What Are the Safest Places to Store Precious Metals?

Do you have gold, silver and other precious metals that you would like to store safely away? If so, what are your most secure and loss-proof options?

In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the popular storage places people choose for precious metals and explore what is good and bad about them.

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Hiding Precious Metals in Your Home

Many people who own precious metals choose to conceal them in their homes. Let’s consider the pros and cons . . .

Pros – You can conveniently access your precious metals at any time. If you do, you won’t need to go outside your home to a bank or another facility; that can help you keep dishonest people from knowing that you own valuable items.

Cautions – Consider insuring precious metals that you store in your home – even though they are hidden, they are not completely safe from loss due to fire or theft. Be sure to record the locations of your precious metals in your will and/or other estate documents, so heirs and caretakers will be able to find them. Choose locations where your metals will not be damaged by fire, such as behind a wall in a foundation or fireplace. And be sure to protect your residence with monitored burglar and fire alarms.

Storing Precious Metals in a Home Safe

Safes are popular with many people who own precious metals. But again, let’s consider the good and negative aspects of this storage choice . . .

Pros – A solid, heavy, locked safe is difficult to steal. It also can protect precious metals in a house fire.

Cautions – Remember to lock your safe –an unlocked safe provides no protection at all. (That sounds like silly advice, but law enforcement agencies report that thefts from unlocked safes are not uncommon.) Review the contents of your safe regularly to be sure that nothing has been stolen by workmen or visitors in your home. Keep an inventory of what is in your safe, update it when your holdings change and keep a current copy with your will and other estate documents. Make sure that your safe is securely bolted to the studs in a solid wall, to poured anchor points in a basement cement floor, or to another strong foundation. Store your lock combination or safe keys with your estate documents in a safety deposit box or other secure location.

Storing Precious Metals in a Bank Safety Deposit Box

These are among the most secure places to store precious metals. Yet again, there are pros and cons . . .

Pros – Your valuables will be stored in a facility that is monitored, locked, and protected by an alarm. Safety deposit boxes also allow convenient access to your valuables.

Cautions – At the time you rent a safety deposit box, be sure to grant access to relatives and heirs who might need to access its contents if you become ill or pass away.  (Contrary to a common misconception, safety deposit boxes are not locked by the IRS when a renter passes away; estate executors will have access to them.) Although bank personnel and other bank customers are likely to be honest, consider opening your box and reviewing its contents only when other people are not present. And check regularly to be sure that your bank has not been sold or changed ownership – you want to be sure that your rental agreement remains in force and that you have uninterrupted access to your valuables.

Allowing Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to Store Your Precious Metal Scrap

If you have unrefined precious metal scrap, consider setting up a Precious Metals Pooled Account at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. How does it work? You send us your scrap. We test it and tell you how much gold, silver, platinum or other precious metal it contains. We securely store it and process it when its trading price reaches a level that you specify. To learn more, call one of our precious metals consultants at 800-426-2344.

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