Coins – Ultimate Storage Guide

How to store gold sovereigns and other precious coins

Now you’ve got me here what are you going to do with me ?
Although that saying did not relate to gold coins, (It was a bit naughty) the same saying is true of gold coins and bullion.

Seriously though once you have purchased gold coins or bars you have a fairly immediate problem
That is How and where are you going to store coins
Storing Gold coins is the main problem for most collectors…

The answer is not simple – a few gold coins can be kept in a 10 coin sovereign case which is padded and protects your coins well.
These are available here on ebay. Or at Amazon. These fit easily into any drawer or bureau.

COLLECTIONS
Single gold coins usually come in protective covers. and are easily hidden either in your home or office (under the floorboards or under the loft insulation in a box or plastic bag seems to be a favourite for many people.
I have heard of some people who prefer hiding a few coins under a carpet – just use your imagination to find somewhere in your own home that is easily overlooked but not somewhere that can be found by treading on it accidentally.

LARGER COLLECTIONS
The main problem seems to be when an investor has a quantity of Gold Sovereigns or Gold Eagles to store safely..
Home insurance is usually limited to a collection of around $1500 to $2000 but check with your insurer to see how much you are covered for on your household policy.
If you understate the amount you have then the insurance company will usually not pay out at all..or at a lower rate.
Single valuable coins should be listed separately.on your insurance policy.

If you have a safe at home  then  please use it (and don’t leave the combination lying around for a burglar to find !)

SAFES
Home safes vary in quality and more expensive ones may be a wise investment.
Do not bother with safes disguised as food containers – burglars know all about these.
Wall mounted safes hidden behind pictures are good as these are built into the actual fabric of the building.
Underfloor safes work well if you have easy access.
In Australia many stores have larger safes built into their floor with an easy access to contents on a time lock basis.

BURY YOUR GOLD
The next step up is to bury your gold. – this is not a joke !
Burying gold has long been the favourite storage method of most politicians and despots since time immemorial.
The Nazis for instance hid huge amounts of gold in caves in Austria (a bit extreme admittedly  but certainly a safe place!)
War causes huge problems with security for your gold coins.
Plan for easy access  for you and helpful people at the storage facility.

It is a fact that for thousands of years merchants and collectors have buried gold coins for two reasons – as gold is difficult to damage because it is a noble metal (only very strong acids or mercury will damage gold)

Burial is a fairly secure way to keep that little nest-egg secure (although it is unlikely that you would store gold in proximity to such substances).

There are three disadvantages though  –
one is that you forget where you buried your gold,
 the second is that something might happen to you – an accident or a bolt of lightning or another unexpected and unfortunate happening.
The third possibility is that your life partner may dig it up and move away with your coins. (it has been known to happen)

Anyway I strongly suggest that you write out the whereabouts of your hoard and keep it either with your will or another safe place for your wife/husband/partner to find later preferably after your death.
Just this week for instance, a pot containing 10,000 coins was discovered by a treasure hunter in Shrewsbury England .
I expect the original owner in Roman times was seriously expecting to retrieve them later.

Banks And Secure Storage

A larger amount of gold is frankly more secure in the vaults of a Bank,Safety Deposit or Bullion Dealer.
The amounts these institutions charge varies from $25 a year upwards depending on the conditions of the company.
You must insure your coins against theft – criminals DO target these institutions.

(Butch Cassidy said it all when asked why do you rob banks he replied –
It’s where they keep the money !)

Sadly banks ,safe deposits and bullion dealers do sometime go bust.
It is ESSENTIAL that if you place a large quantity of gold coins or bullion you must have  an ALLOCATED storage area.
Allocated storage areas differ from other storage areas in the premises where if the bank/deposit etc goes bust the gold is not then treated as an asset of the bank/deposit.
This is called a non-fungible allocated area.

You should investigate the finances of any Bank or safe deposit before trusting them with your gold. It has been known for fake safe deposit companies to set up and decamp with the contents !

Even very large Banks have recently gone out of business.

If you visit the vaults of any major bullion dealer/mint you will see shelves and shelves of deposits from private individuals ,companies and even countries with notices in front of each box stating the ownership of these allocated areas.
Private or Government Mints also offer allocated gold coin storage as do precious metal trading centres worldwide. ALWAYS take out insurance as well to get a bet and braces form of security for your wealth.
Although local banks may also offer similar storage facilities, banks in Lichtenstein and Switzerland have higher security and greater privacy laws.
The problem of storing your gold in these and offshore banks is ease of access.

The Perth Mint in Australia is one of the few safe storage areas specifically for gold coins

Gold is surprisingly heavy.
Do not store gold in a box weighing more than you can physically carry.
If you need access in a hurry you should at least be able to carry it !

As a rough guide an area the size of a brick would house 2,500 gold sovereigns.
This would hold around 2.4 million dollars (at todays rate which will undoubtedly have changed by the time you read this article.)

If you are travelling by sea with your gold you should insist that the gold travels on your ship in the SPECIE ROOM.

All transatlantic ships have a specie room which contains passengers valuables
This is often used as a way to transport gold or silver across the Atlantic.
This is normally housed in the bowels of the ship beneath the passenger luggage.
This is so that it is more secure since access is only available when all the passenger luggage is offloaded first.
Classic examples of Species Rooms were on the Titanic and Lusitania ships  which no doubt explains the desires of many salvage companies !