May 9, 2011

The Great Gold & Silver Vault Storage Segregators

A portion of my job entails vetting silver and gold vault storage facilities for clients/company/myself etc.... yeah I guess you can call me James (the last thing I'd own today is a) Bond.

So dear investor, what of my silver and gold vault vetting experiences have I to share? 

Hmmm... well:

Blind Your Mind's Eye

Shut down that pretty pick before it starts.  Although you are marketed to as if vault storage facilities are gorgeous cartoon-like Scroog Mcduck lairs, the truth is, these places are rather industrial and blue collar.  

Sure these facilities have pro-doe vaults in the center depths of their building structures, but nothing guarantees that these joints are stainless and picture pretty.  Think sh*tty neighborhoods, domestic warehouses, barbed wire, wooden pallets, fork lifts, and dust.

The employees who generally guard bullion vaults do so on the cheap, typically earning some odd $15+ an hour.  Guns are toted on nearly all waists, shotguns adhered to walls like fire extinguishers, security apparatuses don every locked passage-way, cameras in all corners filming for days, etc... but let me be frank and clear --> Risks can be averted but they can never be fully outed.

Contrary to claims, gold and silver bullion do have some forms of counter-party risk... one of the biggest risks for bullion is the a risk of theft.

Even with the greatest vaults, there simply in no stopping the threat of inside jobs.

SeƱor Ponzi could make an appearance where you least expect him, so we must always guard against the potential of fraud and deception.

I'm sorry to have to say this but so long as gold and silver holdings are guarded by humans, risk remains inherent.

So how can you protect your vaulted gold and silver ass-ets?

When it comes to gold and silver vault storage facilities what separates the pri-mo vaults from the herd?

Your Papers, Please?

Insurance is key in the vault storage game.   

You got physical bullion holdings somewhere?  OK great, where's your insurance agreement?  Where's your vault storage agreement?  Are you the first in-line creditor or are you the sub-account in a master account?  Where is your updated vault storage certificate?  Does it have your current updated holdings? 

Say your holdings were up'd and inside jobbed on you, what documents would you be bringing to court?  

Come on!  You didn't hop on this fear train without taking it to its rational worst case end did you? 

Actually you're not alone, people many times don't finish what they start.  I challenge you my dear reader to go the extra mile.  Always demand the appropriate vault storage documents you deserve... always!

Look Away One Tubers

If you are in the market for tubes, please steer away from vault storage options.  Perhaps you like to dream big but please save your capital.  Know that monthly gold and silver vault fees will eat your bullion profits.  The little guy should just take physical delivery of their bullion.  

The Gold and Silver Vault Segregation line is roughly for those with $100,000 or more in bullion.

For you six figure or more bullion investors, the best vault storage agreement option is usually found working directly with a depository that offers segregated vault storage, A to B if you can.  Get a vault to customer agreement in writing and attempt to leave yourself as high up on the control panel as you can get.  When it comes time to sell or move your holdings, etc. you want full autonomy and choice.  Your metals should stand ready to be sold or shipped at any moment to any country you might elect.

The Great Segregators of Gold and Silver Vault Storage Service

- service
- storage model
- price 
- payment model
- location
- size
- options
- papers

Service - it's service which really separates.  What's the vault manager's name?  You got his number/email on lock?  When establishing a report with the person looking after your safe haven treasures, try to be charming, not conspiratorial.  Befriend your respective vault manager(s) as soon as possible!

Storage Model - segregated vault storage only, nothing else.  Allocated? No, negative.  Certificate? Are you kidding me?  Pool account? Where upon your being would you like my speeding fist to land?  Only choose vaults where YOUR silver and gold metals are separated and segregated from the masses of other accounts.

Price - so long as your vault storage prices beat gold ETF and silver ETF management fees, budget for and pay you vault storage fees with a smile.   

Payment Model - the best vault storage setup for the vault owners are where they slowly siphon away your silver or get your gold with complicated fractionalized ounce/gram payment plans.  Don't fall for these models. The best vault storage system setups for you or I are direct with their charges.  Where we as investors simply pay the segregated vault storage fees in fiat crap-ola dollars on a month to month basis. The vaults where they charge dollars/euros/canadian dollars/ australian dollars etc. by the ounce as opposed to your account's value on a percentage basis are gonna be the most cost effective long term.  Sure they could switch their pricing model down the line, but for now the price per ounce models are typically the cheaper choice.

Location - yes of course you want your gold and silver safe and within reach too, but you simply can't have everything you want, so intelligent choices are required for proper vault storing of gold and silver.  Unfortunately the bullion industry is behind in meeting current demand for vault or depository services, and it won't be caught up until this bull market apexes and begins its decent.  Sure the public's got the selling gold and silver jewelry thing down but the investment half of this bull market equation is just getting started. Last phase of this bull market you will find a vault storage facility in every major city within the USA.  

Size - general rule of thumb, the larger the facility the less you will be served.  Don't follow the masses for they will be slaughtered.  Stand clear of the HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclay's, Deutsche Bank, yada yada  financial institution, etc.  Trusting one's EverHedge with the same sociopaths who brought us this problem/opportunity is ill advised. Simply stick with private fully insured vault storage facilities where service is swift and all options are available upon exit.

Options - a few questions worth pondering that separates gold and silver vaulting facilities:  Can you take physical delivery at any time?  Granted, you submit to the facility's protocols, can you physically visit your holdings?  What countries can your vault or depository ship your silver and gold bullion to?  For ease of liquidation you may ask which bullion companies work out of that respected silver and gold vault facility?  Remember if the vault manger is too busy doing a daily pick and pack and ship routine, he probably won't have the necessary time it takes to serve his long term storage clients all that well.

Papers - Lloyds is the general insurance backstop of the silver and gold vault storage game... Marsh McLennan, Brink's Global too... whomever insures your precious metals, make sure to always have your insurance docs in hand as soon as possible.  Like I alluded to earlier, nobody is going to steal your holdings in a head on robbery, that would be suicide, even the gov't knows slight of hand is needed for a gold takedown.  It is merely a matter of a $15 an hour employee taking advantage of their work situation.  The gold and silver vault storage insurance is the ace in your hole.  Always cover your bullion ass-ets with your ace, the proper insurance documentation.  This you should always demand.

Domestic Vault or an International Vault?  

What country are you a citizen of?  I vote for majority in one's homeland with some international insurance off shore in case you have to hit the eject button and move nation states.  Final note on location, for those of you who have envisioned popping in your vehicles, taking short rides over to your local vault to pick up your holdings during a SHTF scenario, do yourself a favor and give your gold and silver away now.  Seriously, that would be about the dumbest most dangerous move to make if things actually went Mad Max.

May I suggest a few deep breathes and perhaps finding some vault storage experts worth trusting in!

The Bank Safe Deposit Box is a No! 

People, please stop shoving your real monies, your gold and silver bullion into safe deposit boxes.  Stop it!  This is an absolute NO! brainer.

Why dare put your bullion within the clutches of the very people who helped usher in these financial crisis?  Why place safe haven assets in a bank's safe deposit box when the bullion holdings are not FDIC insured.  If your bullion is stolen in a safe deposit box, good luck!

Lord knows at the end of a possible bank holiday, the powers that be will know your inventory for certain.  The price to store your silver in safe deposit boxes is ridiculously higher than even the most grossly priced vault storage facility or silver ETF management fee.  There's no room for serious gold and silver stacks in safe deposit boxes.

If you have made the mistake of putting your bullion in a bank's safe deposit box, just admit it and promptly fix it.  How?  Just ask in the comments section below and I can divulge some segregated vaulting options.

Thin Ice Vaulting Options for Cheap Skates

I don't down play home robbery fears, they are real and will become more prevalent in this bull market.  But if you are a cheap skate who has neither the square footage nor the stomach to store lots of bullion at home, perhaps a gold and silver garden is not in the cards for you either... well here is a cheap skate out of the  box idea for you -> Why not try a public storage facility?  

If paying for gold and silver vault storage insurance is not worth it to you.  Maybe you should load up your trunk with worthless junk and bury your pile of bullion in a local public storage facility?

Choose this option at your own risk cheap skates and remember don't forget to pay your public storage fees for the ice you and your bullion will skate on only gets thinner the cheaper you go.  

Segregated Vault + Priced per oz + Insurance + Documents + Service + Shipping Options

I subscribe to diversification of facilities and geo-locations as well.  A bit in hand to start, then majority bits of bullion at your favorite respective vault storage facilities both domestic and perhaps internationally.

Again always arm yourself with fully updated storage certificates and vault storage insurance docs.  Know that we in the industry are diligently moving to open up more vault storage options near you.

The great silver and gold vault storage segregators shall separate the herd from the intelligent.  Many will be slaughtered for their poor choices.  Some will have their silver siphoned and gold grabbed away in fractionalized schemes.  Others will go the extra mile to ensure their safe have holdings stay safe and untouched, exact ounces in, exact ounces out.

Until the next post, take advantage of these paper price pullbacks.

Stay steadfast, continually acquire with discipline, and know that love is above all things... even real money, without end, amen.

- hank



  1. Thanks Hank,

    Another great piece... lots of great information in here. I'm gonna shoot you an email with a few questions on vaults you might suggest in the northeast.

  2. You are very welcome, glad you like it! I look forward to your email.

    - hank

  3. Hank, thanks for catering to the paranoia in all of us. I was wondering which Zurich-based vault options you would recommend. Dealing directly with the likes of Via Mat, Brinks, and Rhenus? It sounds like you're down on arrangements like Anglo Far East...
    Thanks for all the info!

  4. Yes, arrangements like Anglo Far East, GoldMoney, even SilverSaver... all are set up to siphon silver or grab gold fractionally under their customer's nose day in day out. I detest that idea. Nobodies taking my safe haven ounces... I only pay storage fees in fiat crap dollars, euros, pounds, etc.

    Via Mat's home is in Zurich... though I have yet to visit the facilities there, I have done lots of business with those folks, I personally hold with those folks. They are professionals and I've heard great things about the Zurich facility. If you are a large bullion holder, the Zurich facility my be a great option (percentage charge setup though).

  5. Thanks Hank for the warning about these guys grabbing fractions of our 'safe haven', as you so succinctly put it.

    The problem, at least for a beginner like me, is that dealing directly with Via Mat seems to be so much more complex than dealing with one of the turn key solutions. Do you have any resources to recommend to help one understand and execute the process for
    - purchasing the actual bullion
    - arranging for its secure delivery to a storage facility, e.g. Via Mat
    - arranging the storage agreement with Via Mat.

    I guess the key missing component to me is from whom to purchase the bullion so that I can easily arrange for it's delivery and storage to Via Mat?

    Loving the site!

  6. Hey buddy, thanks, glad you like the site!

    I could give you plethora of answers to these questions you ask.

    At this point I'm testing the market determining if starting my own outfit makes sense, so as of now I have no issue helping you for free.

    Email me at and simply answer me these questions:

    What types of metals and bullion products are you buying and in what amount? For Example: gold/silver and coins or bars (hallmarks, etc)

    Where in the United States are you located? If you are international, in what country are you?

    Buying the bullion at a good price is the easy part. Safe guarding your holdings cost effectively where you remain in control is the tricky step.

    I will more than happily help you. Just shoot me an email ;-)



  7. Great article. Segregated vaulting options please.


  8. gold vaults? silver vaults?

    Brink's Salt Lake City, Via Mat Miami, First State Depository, Via Mat New York, Via Mat Frankfurt, Via Mat Zurich, Cube Global Storage Canada, Brink's Hong Kong

  9. I believe that all the folks in the financial bussiness who were dogging gold for so long it had become a breken record. Well now look at the price of gold.

  10. I live in West Michigan. Looking for safe storage and vault for 1. silver/gole and 2. Precious metals IRA. Locations suggestions please.

  11. Thoughts on Delaware Depository? I have a segregated account there and have Scottsdale Silver ship silver bars there a few times a year. It's grown in $ value and considering a 2nd depository to diversify. By the way, Scottsdale 100 oz Stackers are my ticket for Vaulting as they are brand new, interlocking, and have Serial Numbers. First Class.

  12. DDSC is not a place I would keep my metals... I was not impressed with my visit of the facility... if I were in your shoes, I would move my holdings down the street to First State Depository Company. They are much more professional and I believe much more cost effective. Eric Higgins is the man at FSDC. As for other cost effective silver storage facilities, for diversification, the question first to ask is are you looking to be in the USA and or outside the USA?

  13. I am in West Michigan too (like earlier comment), and like your recommendation on the safest & most trust worthy location to store silver and gold eagles. Right now I'm with Fidelity/Fidelitrade stored at Deleware. You mentioned First State Depository. Is there a trusted place like that in the mid-west? or south? Is GoldSilver Vault in Idaho to your approval?

  14. Eric Higgins at FSDC is trustworthy, competent, and their systems are very solid.

    Cube Global is new on the scene though I have heard good things and their pricing is superb for gold storage.

    - hank

  15. Who can you recommend in the Kansas City area for storage of 1 oz. gold coins? Ability to ship internationally would be nice, and having a bullion company working with the facility might also provide for easy liquidation. Thanks for your help.

  16. Hello, according to Google maps, it looks like Brink's Salt Lake City is your closest, most cost effective and convenient option. I believe works out of there.

    BTW, I have heard rumors that Apmex may be getting into the vault storage game but details are tough to come by at the moment.

    Brink's SLC is your best option at the moment I believe.

  17. Is there any vaulting services around the Chicago area?

  18. Another West Michigan guy here looking for the best option that is relatively close by (at least within a day's driving distance to and back). I'll check out the Ohio option you mentioned.

  19. I live in the Kansas City MO/KS border area, too. Have options been mentioned yet? Thank you.

  20. Hello all,

    I don't believe there are that many options for vaulting bullion in say Chicago, West Michigan, Kansas City, etc... you can try and contact your local Brink's but most of them are not in the storage or vaulting game. But if you are a big enough customer and can sell, it may be worth looking into if you want it super close to home:

    Brink's Salt Lake City
    Via Mat Miami
    First State Depository
    Via Mat New York
    Via Mat Frankfurt
    Via Mat Zurich
    Cube Global Storage Canada
    Brink's Hong Kong
    Via Mat Los Angeles ( LAX facility fall 2012)

    1. Any thoughts on Diamond State Depository in Delaware or CNT in Boston? Thanks.


    2. Mike Clark, guy who started Diamond State, he has since started a Toronto Vault option with Eric Sprott's daughter. Never worked with him first hand. He has an association with TX wholesaler Dillon Gage.

      CNT is a one of the largest wholesalers in the USA, 2nd to only A-Mark.

      My rule of thumb is, you never store with the same folks you buy from, subsidiaries, etc.

      You better have a third party signing off on what you have there. That same third party better produce updated insurance docs. on the regular as well.

      I suppose you want specialists involved whose Brand Name is on the line if sh*t goes really bad. That's why I prefer Via Mat & Brink's locations. Even if some employee goes rogue, those organizations would be forced to make it right ( and they have the pockets to do so ).

  21. What do you think of Cube Global Storage in Canada? I've heard some reasonably good things about them, but being a bit newer than some of the more established players I can't find anywhere near the same amount of information.

    1. Cube Global Storage in Canada is solid. The contact there is:

      Bob Gignac
      Director of Business Development
      CUBE Global Storage Ltd.
      Direct Dial 250-704-2173
      Toll-Free North America 1-800-661-0272 extension 2173
      Out-side North America +1-250-727-9811 extension 2173

  22. Hank,
    I have a handicapped son who has a trust with a sizable amount in it. I currently have it in various banks. I am his conservator and would like your advise on ways to try to protect his monies. I have a great repore with the courts, using his monies in the past 20 years, to build rentals and a ranch for him to live on. I would like to invest a large portion of his money into gold and silver, but I am a new bee at this game. I am not ignorant by any means regarding money, but I fear the wrong choice would cost him his future safety net. With the country heading down this slippery slope, any advise you may have would be sincerely appreciated.
    Thanks again.

    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Hank here. The phone is probably the most efficient manner to help you.

      I'd have a small number of questions to ask and then we'd narrow down the best option via your answers.

      Feel free to leave your email address or number which we can delete after we've made contact.


      - hank

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. What should we be looking for in terms of insurance at depositories? Most of the policies seems to be set up with the depository as the payee rather than the customer. Can customers be named insureds? Are the papers that you refer to a copy of the insurance certificate or something more? Thanks for a great site!

  24. Hank,

    Great article. Can you point me in the direction on how I might be able to obtain insurance on a storage location? A client of mine might be getting into a new venture. Thanks.

    1. Please clarify what you mean by "how I might be able to obtain insurance on a storage location".

      Are you referring on how to obtain insurance on a storage location all ready in operation or one which a client of yours might be creating as a new business?

      - hank

  25. If I want to take 2 kilos of gold to America from Africa how do I do it?

    how to buy gold coins

  26. Gold does not always react in the fashion we may want, like or perceive,

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Collectables insurance. Search it on the web. They are very helpful and informative if you want to contact them.

  29. Can someone answer in plain English. Where does the small guy hide his bullion?

    1. Buy a safe , install it in a hidden place. Don't let anyone know where it is,buy collectables insurance ( collectables insurance on the webb). It helps to buy a safe that is heavy enough that if someone did find out where it is it would be very hard for them to physically pick it up and steal it. I personally don't have much trust in someone at a depository protecting my assets if something were To go wrong in our country.
      Hope this helped you, good luck.

  30. I really enjoyed reading your article and the comments. I learned a lot and I'm getting ready to transfer 50K from my 401K to a self directed precious metals IRA. I'm thinking Brinks in SLC as I travel from Ca to Wy frequently. My question is, can the metals be sold for a fiat currency sometime down the line and still remain inside the IRA to avoid incurring the taxes at that time? How does one withdraw in smaller increments after retiring? Also are state taxes incurred when you withdraw the money or metals in the state of the depository?

  31. Thanks for sharing this ultimate post. I am very surprising and enjoying while reading this very much. It is good idea to secure our important things in this safety deposit box Brisbane. Thank you once again and I am waiting for your next post.


Join Ever Hedge

Stay In Touch with EverHedge