05/23/2024 03:21:09 PM


Precious metals stand alone from other investments for many reasons. One of the most notable differences is that the purchase of gold or silver requires you to take affirmative steps to store it properly.

However, you may not have any idea about what “proper” storage is for precious metals. So, this guide walks you through the three most common ways to keep gold, silver, and other precious metals secure, along with some tips and other considerations about each one.

Secure storage facilities

The first way that you can protect your gold and silver is by engaging a secure storage facility (SSF). A secure storage facility is a designated location with a single function – storing precious metals. The professionals at these facilities offer around-the-clock monitoring and surveillance of your metals and use both electronic and physical security to keep everything safe. They are sometimes called “depositories,” and they are the safest way to store your metal.

Of course, this safety comes at a cost. Generally speaking, an SSF will charge a percentage of your collection’s value annually. Usually, this percentage is less than 1%, but it can still be a significant amount of money if your collection is quite valuable.

An SSF may also charge you for other associated transactions you will make with it. It’s not uncommon to find fees for the initial storage of your stack. It’s also not rare to be charged for each subsequent deposit or any withdrawals from your collection.

If you decide to use a secure facility for storing your metals, you need to have answers to the following considerations before you decide which SSF to use:

  • Allocation – Some SSFs use a procedure known as “allocation,” where they certify that they will return the value of your collection to you. However, this value doesn’t mean that they will be keeping your exact pieces separate from other customers’ stacks. So, if you have any pieces with sentimental or other specific value, you need to avoid an SSF that uses allocation.
  • Insurance – Most secure storage facilities offer insurance on your deposits to guard against any losses, be they theft or natural disaster. Be sure to include this element as part of your shopping for an SSF.
  • Cost – We spoke about how secure facilities will charge you a percentage of your collection’s value and (potentially) other fees. Make sure to shop around, but be sure that the facility you choose is a reputable and safe one – don’t sacrifice security for cost.
  • Convenience – Storing your gold and silver with an online dealer such as BGASC is simple and easy, and most of us use top-of-the-line SSFs to protect our investments. However, if you are expecting to make many deposits and withdrawals in the future, it might be more important to find a facility readily accessible to you by car.

Safety deposit boxes

Now, there is a secure option that is certainly more accessible than secure storage facilities. Safety deposit boxes are available at most bank branches, and you can usually get one in a half-hour or less.

The primary reason that you would like a safety deposit box is that it addresses one of the biggest drawbacks of SSFs – convenience. No option provides you with both accessibility and professional-caliber security like a safety deposit box. Most of the time, your metals can stay safely down the street from your house.

Any bank from which you rent a safety deposit box will have substantial security measures in place. Whenever you visit your box, you’ll have to show your government ID, note the date and time in an official log, and be accompanied by a bank employee. However, the level of security with a safety deposit box does not approach the state-of-the-art levels you can get at SSFs.

What safety deposit boxes don’t protect against, however, are events like floods, fires, or other natural disasters. Unlike SSFs, there is no way to insure the contents of a safety deposit box with the bank. The bank does not and will not have any knowledge of exactly what is inside the box except under rare circumstances.

Finally, a safety deposit box has a limitation because it is, well, a box. As such, there’s only so much metal you can fit inside them, and you’ll have to lift the thing back into its storage area yourself. You might want to look at a different option if you have a lot of metal.

Home safes

Finally, the simplest option to store your precious metals is home-safe. You can find a home safe at home improvement stores, sporting goods stores, or with any number of online merchants.

As options go, they are probably the cheapest storage choice you can make. They can cost thousands of dollars, but you can pick one up for no more than a few hundred. There’s no question that about the convenience and accessibility of a home safe.

However, these positives come at a terrible price. No home safe can compete with SSFs or safety deposit boxes in terms of the security they offer. A home safe places your metals at a much greater risk of robberies or other criminal acts.

Furthermore, any natural disasters or other damages that your house incurs can adversely affect your ability to access your metals or, worse yet, damage the metals themselves. For these reasons, we strongly urge you not to turn to a home safe as your primary security option for your gold, silver, and whatnot.

If you must use a home safe, please keep the following things in mind:

  • Don’t buy cheap. You should do plenty of research and read as many reviews as possible to find the best safe you can afford. Think about the value of the contents you plan to store inside the safe as a guide to how much you should allot.
  • Ensure that your safe can withstand both fire and floods. If God forbid, your house suffers major damage from an act of God, you don’t want to find the issue compounded by the loss of some or all of your precious metals’ value.
  • Install the safe as a permanent fixture. Your safe does not need to be mobile. It needs to be established within the walls or, preferably, the foundation of your house. If you live in an apartment, a safe is not a good option for you.
  • Don’t install the safe yourself. As a complementary point to putting the safe into the structure of your home, don’t try to complete this action yourself – no matter how handy you might be. Hire a reputable, licensed, and bonded company to put it in the right spot.
  • You may want to get a home security system. Locks are great, but you are increasing the target value of your home for criminals if they detect that you’ve added a safe to the mix. People talk, and you never know who is listening. So, add an extra layer of protection with a monitoring system if you can.

The bottom line is that you need to get some kind of security for storing your investments. Make sure you make the best decision you can.