Starting your stash? Now that you have started collecting silver and gold, you need to know how to store it securely. Your individual needs will differ depending on the physical size and value of your collection, your lifestyle and living situation, and your overall goals. Here are the main ways people keep their hoard safe.
Diversion Safe – If you’ve recently started a gold or silver collection on a budget, a diversion safe is a cheap first step in security. A diversion safe is a storage device that is made to look like something else. This could be anything from a secret hollow book to a DIY stash can safe. These can be stored in many places and still be looked over by thieves because they don’t appear to have any value. This is not recommended for long term storage, or for containing any collection worth more than a few hundred dollars. There are no actual locks or security on most diversion safes, so if they are discovered, contents can be removed easily.
Safety Deposit Box – This is the first place many people look to store their precious metals. They are located in a bank and are generally secure. If you already are paying for a box, adding physical silver or gold to it makes sense. There are drawbacks, though. Banks can be closed when you need your gold the most, such as in emergencies or terrorist events. The assets in a box are also not insured by the FDIC like your savings account assets.
Home Safe – As a precious metals hoard increases, many people acquire a home safe. In most cases one should avoid the small mass produced safes available at big retail outlets. Many of these do offer fire resistance, but little actual theft security to the contents. Hinges can be popped open with a large screw driver or crowbar. If you do start out with a small safe of any kind, mount it to the floor or secure it to the house in some way so a thief doesn’t carry it and it’s contents out of the home. Wall safes are an option for people that own their own home. They can be concealed easily and securely mounted to the structure. Larger safes that can’t be moved as easily are much effective in stopping theft. Business safes and gun safes are possible options with large interiors, secure construction and enough weight not to be carried away without serious effort.
Home Vault – Some homeowners go all out with a private home vault. The initial cost is high, so this is only feasible for high value investments. Most times these are made with reinforced concrete in a basement and secured with a steel residential vault door. Private vaults can be made of many sizes and can house other collections like guns and jewels, in addition to your precious metals. Having a lot of value stored in your house does make your residence a target as well, so added security and contingency plans need to be figured in as well.
Segregated Vault – Generally for large quantities of gold, investors will use some type of specialized facility to allow them secure storage and liquid access for moving volume. A segregated vault provides what many claim to be the highest level of security within the precious metals industry. They partner with high end armored truck companies and are open most everyday of the year excluding Christmas. Two separate auditors count your gold when depositing under video surveillance. You own the exact same pieces of gold that you originally purchased. Once your gold is assayed by the vault, you can easily sell your gold without touching it. The minimums for this service can be up to several hundred ounces of gold.
Allocated Vault – An allocated vault offers similar services to a segregated vault, however you only own a certain number of ounces. You do not own any particular coins or bars. This is good for investors buying the lowest cost gold in volume, but not people with higher valued coins.
Private Vault – If you are buying high to hold, and want to stay off the precious metals radar, you may end up with a private vault in a commercial underground vault or security facility. These can be had in any number of locations, shapes and sizes, and are primarily used for larger items than precious metals, but that’s not always the case. Security in many facilities is top notch, and many will work to fit your exact needs.