Where to keep your gold is always a tricky question to answer because it depends on so many factors and personal answers to a lot of questions. One solution is not going to work for everyone.
3rd Party Storage
If you own a lot of gold, and I mean a LOT of it, you may want to consider 3rd party storage. Basically you’re paying a company in the gold and silver trade to store your gold for you. The advantages are that it’s safe and relatively inexpensive. Commercial gold companies have the kind of security you can’t afford at home, plus bonded insurance. It’s peace of mind.
But that peace of mind comes at cost as 3rd party storage isn’t free. For a small amount of gold, it’s probably not worth the expense, but again that depends on your personal risk tolerance.
The other disadvantage, unless you live down the street from your 3rd party storage facility, it can sometimes take days to get physical delivery. If you’re buying gold as a crisis currency, that will never do.
Safety Deposit Boxes
Again, your gold is safe but they suffer the same limitations as 3rd party storage only without the bonded insurance. In a crisis you’d have to get to the bank to get your gold and safety deposit boxes aren’t free.
If you’re worried about the government seizing your gold in a time of crisis, then a safety deposit box won’t be much security there, either.
For most people that means home storage. Even if you have $100,000 in gold, an insane amount to be keeping around the house in my opinion, that’s less than four pounds at current market prices. That’s not really all that much to hide.
For home storage some people consider getting a safe. Normally a home safe is merely a convenient carrying case for robbers. Most home safes are designed to provide a few minutes of fire and water protection and to keep the maid honest. They’re no match for determined professional thieves with access to tools. Even with tools as simple as a hammer and screwdriver, most home safes can be opened in a matter of seconds.
Units like this Stack-On Personal Safe are meant to provide a bit of fire protection and keep the kids from getting to your guns. They do a good job for the price, but they’re not going to deter a robbery. Even most office safes are primarily for fire protection. If you want to deter thieves, you’re going to need to think bigger, a lot bigger.
Theft deterrent safes will have a TL rating, which describes how long it would take professionals with access to tools like cutters, sledge hammers, and diamond bit cutting saws to crack your safe. Just so you know, the highest rating for most commercially available safes is TL-30, as in 30 minutes.
Models like this Amsec TL-30 Fire Rated Composite Safe will be what you need. That model weighs over 700 pounds, so it won’t be convenient for thieves to carry off. Most safe companies are willing to help arrange delivery at night and other odd times so the neighbors don’t start blabbing about the new safe you had installed.
Another option for home storage are so called diversion safes. These are storage containers made to look like common household items such as soda cans and books. My problem with diversion storage is forgetting about them. If I had valuables in a Coke can, at some point I’d throw them away cleaning out the refrigerator or sell my book safe at a garage sale for 50 cents. It just seems pretty easy to forget about in a thoughtless moment.
Some people are actually sealing their gold up in PVC tubes and, literally, burying it in the back yard. Personally, I think that’s a little out there, but it is secure. Pirates utilized that method for centuries. If you’re going to bury your gold, it needs to be deeper than four feet to escape the reach of most metal detectors.
You could also do some combination of the above. Thieves tend to leave when they think they’ve found what they’re looking for, so get one of those inexpensive home safes and stash a few gold plated copper replica coins and some costume jewelry in it. They’re obvious fakes to anyone in the business, but someone in a hurry might not notice right away.
The thought of some thief running off carrying a heavy home safe full of fakes is kind of funny all by itself.
Chris Poindexter, Senior Writer, National Gold Group, Inc
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