sad conversations with the relatives of deceased clients. Relatives were unable to locate gold that was purchased. Midas Gold Group will never ask or want to know your storage location, so we are unable to direct anyone to your gold storage.

You should keep your gold storage location very private but it is important that you leave instructions for locating your gold in the event something happens to you. Some clients leave instructions as part of a will or leave instructions with an attorney or trusted family member.

Your account representative at Midas Gold Group can help answer any additional questions about gold and precious metals storage. Give us a call today at 480-360-3000.

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