If you've made an investment in physical precious metals, or even considered taking that step, the question of where to securely store it has surely come up.
It's an important question.
Physical gold and silver come without the counter-party risk associated with paper assets, but investors must still manage the risk of loss or theft.
Before sharing our list of hiding places, we want to impress upon you the importance of installing a security system at your house. Burglaries are on the rise, and you have a lot more to lose from a home break-in than just your silver and gold.
That said, here's one important rule and a few simple strategies that can dramatically reduce the risk of your stash being stolen.
Rule #1: Don't Talk about Your Holding
A huge percentage of thefts involve inside knowledge. The larger the circle of people who know you have valuables, or worse – exactly where those valuables are hidden – the greater the chance that information will be shared with a crook. The best policy is to share the details on where to find your gold storage with 1-2 people you trust and impress upon them the need for privacy. If thieves don't know you have a precious metals stash, they are less likely to risk life and limb targeting your home at random.
In addition to Rule #1, consider employing one or more of the following:
A Quality Home Safe
Tried and true, a well-built home safe is always a good idea. Bolting it to the floor in a spot where it will be awkward for thieves to employ a prybar further improves security. Floor safes and wall safes hidden under a rug or behind a family photo are also very effective.
Put a modest, but believable, portion of your holding in a more obvious location to throw crooks off the scent of your primary cache. Consider storing a few coins in your gun safe or a cheap fire safe. If those are found, criminals are likely to stop their search. And, if your home is invaded, you and your loved ones will have something ready to hand over.
Choose the Unlikely
Unless it is a decoy stash, don't choose clichéd hiding locations. Under mattresses, sock drawers, and master bedroom closets will be the first places searched. Here is a list of not-so-obvious hiding spots that work well:
- Paint cans in a garage cabinet – It's a good idea to leave some paint in the can and package your metals to avoid rattling.
- Buried at least two feet in the ground inside a waterproof container.
- Your freezer – perhaps inside an emptied-out box of frozen food products.
- A stuffed animal in a box of old toys tucked away somewhere.
- Behind some insulation in your attic.
- On a bookshelf inside Money Metals's clever booksafe.
False Pipes/Electrical Boxes
Install plumbing or an electrical junction box that appears functional. These pipes and boxes make ideal hiding spots – never garnering a second look from anyone. Just be sure to invest the time and care to make them look genuine.
Safe Deposit Box/Commercial Vault
We recommend everyone keep at least a portion of their holding under direct personal control. Storage at home is the best way to ensure 24-hour access and guarantee privacy. However, third-party storage in a safe deposit box or commercial vault can make sense for anyone who simply won't be able to sleep at night with all their valuables at home.
And for very large holdings of precious metals, storage at one or more secure vault facilities outside your home is a practical must.
About the Author:
Stefan Gleason is CEO of Money Metals Exchange, the company recently named "Best Overall Online Precious Metals Dealer" by Investopedia. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC and in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, TheStreet, and Seeking Alpha.