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Where You Hide It

by John Rubino on March 23, 2011 · 44 comments

Deciding to buy physical gold or silver is a no-brainer. But keeping it once you have it takes some creativity. Back in August the Solari Network published a comprehensive guide to precious metals storage. And here’s a good discussion of the various options and their drawbacks from Jeff Clark at Casey Research:

Think Like a Thief

It’s official: the greatest number of responses to any article I’ve written since joining Casey Research was to Robbed!,the story of my friend’s gold being stolen and the suggestions for storage. It’s clear the article struck a nerve – from those who’ve also been a victim of theft, to those who were simply looking for additional ideas for storage locations.

Based on the number and quality of responses, I thought it would be useful to pass some of them along. Here are the (edited) emails I received, along with our comments…

Other Stories of Stolen Gold:

“I had 136 American gold Eagles stolen from my home… $198,500 worth of gold. Besides the loss, I will lose the tremendous appreciation of the next few years. So be warned: HIDE YOUR GOLD!”

“Another sad story of robbery was the reportof a Canadian man being robbed of his entire life savings. The article says he was punched, stabbed and tied up by home invaders who made off with his life savings in silver bars. The two thugs, wearing fake police uniforms, made off with $750,000 in silver the man had bought as an investment last year.”

Comment: There are more horror stories than I think most of us are aware of. The message is the same: the gold and silver bullion you possess is valuable, and will be increasingly so, so tell only one other person. And to determine if your home storage is really secure, think like a thief: how likely would someone intent on robbing you find or get to your valuables?

Additional Storage Locations:

“Just wanted to offer an additional storage method… I suggest private vault storage… only you and the one person you trust have this information. I use Mountain Vault in the Phoenix area. Good prices: only a few hundred dollars for 3″ or 6″h x 10″w x 24″ deep. You can pack a lot of gold Eagles in there!”

Comment: Private vault storage is a great option, of course, but at this point it’s not widespread enough to make it available to most people – and you want to be relatively close to your precious metals. It’s also generally more expensive than most other storage choices. The advantage it holds over a bank safe deposit box is that it’s outside of the financial system. If you’re within an afternoon’s drive of one and can justify the cost, it’s definitely worth checking into. Google “depository” and your state or province.

“Some upscale jewelry stores have storage options.”

Comment: Jewelry stores make me nervous; they might be an easy target if Doug Casey is right about a Greater Depression.

“There is one other option you forgot to mention: Build a storage or garden shed out back. Have a safe built into the floor. You can access the gold without being seen, day or night. Tell only one other person (such as your adult child) the combination. Do not have a key, only a combination. If you are robbed, they will not kill you because then they won’t have the combination. If someone breaks in and heads for the shed and tries to dig it out of the ground, tell the cops to go find the contractor who installed it!”

Comment: An alternative worthy of consideration. Just be sure that if you go this route, the safe is protected from the elements – you don’t want rainwater seeping in, for example. Also, my father knew a man whose family was tortured until he gave up the combination to his safe. While a combination safe is preferable to a key lock, don’t think you’re immune. Keep the safe hidden and tell only one confidant. Last, hiring a contractor is something to avoid if possible; all it takes is for them to tell one other person.

“Bury a pop can a foot above your buried gold so that if someone used a metal detector, they’d find it and stop digging.”

Comment: Something to consider if you go the “midnight gardening” route. Keep in mind, though, that all they’d have to do after removing the pop can is wave the detector over the hole again.

“On the subject of storing bullion and home safes, Liberty safes are some of the best on the market. What sold me is, they will replace the safe and its contents if damaged or broken into. I didn’t find any other company with as good a product or warranty.”

Comment: The guarantee is worth checking into if you’re buying a home safe. However, keep in mind that no safe is 100% secure; a safe buys you time, nothing more. Meaning, hide your safe or store it under the floor where something could be placed over it (a refrigerator in the garage, for example).

“Keep two safes – a decoy one and the “McCoy” safe.”

Comment: Not a bad idea if you’re storing a lot at home. Get a cheap safe from an office supply store for the decoy one, and put some metal or jewelry in it that’s less valuable so the thief thinks he got your stash.

“Keep in mind that someone could follow you home from a coin shop.”

Comment: Yes, be alert of your surroundings when you’re handling gold. If you suspect someone is really following you, drive to the police station.

Also, my friend installed a security system at his home, complete with cameras. While most of his gold is no longer stored there, he’ll have a video recording if someone tries again. A nanny cam could work, too, and they’re not expensive.

Bank Safe Deposit Boxes

“The bank can access a safe deposit box only if the owner is deceased and no one claims it.”

– Bank official

Comment: Several readers wrote in to say they’d been told there were circumstances under which a safe deposit box could be accessed by the bank (confiscation) or restricted from access by the owner (locked down during a natural disaster, for example), but most of these comments sounded more like an internal comment from a local bank rather than a broader instruction.

The statement above is what my local bank told me and is generally the case with the bankers we spoke to. That’s not to say the rules couldn’t change (and perhaps with little notice), but generally speaking, the bigger risk here is that the contents aren’t insured (think of the banks washed away by the tsunami in Japan).

I also got a response from Frank Trotter at EverBank, a banker David Galland knows well and someone we trust…

“We have always noted that there are two key elements for holding gold:

1.       If you’re holding it as an investment, then minimize the cost of holding and maximize the liquidity. This was the concept behind the development of our EverBank Metals Select Pooled accounts, and is in place at a number of other institutions. We also think this should be the primary focus of investing in gold.

2.       We do not view holding the metal as an investment, but rather a self-insurance. If you are holding for emergency, then cost and convenience are not the primary drivers. Of course each individual has to assess what they consider an emergency to determine how to hold the metal, but if you are holding for emergency, then you must control the metal directly. I think we can all find scenarios where it would be impossible to access any business storing anything for you; will the employees come in, are all businesses closed by order, is there unrest near the facilities, etc. In major emergencies, it is certainly illogical that overseas transportation would be available if that is your selected location, and so on.

“Basically, we view investments in metals in cost-efficient and liquid instruments to be primary to hedge against inflation and geopolitical events, and holding metals yourself to be the only way to effectively hedge against dislocation of civil society.”

Coin Storage

“On burying coins: do not put silver coins, or even gold for that matter, directly in touch with PVC. It is highly reactive with silver, and silver is found in most alloyed gold coins in some amount. Here’s a link to a good short articleabout it. Most coin dealers use mylar coin ‘flips’ which are hard and brittle, but I often get sovereigns and even silver Eagles in so-called ‘soft’ flips which can contain PVC. I remove them and put them in hard plastic non-PVC holders, of which there are a number on the market.”

Comment: To confirm this, I spoke to a couple dealers:

Van Simmons/David Hall Rare Coins: “PVC holders were common, but not any longer. The industry has changed, in part, because PVC used to cause what was called the “green gunge,” especially with copper and nickel coins.”

Andy Schectman/Miles Franklin: “Over a long period of time, it could put holes in bullion. The reader is correct that you should store your coins in the stiffer plastic holders, not the softer “flips,” though no reputable dealer would use those these days.”

Insuring Your Metal

“You mentioned your friend decided not to make a claim with his insurance company because they may not have paid it or dropped him from coverage. I talked to my insurance agent, who is a personal friend I trust, and was told that in my case it covers only up to $2,000 worth. I recall the underwriter wanting to know what my safe was like, how heavy it was, etc., then wanted to know how much gold and silver I had and in what forms (I was told there are different rules for bars vs. coins). They also required a current appraisal of everything I had. In the end, they would insure it as a ‘rider’ with a premium of 1.5% of the value per year. Not only would I have been uncomfortable giving them all the data they were asking for, but I also didn’t want to pay them 1.5% annually.”

Comment: While it may seem wise to insure your metal, it breaks one of the golden rules of home storage – you’ve got to tell other people what you have. If you go that route, consider who else your agent has to discuss your policy with (corporate office, admin staff, etc.), who has access to the paperwork, etc. Bottom line: I would pursue this route only if you had substantial holdings, had a security system at your home, and kept some of your holdings elsewhere.

The bottom line is to review your storage methods so that you’re confident your physical assets are secure. If you “think like a thief,” you might find where you need to make some changes. And don’t forget that no storage location is 100% secure. Therefore, one of the best ways to store your physical gold is to diversify your locations. The more you have, the more you should utilize several methods for holding metal.

Last, as I stated before, don’t let this scare you off from buying bullion. It’s still the asset that offers the best monetary protection for the foreseeable future. Not owning it may leave you feeling robbed when you go to use your paper dollars and find they won’t buy you as much as you thought. That’s not a theft you can prevent – unless you own gold.

 

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael March 23, 2011 at 3:50 am

I have also read many of the stories online recently about folks parting with their metal forcibly. My guess is many folks fall into the category where, like John Rubino’s friend, they have violated the rule of only telling one other trusted individual about their gold/silver ownership. If that is the case, any home storage option is fraught with peril, since all it takes is a good beating or a threat at gunpoint and most all of us would (and should – even metal is not worth your life!) hand it over. Even keeping two safes is not foolproof if someone knows how much metal you’ve got.

In such a circumstance, offsite storage is probably a better option. Bank of America, e.g., has many locations in which a full hand scan is required for entry to the safe deposit box area – not simply a key and an ID. I’m not particularly keen on the safe deposit box option, but it’s probably a better option in many situations than keeping a large stash at home.

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2nd Amendment August 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Just know how p0l!ce (aka h0mel^nd) are now tracking people with attachable gps and may even get an alert when purchasing in quantity certain items like metals or ^mm0 if your a suspect AT ALL or just named by someone they will do that crap and retrace with a dog to track if you leave the car and go hiking so when you hide anything away from home use a friends car or whatever and remember to leave your phone at home it is also a tracking device and used regularly by the po po no warrant needed.
So keep your excitement down when you buy and keep the MOUTH SHUT and just smile. Also buy with cash if ya can. Keep Calm and CHIVE On :)

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jeff March 23, 2011 at 3:52 am

Good article John; thanks.

A couple thoughts however. Owning physical has one other advantage, albeit illegal; not paying capital gains when liquidated (as you know and as the law stands now, sales aren’t reported).

My silver is at a friend’s house in a (Liberty) safe as I have been living abroad. I worry he will not give up the combination if he is robbed although I told him to do so. The safe has other valuables in it and I am thinking at my next visit of selling out all and putting the money in a silver ETF.

My gold is in a safety deposit box in Tucson. I don’t see the advantage of depositories as they are still subject to robbery and embezzlement. Also the first place the government is going to look if gold is confiscated again.

Think your best advice has been wherever it is put, tell only one person that you can trust where it is. I have heard several stories of gold and silver theft and the one thing in common is the thieves knew where it was.

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james moylan March 23, 2011 at 3:55 am

I have a web site where I research stocks under five dollars. for those investors looking for a way to invest in siver mining companies though an exchange traded fund. their is one such fund it is Global X Silver Miners ETF symbol (SIL).

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jason March 23, 2011 at 6:38 am

James, ‘there’ rather than ‘their’

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anti grammar nazi November 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm

fuck you

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Suzanne March 23, 2011 at 4:26 am

I have broken up my stash of metals… it is hidden all over the house, usually close to metal pipes, and always suck-wrapped in a FoodSaver bag over the bullion storage tubes, and that stashed in a tan plastic grocery bag that blends in with the surroundings.
You don’t want to put valuables in the bedroom, and thieves have long since discovered the kitchen. Thieves hunt all the obvious places first because they are “on the clock” once they enter your house. The harder you make them hunt, the less likely they will hang around long enough to find it.

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hey March 24, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Suzanne. It would probably be safer to delete your post and not share your secrets. Can never be too safe.

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Virgil March 26, 2011 at 10:14 pm

What, did Suzanne’s address appear on your version of her post…?

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henry Coulter March 23, 2011 at 4:56 am

James, James, James,
You are either careless or uneducated. If you are looking for people to follow your advice, check your spelling/grammar before “Summit”

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Henry Uncouth March 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Henry, what the hell is “summit”? Are you scaling Everest and took a timeout to post this?

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Henry Coulter March 29, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I am also an idiot, calling the kttle black. Sorry

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Notfiat March 23, 2011 at 7:34 am

John,
Great article and useful topic. Many comments on forums and article posts claim that “if you don’t hold it, you don’t own it”. When security is mentioned the macho comes out and the discussion turns to weaponry. You don’t see much discussion of alternatives because “if you don’t hold it…”.

When I decided to invest in gold I quickly went with GLD. Once I became more educated I liquidated GLD. But before I sold it I did my best to go through all the alternatives. My considerations were cost, safety, liquidity, government confiscation, and fraud. I saw the advantages of physical possession but I also saw the drawbacks.

In the end, I chose to keep a minimal amount ‘at hand’ and the rest at Bullionvault, a popular option you didn’t mention. Only Bullionvault and Goldmoney offer the public the ability to make allocated purchases of any portion of good delivery bars held in secure good delivery vaults. That’s a lot safer than anything you might come up with at home. As a result, insurance from Lloyds of London is thrown in with the minimal storage fees. I like James Turk but Bullionvault has a much better interface and much lower prices, commissions, and storage fees despite the fact that the gold is held on adjacent pallets in a Zurich vault.

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Steven Benard March 23, 2011 at 4:02 pm

My grandfather was a numismatic coin collector. He also acquired large amounts of silver coins, which he buried in the back yard. He went to his grave without ever telling anyone — even his wife of 55 years — where he buried the silver. He just told the family it was there.
A few years later, a 100-year flood took out the garage and put 4 feet of silt in the back yard. My grandmother built a tennis court over that spot following the flood. Now, the new owners have made the tennis court into a garage. I suspect that my grandfather’s “treasure chest” will never be found!

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RayJackson February 11, 2014 at 5:33 am

Give me the address. I’ll find it. ;)

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Agent P March 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I read both pieces of this by Jeff Clark some days back. Right from the opening paragraph of part 1, my thoughts were of what valuable information this is – for practicing thieves, and thieves-in-training. One could not have asked for a better ‘instruction manual’…

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Timothy March 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm

What, so folks would have been better off leaving their coins on the coffee table and having no info? I’m not sure what kind of “agent” you are, but I’m thinking it may be a cancerous one.

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Bruce C. March 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Holding/hiding precious metals (money) is a classic, age-old problem.

Of all the successful methods that I know, some sort of deception is always used, besides the obvious need for secrecy and non-specificty. For example, for home storage, gold plated lead “rounds” can be used as a fake stash. That may sound expensive and like a lot of trouble but that is also why it’s effective, assuming you haven’t blabbed about having coins or bars. Besides, you don’t have to have that many for the trick to work. Even a metal detector that can detect gold (not just any metal) is “fooled”. It’s also good to store copies of important looking papers and even some cash with them to make it look like it’s your only stash. A stack of thick, officially banded bundles of worthless FRNs can be constructed fairly easily by making good copies of them on heavy paper. Most criminals get all tingly when they see the green and then feel the urge to go.

Also, try to store your metal near large metal plumbing or electrical pipes to confuse any metal detectors that may be used. It can be fun to cover a wall safe with a fuse box cover too. And don’t forget about the attic.

I’d like to say more, but I’d prefer to do it through some other format. This is too public.

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Brad Thrasher March 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I would only take exception with the advice that you, “Think Like A Thief.” As a law clerk with some experience in frauds and scams I assure you that unless you are a thief, you’ll never think like one. You can never match even a common criminal’s creativity.

Oh and you can all trust me personally up to $10 million. Anything less isn’t worth stealing.

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cossack55 March 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

4″ PVC two or three feet in length with appropriate end caps and lots of sealant. Buried (not on my land) and spoofed x10/container. I sleep well.

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Ricky D March 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm

What on God’s green earth does “spoofed x10″ mean? If you’re going to talk so no one understands you, why not talk to yourself?

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CompassionateFascist March 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm

A sizeable proportion of those who were robbed of their home PM stashes made no substantial effort to defend them. Post System Collapse (July-August 2012), you aren’t going to be able to access your gold/silver/etc. in a vault in the next town, never mind one in Zurich. The only defense of gold and silver is going to be hot lead.

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Michael March 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Wow, you’ve got the date of the collapse down to a couple of months. That’s rather impressive, or….

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tesla March 24, 2011 at 2:31 am

for all this talk about gold security….i grew up around a gold scrap buyer who would buy and sell to smelters.

there is NO one one here talking about the realities of ‘emergency’ gold. if you have gold and there is a real emergency, you want to be able to carry it with you to use it, than people will know you have gold…so you better be carrying a pistol to protect yourself.

truth is, in the emergency you are talking about, you will be safer and better off with a huge briefcase of food.

and if you are worried about inflation, there are other ways to invest than gold.

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Bruce C. March 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Your last comment is the most curious though not uncommon.

The whole point of gold/silver is that it has historically been the most reliable and resurgent form of money – a storer of wealth – compared to fiat currency. If you have your wealth in “paper” (e.g., cash on hand, bytes in a bank’s hard drive, a gold/silver ETF, mining stocks, etc.) the purchasing power of it all depends upon the value of the currency that it’s in. As you probably know, the value of the US dollar is falling (and not just relative to gold), and has been steadily doing so since 1913, and most noticeably after 1972 when it became completely unhinged from gold. For the last ten years the same amount of gold has been worth an ever increasing number of FRNs. You could make the same argument for some stocks (but not many/any?) but as currency devaluations continue even those stocks will lose ground. At best we will experience just ordinary inflation in which most equities and commodities will increase in price to reflect the weakening currencies, but I think that’s a bad bet. Diversification (a third of all three – cash, metals, and equities) seems to me an obvious alternative, but I’m surprised how many people refuse to do that. On the other hand, if/when there is another financial crisis (probably caused by a sudden flight from the dollar as everyone (finally) realizes that their purchasing power is evaporating) then I’ll be more than happy to trade you the few dollars I have left for something more tangible. The dangers of possessing concentrated wealth aside (which are the same whatever the form of money), which would be more fun – having something that increases in value every day or that decreases?

That said, I would hope that most of the people who have bought metals are not expecting to need it during a crisis or emergency. If so they may be disappointed. I think their greatest value will be afterwards because any new currency system that is set up will most likely be linked to gold, and so those who actually have some will be much better off than those who don’t. I can’t imagine any scenario in which that wouldn’t be true.

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Atch Logan March 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I read, recently (I think on zerohedge), that under new Homeland Security “rules” the government can go into any bank/bank box without warrant or cause to check for gold/precious metal, which they can confiscate. Haven’t confirmed this, don’t know, but would not trust my gold/silver to banks or any institution which is subject to rule (s) of state or Federal Government.

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Anonymous June 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Would you mind providing a reference, or link to article?

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Fred March 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Keeping anymore than about 50 gold coins or 1 oz bullion wafers is more likely to get you killed than do much good for you and your family in a post-apocalyptic world. Don’t confuse Armageddon insurance with precious metal investment strategies.

Your gold, silver, guns and cash will be stripped from you at the first road-block you try to pass through. At the second road block they take your wife and daughters. After the third roadblock you’re walking with nothing.

Small 1 ounce gold bullion bars or some 10 oz sized silver bars might buy you time in the early stages of a societal collapse when hoarding food and fuel is your top priority. Cash will be impossible to find for any sort of buying and debit/credit facilities will be offline or closed down. Within a week or so the thieving really begins in earnest and at that time any gold or silver you have will become a liability as it is taken away from you at gunpoint by the gangs and at road blocks. Those road blocks might even be manned by police and gangs will steal everything you have or are carrying.

Some of you will hand over your daughters to save your own lives as was sometimes done during the Stalinist years of famine and political repression in the USSR. As a boy growing up in Africa I recall Belgian refugees fleeing the Congo buck naked because their clothing was taken coming through the final border roadblocks. Similarly everything was looted from many of the white farmers in Zimbabwe. Idi Amin’s army stripped most of the fleeing Asians in Uganda looking for gold and money.

In a post-apocalyptic world your priority for survival is to “gang-up” with your neighbours, family and friends. Get together with all the neighbours on your block or in your apartment building or community and propose a plan for quickly blockading and protecting your property and lives, sharing food and fuel and organizing 24 hour protection. At some point you give your gold to the group because the survival of this community and maybe the survival of your grandchildren is actually more important than your own survival.

In a more ordinary disaster such as financial collapse, earthquakes or a pandemic and mass death event, your gold and silver is again generally useless except for a short window of opportunity immediately following the realization you need fuel, water, food or medicine and while everybody else has yet to discover paper money is worthless. In this scenario it’s better to have cases of liquor. Hundred dollar bills won’t buy you a cup of coffee, but a bottle of vodka or whiskey can be bartered for food to feed your family. At the end of WWII the American Army in Europe would often take a bottle of scotch in trade for a Jeep. At the collapse of the old Soviet Union when the Ruble was worthless bottles of Vodka became valid currency.

Eventually food becomes more valuable than gems or precious metals. Your food stash should be sizeable and include bags and bags of premium quality dog biscuits. That’s what sailors in the days of sail ate every day for months on end. It was called “hard-tack” then and after a year at sea was full of weevils but you aren’t going to care about that if you can last a year on hard-tack. Add a tin of sardines once a week to your diet and you’ll actually do okay.

Your emergency gold and silver must be near your house or garden along with your food stores and drinking water. The community posse must all have the plan down to the smallest details like orange vests and official looking barriers to seal off your street. Here in America the unexpected disaster could turn out to be a revolution or civil war and you won’t survive that alone no matter how well you’ve hidden your gold.

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Gerry March 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Your suggestions are so bleak, I’m surprised you didn’t suggest suicide.

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dark markets March 27, 2011 at 4:56 am

fantastic comment, Fred, cuts through the macho b.s. of so many (commenters, elsewhere if not here). Didn’t know about the “sailors hardtack = premium dog-biscuits” rations (food) survival trick. Knew that chocolate, silk stockings, and especially cigarettes were CURRENCY in Allied occupied Europe, but forgot the bit about alcohol.
But do know, most Americans today have NO idea: that the USA was NOT conceived “in freedom & liberty” but in SLAVERY, not only for Africans enslaved to man the southern plantations (AND northern farms; Patriot NY Gov. George Clinton and his wife owned slaves), but the Royal Navy was infamous for brutal, “Hungry ships” – and PRESS GANGS, the virtual enslavement of recruits. American sailors, especially, detested British impressment, which was often a virtual death sentence; many would never return home to see their families ever again.
Hollywood even “got one right” in the movie “Cold Mountain” about two women surviving the Civil War in the rural south. By the end of the war most white males of small towns had been killed in the war; and all white males seen about were considered DESERTERS and could be shot on sight. The “law” of the town devolved to a bunch of lawless thugs, rapists, and murderers, as old Westerns stereotyped the Indians or bad guys.
Even if you subscribe to the “Swiss family Robinson” self sustaining fortress scenario; even the most macho “gun nut” will want to go out of his fortress sooner or later – when he does, the local gang (militia) commander will likely have his men stationed to intercept the “tough guy,” maybe with some counter-snipers. As you point out, the ONLY way to survive, is that old Revolutionary motto; Together we stand, divided we fall.” And even then it becomes a question of odds & probability. Most VC who went up against American patrols (much less firebases) never lived to talk about it; but fighting on home turf, every individual was a combatant until they were KIA.

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Hagbard Celine April 9, 2011 at 5:44 am

>> Some of you will hand over your daughters to save your own lives as was sometimes done during the Stalinist years of famine and political repression in the USSR. As a boy growing up in Africa…

As a boy and man growing up in the USSR, I am not sure I understand this reference. But everything is possible, no doubt.

Other than this nitpicking, your comment is exceptionally sober and valuable for anyone willing to learn. I lived through the collapse of the USSR and can’t recommend Dmitry Orlov enough. What will matter is not PM, but family, friends, and food.

Fellows, listen to what Fred says! You can’t eat or shoot what you can’t eat or shoot.

>> when the Ruble was worthless bottles of Vodka became valid currency.

100% true. Plumbers, taxi drivers, cemetery workers, carpenters all gladly accepted Vodka as a means of exchange. Then again, ‘real’ money was never considered desirable or reliable in the USSR.

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paper is poverty March 25, 2011 at 1:17 am

I’d caution against giving an adult child the combination or key unless they are well into adulthood. I know of two different examples in which young men (17 & 19 years old) opened the family safe in order to impress a girl. In both cases the parents were away and drinking was involved. A teenager (particularly one under the influence) may think that as long as they don’t give away the combination or let their friend see them working the mechanism, then they’ve maintained the security of the assets. They may know perfectly well that they’re supposed to keep the whole thing secret, but at that age, telling secrets is exciting. Particularly secrets involving cash, gold, jewelry, and/or guns, all of which are James Bond fare.

The worst risks can be the ones closest to home, but those can also be the most uncomfortable ones to address.

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james April 1, 2011 at 6:09 am

My favorite storage choice for physical silver and gold bullion is to have a bit in hand but the vast majority held in fully insured third party segregated vault storage where you can demand delivery in over 40 countries if necessary. I like to think of it as citizen of the world sovereignty. Facilities I’ve personally vetted and approve:

Via Mat Miami
Brink’s Salt Lake City
Brink’s Hong Kong
First State Depository

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Ben May 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

The biggest problem with physical storage of Gold, Silver, food, water, or guns and ammo, IS WHO KNOWS what I have.
With that said, I have stored nothing and do not plan to do so.
Just don’t think you’re going to come to my house and look.
The sign in the yard means what it says; “Nothing inside worth dying for”.

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Bob JOnes December 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Gold must be buried away from what thiefs would look for, for example in a spare tyre in the garage, or what about in an old engine in a garage?…I think not! I know a man who had done exactly this but he didnt tell hs wife, his wife then told some car scrap company to come and remove the engine…needless to say when he came home he went mad , drove at speed to the scrapyard when he got there they said ‘what engine? …must have been the other scrap yard?…’ I am sure the scrappy guys quit the very same day cos there was over $120,000 worth of gold coins wedged in that engine, anyway the moral of the story is TELL YOUR WIFE unless you dont trust her in which case you should not be with her.

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What Kind Of Future Do We Want? February 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

The Question Becomes : What Kind Of World Do We Want To Live In?

All the advice and stories here are very valuable, and will help to guard people against economic collapse.
The question is, if we entered a period of social unrest, what kind of world would we want to live in after?
If we want to avoid the dystopian future being posited here, and maybe even begin moving towards a better world right now, what would that look like?

I’m already helping my Mom invest in Gold and Silver ETF’s , Precious Metals, and trying to help her diversify her portfolio in general.
That’s a good idea, which everybody should be engaged in.

The real question is : is this fearful kind of world we all want to live in?

This human society is a product of the way we raise our children, which is a product of the way we think about each other, which is : in our hands.

I’m a Star Trek fan.
Countless times, the Federation is considered weak and easy pickings by more aggressive species, but the Federation endures and actually impresses other species with its resilience and ultimately appeal.
Why?
The Federation is based on mutual trust, mutual growth, mutual cooperation.
Humanity doesn’t exist for profit, or wealth, or power.
Humanity has moved beyond those childish impulses.
Remember, “I Am Ozymandius. Look On My Works And Despair.”
All that’s left of power is old stone buried in the sand.
What really has value is a world where human beings live for something more than stocks, bonds, and a diversified portfolio.

I don’t know about you guys, but I find all this “hedging my bets” against the collapse of civil society : a drain on my soul.

What do we want?
Current mentality of fear, paranoia, and preparing for the worst? Or something better?

Personally, I want the Star Trek future.

Thanks,
DW

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Chris March 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

First time here, and I’m LMAO because of the grammar/spelling critic posts.

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Lania August 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Robbers in my area use metal detectors to find hidden jewelry in homes. What can I wrap my gold and silver jewelry in so that it cannot be detected this way?

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Michael Gates September 19, 2012 at 3:39 am

Anyone who’s looking for a safer than just a safe facility to store their valuables should definitely try us out. We are the MOST secure and confidential PRIVATE VAULTS & SAFE DEPOSIT FACILITY in Las Vegas ! our facility is a bank building with state of the art security systems and in addition we also have armed guards at all time. THE AMERICAN GUARDIAN the-american-guardian.com (702) 222-4433 Be safe and good luck !

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WorksInInsurance August 1, 2013 at 8:33 am

This is an ancient thread, I realize, but it still ranks well so I feel oblgiated to say this. In the US, the vast majority of insurance policies are written on a standard HO-3 (homeowners) or HO-4 (renters) policy form. It’s written by the Insurance Services Office (*NOT* to be confused with the “ISO” responsible for standards, weights, measure, and the like!) and is issued with minimal modification by most companies. They may call it something different, but it’s the same policy. Forgive me for the long comment, but permit me to post from my own HO-4 which is essentially the same as yours (an HO-4 is a homeowners HO-3 with the dwelling and structure coverage stripped out, essentially. [comments] are mine)

[standard endorsement on every HO-3 or HO-4 in my state unless otherwise modified and paid for]

Special Limits of Liability. These limits do not increase the Coverage B [personal propery[ limit. [rather, they delimit the maximum amount payable for specific types of property unless you endorse, disclose, and pay more for that property] The special limit for each of the following categories is the total limit for each loss [one robbery, for instance] for all property in that category:

a. $200 on money, coins and medals, including any of these that are a part of a collection, bank notes, bullion, gold other than goldware, silver other than silverware and platinum;

[standard policy form]
COVERAGE B – PERSONAL PROPERTY
1. Property Covered. We cover personal property owned or used by an insured while it is anywhere in the world. [an insured? make damn sure your spouse is listed, even though the definition of insured nearly always includes said spouse. Is a denial likely if your wife held title to some of that metal? No. Is it possible? Absolutely.]

The limits vary, and it’s crucial to read the standard endorsements. Know your insurance agent. Work with someone you trust. Or, if you trust no one, work with a direct writer – your agent will be in a call center 1,000 miles away. In either case, it’s your choice whether you disclose your holdings to several people and endorse them appropriately, or retain the risk yourself. But you need to know the risk and realize that your insurance policy will not cover metal storage at home unless you declare and pay for that coverage.

Also, above, note the reference to “medal” – that’s verbatim, but I (and any judge in their right mind, if you sued to prove coverage) would take that to include “metals” as well. Clearly, the intent is to limit coverage on a certain class of item and the burden would be on you to prove otherwise. (it’s suppose to be decided in favor of the policyholder if there is vagueness, but that’s not realistic. Their lawyers get paid more than yours.)

Questions? Concerns? Either Google [your insurance carrier] HO-4 (or HO-3) policy form or contact your agent. Expect to find something similar to the above.

The HO-BT is generally no longer written in TX. Policy documents outside of HO-3 and HO-4 are seen in special circumstances – mobile homes, historic homes with replacement cost well in excess of value (think Victorian home turned into a B&B), etc. Those two policies are the norm.

In closing, even if you don’t expect coverage for metals because you don’t trust enough to disclose and declare, read your damn policy. So few people do.

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muhammad September 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I hate safe deposit boxes in the bank. Bank sealed my box and said I can’t access it. I should contact engarnishment department, when contacted them they said I owed HOA fees for the foreclosed house happened in 7 years ago. I don’t trust banks.

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Lania August 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Post System Collapse (July-August 2012)? This is August 9,2012, still no collapse….

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