Investors and collectors purchasing precious metal bullion items will eventually arrive on a question following their purchase: What’s my best option to store this bullion? While there are numerous options available, there is some research required to understand which works best for your circumstances. When storing bullion, there are considerable tactics you should take into consideration before you begin storing items away. Let’s look at the options available to you.
Keeping Track of Your Bullion
Once you’ve purchased your bullion items and are considering the ways in which to store them, you should set time aside to effectively keep track of your items. There are numerous ways you can undertake this task, from keeping track of items within a journal to designating and designing a specific online spreadsheet to notate all of your items. The importance here is that you are keeping detailed notes on all of the items in your possession.
Not only is this useful as a security measure, to understand what is in your possession in case anything is to ever seemingly go missing, but to understand where the finer details of your purchases: When was the bullion purchased? Who was the seller it was purchased from? At what price was the bullion purchased for? Where are you planning on storing the bullion? Etc. All of this is useful in case other documentation required for your precious metal bullion purchases ever happens to be misplaced, not only protecting you when it comes to taxation on your investments but to steadily track the history of your possessions.
Own Bullion Coins? Consider Coin Storage Devices
If you’ve purchased bullion coins, from Silver Morgan Dollars to American Golden Eagles, one of the best storage methods you can personally undertake is to utilize coin storage devices. Whether using albums or folders, safely guarded coin storage devices can make for a useful way to store coins within your home. Not only do these offer you the ability to aptly inspect your coins whenever you’d like, even making your coin collection into a display of its own, but it makes it far easier to keep track of all of your coins together.
Knowing which folder or album is right for your collection depends on how large your collection is and how many protection methods you’d like for the folder to include—you can find some that will block UV rays and humidity while others will be quite simplistic. But the best option for you to remember is to take caution when interacting with your coins, purchasing coin storage devices that will protect your coins for time to come.
Other methods can be applied to ensure the safety of your coins, from using sterile cotton gloves whenever handling your coins to placing silica gel packs either within or alongside your coin albums and folders—this latter option is preferable, as it will lessen the possible impact of humidity on your coin collection, which can lead to surface degradation with time.
What Are the Best Spots to Store Your Bullion In-Home?
If you’re storing your precious metal bullion coins, bars, or rounds at home, it is important that you take measures to find a worthwhile hiding spot. The most important thing you want to look for when searching for spots within your home is a place that is both isolated and secure. Having your bullion out on display for any visitor to see might seem enticing, but it might not be safe and it could lead to a heightened potential for future theft.
The best places for your bullion include areas free from sunlight, rapid changes in temperature, high humidity, and easy access to outsiders. The natural characteristics can contribute to the overall wear and tear of your coins, from them losing their finer details to their surfaces being damaged. Some of the best options to consider that meet these qualities include chests, drawers, closets, and more. Although a basement might meet the requirements, it will not be ideal, as these areas can become musty and they face the likelihood of flooding.
The Safety of a Safe
If you’re contemplating storing your bullion possessions within your home, a safe might be your best option. Most safes will be near impossible to remove from a home, especially dependent on their size. Whether relying on a floor safe or gun safe, a safe will provide you with the means to secure your highly valuable items, particularly due to their locking systems. Dependent on the style and design, you can purchase a safe that has a singular locking system or multiple inside; the safe could be small and easily hidden or larger and made for multiple high-ticket items to be stored securely within your home; you might have a safe that is integrated into a security system.
With a little research, and possibly reaching out to an online bullion forum, you can find the right safe for you that meets both price and security needs.
Storing Your Bullion in a Bank’s Deposit Box
If you feel as if your home is not the safest option for storing your bullion possessions, particularly for them being targeted for theft and burglary, you should consider relying on the bank. A third-party storage service like a bank can responsibly store and guard your valuables for time to come, offering internal and external security methods to ensure that your items are watched over. Within a bank, your gold and silver bullion will be safe. Banks often have two ways in which you can store your precious metals bullion: within the bank’s vault and within a safety deposit box.
Deposit boxes tend to be the preferred method of storage for individuals looking to store their valuables. A deposit box will come with an annual storage fee, which can range in value from bank to bank, but this will make for a wonderful way of storing smaller bullion investments, whether bullion, jewelry, personal contracts, etc. Closely monitored by the bank, these will be easily accessible to the individual owner of the deposit box, accessed by a key to retrieve whatever items might be stored inside. However, items can only be accessed during bank hours.
A vault is a great option for people needing to store items that are much more valuable, particularly if you’re storing bullion bars and other highly valuable precious metals items. The enhanced security features of the vault will make sure that your items are wholly protected, making the storage price point entirely worth it.
Relying on Precious Metals Depositories
Offering the best option in terms of storage and overall security, precious metal depositories are specially designed to store any of your precious metal assets. Their services are most impressive due to their ability to store any larger precious metal collections while harboring them within a housing unit that is both climate- and moisture-controlled—protecting your precious metals from environmental conditions goes a long way, and they ensure to protect your items from natural degradation.
Similar to a bank, the best quality of storing your items within a precious metals depository is the increased security offered to you and your assets. Extensive security measures provided will include a facility that is constantly surveyed by guards and enhanced technology, while leaving specific parts of the facilities restricted to parties without the necessary qualifications and monitoring highly secured areas containing assets.
For options, you have two to choose from—segregated depositories or communal ones.
Segregated depository facilities will allow customers to separate their precious metals assets away from other customers within the depository, providing them with individual storage packages that will be restricted to private use. These will tend to come with a higher price tag, as space will need to be put aside for items, kept separate from other customers. Communal storage, on the other hand, allows customers to store their precious metal assets alongside other customers, keeping them in a public space without requiring a separate storage compartment.
While some people might feel worried about a communal storage option, seeing it as being less safe than having one’s own assets stored by themselves, it should be said that both segregated and communal storage options are monitored with the same security features, meaning that your items are not better protected one way the other—it really comes down to which you prefer. It should also be stated that other measures are offered alongside just having your bullion stored securely, including accounting and auditing services.
Accounting and auditing services are helpful when storing your assets, as they will help to further prevent against theft by regularly having the amount and value of your bullion items recorded. This will allow you to reassure that all items are still within your possession. If anything were to become unaccounted for, you can then calculate how much has been missing and then begin discussing insurance policies with your depository, determining how these items could have gone missing and how you will be repaid for their loss or mismanagement.
Third-Party Vault Storage
Compared to the methods we discussed prior, it is worth taking the time to discuss how previous methods shape up to utilizing a third-party storage service, whether they rely on vaults or storing items within highly secure depositories. While safe deposit boxes are a secure option to choose from in your regional area, they might not be your best option with high-priced items. The reason for this conclusion is that most bank safety deposit boxes are not usually insured by the FDIC, as other deposits into a savings account or checking account might be. If you were to lose any of your bullion, you might not be able to file a case for reparation, as insurance claims might not cover your assets under certain circumstances.
If you’re also buying bullion directly from a bullion dealer, it might not be in your best interest to store those same purchases with that dealer. This is not an indictment of dealers, but it is best to be wary of storing your purchased items with the account manager who’s sold the items to you. Since they rule over your account, the possibility of nefarious business practices should be kept in mind, even if you’d rather not think of them. Under such circumstances, it is better to store your items with someone who has not been involved with the initial transaction, as they will be wholly objective in dealing with your bullion assets.
As stated, one of the best options for you, when not considering storing the items within the safety of your home, is to rely on a third-party service that can effectively hold your items and keep tabs on your account and the assets stored within their facility. Whether or not you want to have these items stored alongside other investors is a decision for you to make, but you cannot go wrong with storing them in a highly guarded facility that specializes in the storage of bullion assets.
Storage fees will depend on the facility you are storing your items in, and the amount of security applied will depend on the management as well as the reputation of the place. Consider doing your research to ensure that you get the most out of your bullion, not letting a penny go mismanaged!