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Tips for the safe storage of precious metals

The safest way to hold precious metals is to buy physical bars and coins. You buy what you fancy and store it yourself or place it in a high security storage facility. Storing at home has the advantage that the precious metal is always at hand. But, there is also a risk – the risk of theft being the most obvious, and private insurance cover is expensive.

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1. Safe Deposit Boxes in Switzerland or in Liechtenstein

Echtgeld Ltd. recommends a secure storage company for the opening of a safe deposit box in Switzerland or in Liechtenstein. Here you will find all necessary information for a Safe Deposit Box in Switzerland and further information for a Safe Deposit Box in Liechtenstein.

2. Duty-free storage in Switzerland
(also applies to investors domiciled within Switzerland and Liechtenstein)

If required, ECHTGELD AG can provide details of high security storage facilities in Switzerland where you can place your precious metal holdings in allocated storage, which is insured with Lloyds. These storage facilities are not associated with the banking system and are accessible at all times.

White metals, such as silver, platinum and palladium can also be held in duty-free separate high-security storage facilities, which are exempt from value added tax.

If a company is to be entrusted with storage the following points should be considered:

  1. Allocated storage ensures that the company in question safeguards the storage of gold but has no rights of ownership of the precious metals it holds. In the case of unallocated storage, e.g. with a bank, you are an unsecured creditor as any legal claim is transferred to the bank and you are no longer the owner of the physical gold. You hold a stake in paper gold whose value depends upon the creditworthiness of the bank.
  2. For reasons of security it is preferable if the precious metal can be held in allocated and segregated storage. The owner takes possession of specific bars that can be identified by serial numbers. After every storage transaction the client is provided with a current storage receipt with the listed bar numbers.
  3. Wherever possible we recommend that you do not store precious metal with banks as you cannot be certain that your gold is really there. If a bank closes temporarily there may be restrictions on access. Banks are involved with credit business. Storage companies, who are not connected to banks, are in the storage business.
  4. The operator of storage facilities must be in a position to allow you to inspect the insurance policy if need be.
  5. Storage should only be undertaken with companies which allow their precious metal holdings to be regularly audited by third parties.

The points mentioned above apply equally to silver. However, it should be noted that the storage of silver is more costly as this has mainly to do with volumes.

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