Precious metals are very liquid and universally accepted as a form of money and a store of value. They are an academically and historically proven hedge and safe haven asset. However, they are only a safe haven if you invest in them or own them in the safest ways possible.
The safest way to own gold and silver very much depends on the individuals or entities circumstances. There is no standard solution for all and it is not ‘a one size fits all’. Many opt to take delivery of their gold and silver bullion and more opt to store in ultra-secure vaults in some of the safer jurisdictions in the world.
Smaller amounts can be taken delivery and for larger amounts, generally clients opt for fully segregated and allocated Secure Storage. Some do both and we encourage that if it is suitable and the right solution for the client.
Possession is 9/10s of the law and proximity is power. Therefore, we encourage clients to take delivery of some of their bullion. However, it is simply not appropriate or secure for some clients to do this. You must feel very confident about the security of your home, office or factory to do so. If there is any nervousness about it or sleepless nights, then it is not right for you.
The security risk posed by criminals should be considered and weighed up. Sometimes the risk is exaggerated but it is a risk and it is important to be mindful of it.
Burglars tend to be opportunist and engage in fast “smash and grab” style raids where they quickly and superficially search a house for high value items like the keys of expensive cars, expensive technological or other equipment, fine art paintings, expensive watches and jewellery.
Gold and silver bullion owners who take delivery are very creative and our clients have told us of many different types of creative and secure places and ways to store gold and silver. Some of these include under floor boards beneath carpets, behind skirting boards, up dormant chimneys, in large plant pots, in large ice cream tubs in the bottom of freezers and in accessible and hard to reach corners of attics. Other clients have home safes which are discreetly and expertly hidden on the property.
Most burglars do not have the time to thoroughly and forensically search a house for gold coins or bars. At the same time, it is important that you are very careful and discreet in this regard. Only you, your most trusted next of kin and potentially your lawyer should know where it is and it makes sense to instruct your lawyer in writing clearly in this regard including in a will. Once waylaid, lost or indeed stolen, it may be difficult to trace, find and or recover them. Therefore, the safety and secure storage of your gold and silver cannot be overestimated.
For this reason, the most common question asked by first-time gold investors is what is the safest way to invest in and own gold and silver and how can I store my gold and silver safely?
How you store your gold will depend on several factors including the amount of bullion you purchase, the form of precious metals you intend to own and the safety and security of the storage location.
Whichever option you choose, your coins and bars should be stored in a safe, secure, and preferably insured location to lower the risk of loss or theft.
The 3 most common ways of storing precious metals are;
- Store your precious metals in professional, specialist high security vaults
- Take personal delivery and store your precious metals at home or work
- Keep smaller amounts of your precious metals in a safety deposit box
Gold and Silver Storage in the Safest Countries
Where you store precious metals is as equally important as how you store it.
As an investor in gold and silver, you must be able to access your gold and silver bullion during times of extreme crisis such as terrorism, war, environmental disasters, or economic meltdowns. This is the only way that precious metals can act as financial insurance against economic and geopolitical crises and various worst-case scenarios.
For a country to be considered safe for gold storage, it must be politically and economically stable. It must have a democratic system of government free from political instability or a history of coups and dictatorships. There should also be strict property laws that guarantee the private ownership of gold and other precious metals; to prevent asset seizures or unjust and extreme taxation by the government in times of crisis.
The most highly recommended countries include Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Ireland. The U.S. has relatively stable government (although much less so in recent years) but has a legal precedent and the history of legal gold confiscation. This must be considered when selecting storage locations and jurisdictions.
GoldCore has partnered with internationally renowned professional valuable storage providers who specialise in gold and silver bullion to provide secure and insured storage for gold in Zurich, London, Dublin, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Which Storage Option is Best For You?
Option 1: Vaulted Gold Storage
Vaulted gold was up until relatively recently previously available only to large institutions or extremely wealthy individuals. Vaulted gold is a way of purchasing physical gold bullion without the need to take delivery of it, and was a service offered mainly by wealthy Swiss private banks in the form of gold accounts. This type of gold ownership gave the investor direct ownership of a specific quantity of gold.
Today, as a private individual, you can benefit from vaulted gold storage which is now available from international gold dealers such as GoldCore in partnership with professional and specialist valuable storage companies such as Brinks and Loomis International.
Goldcore Secure Storage is one of the safest options in the world in this regard and has the following benefits:
- Fully Segregated & Allocated Storage: Gold or silver kept in GoldCore Secure Storage is fully segregated and fully allocated, which means it is directly owned by you and forms no part the storage provider’s balance sheet. Allocated gold or silver is individually identifiable as your own. Furthermore, vaulted gold coins and bars are fully segregated, i.e. not commingled and stored completely separately from the bullion of all other owners. Fully segregated and allocated storage and ownership is the most secure and reliable form of precious metal ownership.
- Outright Legal Ownership & Storage Under Bailment: When you store your gold or silver in GoldCore Secure Storage, you are protected by English and Irish bailment law. This means that you (the bailor) entrusts the storage of your coins and bars with GoldCore (the bailee) who has a legal responsibility to secure it on your behalf and return it in identical form when asked to do so.
The bailee may also sell the gold if instructed to do so by the bailor.Bailment law protects your gold and silver holdings by ensuring that your bullion coins and bars will not , sold, lent, or interfered with in any way unless you expressly direct the bailee to do so. is the only guarantee of full, direct, non-commingled, un-encumbered and outright ownership of gold and silver coins and bars.
- Non-Bank Storage: Many banks today are risky entities and should be avoided when storing safe haven precious metals such as gold or silver. Banks are not only subject to control by governments, but frequently engage in speculative trading and lending practices that can impair the balance sheet and can lead to financial insolvency and deposit bail-ins. Specialist vaults, like those used by GoldCore, are non-bank, specialist gold vault providers that ensure your silver and gold are not traded, lent, or made part of any bank, investment provider or platform’s holdings or assets.
- Online Verification: Gold and silver stored in GoldCore Secure Storage can be verified online by logging into the vault providers (Loomis and Brinks) websites to view a detailed inventory of your holdings. Details such as client number, descriptions for coins and bars, quantity, bar serial numbers, weight, purity, and brand are always listed and accessible at all times. This provides transparency and serves as an assurance that the exact amount and type of coins and bars are secured stored and owned by the client at the vault as directed and liquid and accessible during the trading week.
- Ability to Verify In-Person: GoldCore clients can visit some vaults to verify that their bullion is indeed in safe custody as directed. You can cross-check the amounts, formats and serial numbers in the case of bars on your asset statements with those of your bullion in the vault. For security reasons, some vaults do not allow visitors and those that do must have visits arranged in advance.
- Ability to Take Delivery: Precious metals stored with GoldCore and its third-party partners remain your sole property and can be delivered to you via secure, fully insured courier, to any location of your choosing with an email or phone call and some identity and other precautionary checks. This ensures security, accessibility, liquidity and competitive pricing.
- Fully Insured Bullion Storage: GoldCore’s storage provider partners have a specialist ‘All-Risk’ insurance underwritten by specialist international risk underwriters, which covers the loss, theft, or damage of bullion while in storage or transit. These insurance agreements are governed by English law and the certificates of insurance can be made available to clients. Vaulted bullion stored in these specialist facilities also enjoy the highest levels of modern security. Please, note that gold in a safe deposit box is not ordinarily covered by insurance.
- Bullion Audits: GoldCore carries out weekly reconciliations of all client storage records with those of the storage provider. GoldCore directs an annual independent audit by Inspectorate International, which conducts an inventory of clients’ holdings as well as certifying the weight of a sample of the gold and silver holdings at the vault.
How Much Does Gold and Silver Bullion Storage Cost?
Storing gold and silver bullion in any of our specialist bullion vaults begins at 1% per annum for both gold and silver. For larger amounts, there is a volume discount and the annual storage rate is reduced. This fee is billed in arrears twice a year in April and October, which means that you don’t have to pay storage fees at the time of purchase. Storage fees are also calculated daily based on the value of your holdings. Calculating the storage fee per day prevents large movements in the gold and silver price from leading to fluctuating storage fees. This makes vaulted gold and silver storage affordable as well as the safest way to invest in and own gold and silver.
Low cost or zero cost gold storage should be avoided as ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch.’ With gold and silver, it is important to ensure you have the highest standards in terms of security, liquidity and accessibility.
Price is what you pay and value is what you get. Paying a slightly higher price ensures your safe haven assets are stored safely. Confidence and peace of mind in this regard is essential and valuable.
Option 2: Storing Gold Safely at Home
Although buying your precious metals online provides privacy and security, where in your home can you store gold once you take delivery of it?
There are many risks associated with keeping anything of value at home, including cash, jewellery or vital documents like share certificates. Storing gold or silver on your own raises fundamental questions:
- Is your gold insured against theft?
- Who else can access it in case of an emergency?
- Can you ensure that your gold storage remains secret?
- Is your gold easily exposed to visitors, workers, or friends?
- What will you do if someone unintentionally learns of its existence?
Small quantities of gold or silver can be safely stored at home if you take careful steps to secure it. Before you take delivery of your gold or silver, consider the following precautions if you intend to store gold in your home:
- Don’t store it in obvious and accessible places
- Keep it a secret; if you post your gold on social media, brag about it at parties, or show it to your friends, you create risks in this regard
- Tell someone you trust; gold is meant to protect your family’s wealth. Tell your spouse or a trusted family member to ensure they can access it if you are incapacitated or in case you pass away unexpectedly.
- Consider buying a high quality fireproof safe and install it in a hidden compartment in walls or floors where it cannot be discovered by burglars.
- Buy home insurance for your bullion; this might be quite expensive and may not cover the full value of your holdings if the price of gold raises significantly
Despite these precautions, storing very large amounts of gold and silver at home is generally not a good idea. When you consider their value, demand and universal appeal, those investing large amounts of precious metals should opt to store in high security, professional and specialist vaults in the safest jurisdictions. Only take delivery and store in your home or office, the amount of bullion that you are comfortable losing through loss or theft.
Option 3: Storing Gold in Safety Deposit Boxes
Storing your gold in a safety deposit box is another option which may be more secure than keeping it at home. For starters, safe deposit boxes can be rented at a small fee to store almost anything, including gold and silver. Secondly, a safety deposit box may have less risk of theft by criminals. The provider will issue you with a key and allow you to access your safety deposit box during business hours. It is important to note that the provider will not be privy to or keep a record of what you hold in your box at any time.
However, safety deposit boxes have several disadvantages when it comes to storing gold and silver:
- You can only access your safe deposit box during working hours; this may pose a problem if you need to access or sell your bullion quickly. It may not be possible to access your bullion during weekends, bank holidays, or in times of crisis such as war when the provider may remain closed.
- Safety deposit boxes are limited in size and not suitable for storing large amounts of gold and silver.
- Unlike cash deposits, the contents of your safety deposit box are generally not insured. Any such insurance will have to be obtained separately and is usually expensive if available for precious metals.
- Keeping precious metals in a safety deposit box means taking it out of custody and the chain of integrity of gold storage vaults internationally. This creates uncertainty regarding authenticity and will therefore require re-authentication prior to being able to sell. This takes time and costs money and makes your precious metals less liquid.
- Your precious metals are only as secure as the trustworthiness of the management and employees of the company you choose to rent a safe deposit box from because they too have access to it.
- There have been instances of safe deposit box companies and the contents of all their boxes being robbed by burglars. They have also been raided and the contents of boxes confiscated by the police due to concerns of drugs, firearms and the illegal proceeds of crime potentially being stored in boxes in such companies
Can I Store Gold in A Pension?
Since 2005, Irish investors can include gold bullion holdings in their Small Self-Administered Pension Schemes (SSAPs) as well as Self Invested Pension Plans (SIPPs). This was due in large part to the efforts of GoldCore to secure the Revenue Commissioner's approval for gold bullion as an eligible investment in self-directed pension schemes. This allows bullion holders to safeguard their retirement nest-eggs with gold bullion while benefiting from the tax advantages of a pension plan. Pension gold and silver must be stored in specialist and accredited gold vault providers.
Who Can Buy Gold Bullion?
Gold and silver bullion can be purchased and stored in Goldcore Secure Storage by both private individuals, companies as well as family offices. You also have the option of taking delivery of your bullion at any location of your choosing at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Vaulted Gold Storage?
Vaulted gold refers to having your gold stored for you in a high-security, specialised preciosu metal vault. Historically, accounts at gold vaults were only available to large institutiions and the extremely wealthy however, they are now increasingly available to the average investor. You pay a monthly fee for the privelege of storing your gold at a precious metal vault. When you store gold in this way, the vault is purely the custodian of your gold and it never becomes an asset on their balance sheet. Vaulted gold is an extremely secure way to manage your investment covered by specialist insurance. Traditionally Switzerland has been a popular location for professional gold vaults however, there are precious metal vault facilities in many financial centres including; London, the US & Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dublin, Frankfurt and the Cayman Islands.
What is Fully Segregated Storage & Allocated Storage?
Allocated storage refers to having specific coins or bars allocated to you and as a result being individually identifiable and distinguishable from other investors gold or silver. Segregated gold or silver refers to having your individual precious metals holdings stored separately from the metal of other investors. This may be in a separate vault or on a separate shelf within a vaulting facility. Fully segregated a& allocated storage occurs when both of these principles occur simultaneously.
How Much Does Gold and Silver Bullion Storage Cost?
Storing gold and silver bullion in any of our specialist bullion vaults starts at 1% per annum for both gold and silver. There is a volume discount for larger amounts. Storage fees are also calculated daily based on the value of your holdings. Calculating the storage fee per day prevents large movements in the gold and silver price from leading to fluctuating storage fees. This makes vaulted gold and silver storage affordable as well as the safest way to invest in and own gold and silver.
What are Unallocated Silver Certificates?
Unallocated silver certificates are a popular option for investors. When you invest in an unallocated silver certificate programme you are purchasing an interest in a pool of silver rather than specific coins or bars. You will own a certain number of ounces of the pool and other investors will own the remaining ounces. The value of your investment fluctuates in line with the silver price. The benefits of investing in an unallocated silver certificate programme includes not having to worry about having to store your silver. Most providers do not charge a storage fee for unallocated silver, however you become a creditor of the supplier secured against the pool of silver ounces held within their business. As you are an unsecured creditor it is important that you trust the creditworthiness of the supplier. The most popular silver unallocated certificate programme is operated by The Perth Mint of Western Australia and benefits from a government guarantee.