The best way to store your precious metals

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It's common to see scuffs, scratches, and corrosion on circulation coins, and as many experienced collectors can attest, it's not entirely uncommon to see slight wear even on newly minted bullion. High purity metals (999 and above) are soft metals, susceptible to damage and wear more easily than those alloyed with more durable metals. But as collectors ourselves, we know you want to you keep your collection as pristine as possible, so we would like to offer a few suggestions to help you maintain your bullion in mint condition.

Handling Your Precious Metals

As tangible investment assets, having your gold, silver, and other precious metals on hand in your collection requires careful consideration to ensure their safety and preservation. Even with light handling, oils from your skin can cause discoloration and leave fingerprints, contaminants like dirt and other particles can transfer dulling the polish, and a particularly robust manicure or jewelry could scratch or dent the surface. But we're not suggesting you always provide white glove service when handling your bullion. Rather, we suggest handling your bullion on the rim... unless you have a proof coin, where even holding it by the rim without gloves can leave fingerprints on the mirrored field that decrease the coin’s value.

However, handling your bullion does not have to be a no-win situation. We simply recommend thoroughly washing and drying your hands first. If you do prefer to wear gloves, make sure they are lint-free cotton gloves. Plastic and latex gloves contain lubricants and powders that can cause the same problems you were hoping to avoid.

Even speaking or breathing directly over your bullion could cause moisture damage to your investment. Who knew metal could be so delicate? It may not be the fun answer, but the best way to ensure your handling does not cause damage to your investment is to completely avoid handling it at all.

Fortunately, we offer a variety of Storage [link] solutions that can make handling your precious metals much easier.

Storing Your Precious Metals

Home Storage

Maintaining the pristine condition of your newly purchased bullion comes down to a few fundamental rules:

  1. Place your bullion in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

  2. Keep your bullion from away excessive heat and humidity.

  3. For long-term storage, consider airtight containers.

Following these simple rules, you can help prevent oxidization of the metals which can tarnish them.  

Many collectors prefer to display their collection, rather than storing it away, in which case we recommend keeping your coins and rounds in coin flips [link]. However, it is important that you use unplasticized (PVC-free) coin flips, as PVC can also damage your metals. For long-term storage, using airtight, direct-fit capsules. If you have many coins or rounds, we suggest keeping them protected within specially designed tubes [link] or storage boxes [link].

Keeping Your Precious Metals Secure

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend using a third-party storage solution for your investment, but as collectors, we know not being able to actually see your collection is not the most fun option. If you choose to store your precious metals at home, we advise following the industry standard of setting up three layers of protection (e.g. discreetly locked in a fireproof, bolted safe, within a locked closet, hidden behind your winter coats). Unfortunately, a lock only keeps good people from getting curious, so the more layers of protection you have the lower potential for theft. Finally, avoid discussing your collection openly or sharing sensitive information that could compromise security.

Bank Safe Deposit Box

Renting a safe deposit box at a bank is a popular option for secure storage of precious metals. Bank vaults provide high-level security measures, including surveillance, access control, and alarms. Additionally, storing your precious metals in a safe deposit box keeps them separate from your home, reducing the risk of theft or damage, not to mention, they offer a higher level of privacy, as only you (or authorized individuals) can access the box. Granted, there may be some limitations, including restricted access during specific hours and potential limits on the size and weight of items that can be stored.

Precious Metals Depositories

Often touted as the most secure option, specialized depositories can offer professional storage services specifically tailored to safeguarding precious metals. This can also be the most expensive option, as storage fees may be based on the value and quantity of your investment. However, with advanced security systems including surveillance, armed guards, and controlled access protocols, the physical security of your investment can give you peace of mind. Plus, reputable depositories often provide insurance coverage and authenticity verifications for the stored precious metals, providing additional layers of protection.

We understand, depending on your preferences for access to your collection or investment, available budget, or investment strategy, you may choose a combination of these possible storage options to diversify your risk: keeping a portion of your collection at home for immediate accessibility and storing a larger portion in a bank safe deposit box or a specialized depository for enhanced security.

Regardless of the storage method you choose, it's essential to keep detailed records of your collection, including photographs, descriptions, and serial numbers, to aid in identification and insurance claims if needed. Regularly assess the condition of your precious metals and take appropriate measures to protect them from damage, such as handling them with care, avoiding exposure to chemicals, and storing them in appropriate containers or protective sleeves.

Lastly, consult with security professionals, financial advisors, or reputable precious metals dealers to seek guidance on the best storage options based on your specific circumstances and the size of your collection.