What is the Proper Way to Store Gold?
By StoneX Bullion
Before you make the choice to invest in physical gold, be sure to take the time to consider where that gold will be stored. Proper gold storage not only preserves the value of your investment but also ensures that it stays safe and secure while in your possession.
There are three main options when it comes to storing physical gold: at home, in a bank safe deposit box, or in a storage vault. Each of these options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
In this guide, we discuss how to store physical gold. We’ll examine each of the three main gold storage solutions in detail, including pros and cons, so you can make the best decision to suit your personal needs and protect your assets into the future.
Storing gold at home
Storing your gold at home is one of the easiest options as it doesn’t require any involvement from a third party. All you need to do is find a secure and safe storage space in your home.
The ease and independence of at-home storage means you can access your gold any time you want. At the same time, it means the sole responsibility of protecting your gold lies in your hands. You need to take every measure possible to protect your gold from potential damage and burglaries.
Below, we outline the advantages and disadvantages of storing gold at home, as well as some things to consider before storing your gold at home.
Advantages of storing gold at home
The benefits to storing gold at home are numerous. They include:
- Easy access: One of the biggest conveniences of storing your gold bars and coins at home is that you can access them any time you want, immediately. Whether that’s to check on their quality, resell quickly, or simply admire your collection is up to you.
- Independence: When you store your gold at home, you don’t have to rely on any third parties to keep your investments safe. The gold is under your control and care and you’re able to assess and improve your storage situation anytime you need.
- Affordability: Although you may need to initially invest in a high-quality safe and solid insurance, storing gold at home could save you money in the long run by avoiding the fees associated with other storage options.
- Control: Storing gold at home gives you the most control over the conditions in which your gold is stored.
Disadvantages of storing gold at home
Despite its many benefits, there are also some disadvantages to storing gold at home that can make it a less attractive option to some investors. These include:
- Larger upfront investment: Storing gold at home may require a bigger upfront investment to purchase a secure vault or safe and take out adequate insurance coverage.
- Security risks: Keeping your gold at home comes with increased security risks such as theft or accidental damage. This means you need to take the time and effort to properly plan for its safe storage.
- Risk of loss: It may sound a bit far out, but some people have hidden their gold so well that it couldn’t be found again. Beware of storing your gold in spaces that are too well-hidden, such as inside drywall or buried in the garden.
Things to consider before storing gold at home
Choosing to store your gold at home requires careful consideration. Below are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to store your gold at home:
- Choose the appropriate environment: Be sure to store your gold in an appropriate environment that’s away from damp and other corrosives.
- Take out adequate insurance: Gold, jewelry, and other precious metals may not be included in regular homeowner’s insurance. Be sure to take out the right insurance to cover your assets in case of theft or damage.
- Be discreet: It’s important to be discreet about who you share your gold possession with. Only share the location of your gold with one or two trusted family members or friends.
- Invest in a high-quality storage solution: Your gold is a valuable asset and you need to keep it stored securely. Invest in a good safe, preferably one that’s bolted down and fireproof, to protect against theft, damage, or unauthorized access.
Storing gold in a safe deposit box
Besides storing gold at home, one of the first places that comes to mind is to keep it in a safe deposit box, also known as a safety deposit box. This involves renting a locked, secure container located inside a bank’s vault or safe.
Just like with storing gold at home, keeping gold in a safe deposit box comes with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. We discuss these below.
Advantages of storing gold in a safety deposit box
Some of the benefits of storing gold coins or bullion in a safety deposit box include:
- High-level security: Banks are highly secure places. Storing your gold in a safety deposit box means that it'll be under strict security measures including thorough surveillance and controlled access. This provides peace of mind knowing that your assets are well-protected against theft, damage, and loss.
- Relatively affordable: Depending on where you live and the banks you’re considering, storing gold in a safe deposit box may be a relatively affordable option.
Disadvantages of storing gold in a safety deposit box
There are also some potential disadvantages that come with storing gold in a bank’s safety deposit box. These include:
- Limited access: Unlike storing your gold at home, keeping it in a safe deposit box means you can only access it during bank hours. This can be an issue if you need to retrieve your gold in an emergency or after hours.
- Bankruptcy risks: While banks are highly esteemed institutions, they’re not immune to bankruptcy. This means that, should your bank shut down, you may lose access to your precious metals.
- No insurance: Banks don’t usually insure the items kept in their safe deposit boxes. This means that you need to take out your own insurance for added security and peace of mind, which is an added cost to consider.
- Less control: If you value having control over exactly how your gold is stored and what security measures are taken to protect it, you may not like being dependent on an external bank’s infrastructure and policies.
Things to consider before storing gold in a safe deposit box
If you’re thinking of storing your gold in a safe deposit box, we recommend that you take the time to consider the following:
- Choose the right bank: Before you hand over your precious assets, be sure to look for a reliable and reputable bank with a strong track record. Most investors will choose their personal bank for a safety deposit box as they already trust and have experience with them.
- Check accessibility: Check when and how easily you can access your investments from the safety deposit box. What are the operating hours, how quickly can you withdraw your gold, and what are your options in case of emergency?
- Calculate overall costs: While safety deposit boxes may seem more affordable in the beginning, fees can add up over time. It’s a good idea to calculate annual fees and compare them with the cost of investing in high-quality at-home gold storage to see which option aligns better with your budget.
Storing gold in a storage vault
Storage vaults are highly secure facilities designed specifically to store precious metals such as gold or silver. These vaults are equipped with advanced security measures to keep your assets safe from damage and theft.
As with the above two gold storage options, keeping your gold in a storage vault comes with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages which we discuss below.
Advantages of storing gold in a storage vault
Some of the benefits of storing your gold in a storage vault include:
- Advanced security: Storage vaults use advanced security measures, such as surveillance, armed guards, and high-end technology. These high-end security tactics ensure your gold is safe and protected from theft.
- Specialized infrastructure: Most storage vaults are built with special infrastructure that’s designed to protect precious metals such as gold. They’re usually weather-proof and maintain the right temperature to protect gold from degradation.
- Insurance coverage: Many storage vaults offer insurance coverage for extra protection of your assets, meaning it’s one less thing to worry about. Not all storage vaults offer insurance, however, so be sure to check before making your decision.
Disadvantages of storing gold in a storage vault
As with any other storage method, storing your gold in a vault can come with some drawbacks. These include:
- Limited accessibility: Unlike home storage, you cannot easily access gold that’s stored in a vault. Access is restricted to specific operating hours, and in some cases, you may not even be allowed to enter the vault due to security reasons. This means you have to wait for your gold to be delivered to your home before you can access it.
- Lack of control: As with safe deposit box storage, you do not have control over the exact conditions of your gold storage. Instead, you are dependent on a third party to reliably take care of your assets for you.
- High cost: When compared with the other two storage options, storing gold in a vault can be quite costly.
Things to consider before storing your gold in a vault
Before you decide to store your gold in a vault, take the following considerations in mind:
- Choose a reputable vault: Take the time to research a reputable vault that's known for having advanced security measures and a proven track record.
- Carefully read insurance coverage: If the vault you choose comes with insurance coverage, carefully read the terms to be sure it protects against all potential losses and damage.
- Be aware of accessibility: Before sending your gold to a vault, check how accessible it will be once it's stored. Note the opening hours and whether you'll be able to access the vault, particularly in urgent situations.
Why gold storage is important
Gold storage is about more than just finding a good hiding place for your investments. It’s paramount to safeguarding your wealth, protecting against theft or damage, and maintaining its value.
If you’re still not sure why gold storage is such an essential consideration, we’ve outlined some reasons below.
- Maintain its value: Storing your gold properly protects it against risks like damage or loss. This ensures it remains a valuable long-term investment, just as you meant it to.
- Protect against economic instability: Gold investments are a valuable shield against economic uncertainty. Secure storage, especially at home and independent of third parties, ensures your gold is easily accessed when you need it.
- Preserve your wealth: Ultimately, proper gold storage doesn’t just protect your own wealth but also ensures it’s preserved as a valuable asset for future generations.
- Protect against damage: Gold is malleable and can be damaged by exposure to air and moisture. Over time, it may tarnish and corrode. Proper storage ensures your gold is safeguarded from damage and remains as valuable as it was the day you bought it.
Store your gold safely
Whether you’ve invested in gold coins, bars, or jewelry, the best place to store your gold will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.
If you value easy and immediate access, and want to have total control over how and where your gold is stored, keeping it at home is the best option. This ensures that you’re the sole guardian of your gold and protects against unforeseen circumstances, such as your bank going bankrupt.
If you prefer a low-effort storage solution, then a third party such as a safe deposit box or storage vault is the most appropriate option. This requires the least thought process and allows you to offload your investment to a third party who can take care of all the security.
Whichever storage option you choose, start your investment with high-quality gold coins and bars from Stonex Bullion. As one of Europe's leading online shops for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, we're certain you'll find an investment worth protecting.