Sunday, March 14, 2010

Precious Metals

I have been reading your blog for about a year now. You have wrote about having precious metals like silver and gold in case of the devaluation of the dollar. My question is where would be a safe place to keep it. I considered a safe deposit box , however, I remember reading about the banks closing during the Argentine crisis. What suggestions do you have? Thanks.


Funny that you should mention it. Just a couple days ago another “boquetero” robbery took place in a bank in Buenos Aires. They cut through steel, concrete, fooled the alarm system and opened 99 safe deposit boxes. Bank safe deposit boxes aren’t what they used to be.

Argentina's `robbery of the century' upstaged by new heist

Besides, as you well say, during a medium to large scale crisis, banks will be closed when you need them the most.
Another advantage of precious metals is that they are relatively small.
Based on my experience and several accounts by others, the problem isn’t hiding it well, the problem is remembering where it is!
Its not crazy to consider leaving a small note in some other safe location (like a bank deposit box :-) ) where you leave the location of your stash. Try using a code you and your family will understand in case it falls in the wrong hands.

American construction typically uses wood frame and hollow walls, making it very easy to cut a hole and hide it inside. Some plaster, sandpaper and paint leaves no trace if you are not planning on reaching for it any time soon.

Modifying a power outlet can also work, and it will probably require to turn the power off before getting to it unless you risk electrocution.

Small amounts inside doors, furniture can be hidden. Just make sure its not something that can be stolen entirely.
A good idea, and the one I recommend, is having a big safe and a smaller one concealed with your precious metals. A well concealed secondary safe behind the insulation in the attic or behind a retractable board behind built-in furniture or shelves will be very safe. Specially when you already have a main safe as decoy in a place that is easier to find. Remember to buy a fire-proof safe. You'll probably keep valuables inside that are worth the extra expense.

Some people prefer to burry it in the backyard. If you’re careful so that no one sees you burry it, you can be sure no one will guess the location out of thin air.
If burying in some other location, be extra careful. Next thing you know you have a condo built over your stash!

Places that have no real estate value or are impossible to build in are good options in this case. Railroads are usually left as they are if they are in good shape and you usually have some time to dig it out if you see work being done near by. National parks are often kept as is for long periods of time as well.
Nothing will be as guaranteed as doing it in your own property though.
Its not hard to find a good place if you use your imagination.
Take care!



Anonymous said...

If you got any gold and silver spend it to buy precious metals: lead, tin, antimony, wheel weights, copper, aluminum, zinc, and steel - mild, high carbon, alloy, tool steel and stainless in flats, bars and rounds. Stack truck leaf springs and axles, stack 'em high.
Mountain rifleman

Ryan said...

I am a fan of physically storing my precious metals. In any situation where I am going to need them good things will not be going on at banks. Been thinking hard about how much cash we should have in the bank and how much on hand. Thinking that just maybe if we increase our cash (non investment type) holdings much that it should lean more toward on hand than the bank.

Anonymous said...

back in the day....
the old USA "moonshiners" who made their own whiskey, hid the bottles in tree stumps on another's property.
in Russia, there's the "midnight gardener" who buries in the backyard.
the 3 best "modern" ways to hide precious metals (that i've seen)
1. (inside) in a liquid laundry detergent bottle that has some liquid in it.
2. (outside) in the gutter or gutter spout. duct tape will hold
it for a year.
3. (away from home) cemeteries.
lots of options, but not burial.

Loquisimo said...

American houses usually have an attic crawlspace that is accessible by a trap door. That would be an excellent hiding spot. Also, homes built before the 1970s usually have a crawlspace underneath, too. In one famous serial killer case the killer hid the bodies underneath his home, in the crawlspace! And silver doesn't stink, unlike a dead body.

Cutting a hole in the wall was done during the first Great Depression a lot here, and sometimes a guy would forget that there was money in the wall. Occasionally money stashes are still found in walls of old houses. One could even make a removable panel for ready access to the money, and put a piece of furniture in front of it. If you bury it, make sure and draw a map! Or else you will NEVER find it again!

Unknown said...

I assume that this comment is a joke. If not, good luck moving any amount of lead and selling it.

Bones said...

The decoy idea is excellent. We have a large firesafe for important documents, etc.. Stuff that's basically valueless to a thief. One place our extra cash gets hidden in a small box that's magnetically hung inside a metal cabinet. Even if the cabinet is opened, you would have to know where to look in order to find the box - it's location is not at all obvious or intuitive. Multiple small stashes are better than one big one. I have lots of hidey holes ;)

Anonymous said...

Another reason not to put your gold in the bank: The US government confiscated gold from safety deposit boxes during the Great Depression.

Anonymous said...

re: xmonkeydr - The reason that lead, brass and so forth are precious, is that they are usually bought in the form of ammunition. In some types of emergency, having enough ammo is more important than having enough gold.

There is no physical reason that you can't make bullets out of gold, but it is pricey. I think silver bullets are harder to make - I suspect the lone ranger used lead, and kept it shiny.

Sigh. Another childhood illusion shattered.

That being said, there is a limit to how much ammunition you can shoot - anybody who engages in firefights on a regular basis is likely to get shot by a bad guy eventually, just as a matter of luck.

That being said, I don't know what you would do with a pile of steel - I don't think I would need more than enough for a knife or six, and a gun or six. I don't think I would be trying to build my own car - maybe armor plate?

As to where to store your gold and silver (assuming you have enough ammo & such), I would suggest using two or three locations - if they invade your place, they can torture you until you tell them where it is. A storage locker might be a good place - it isn't a bank, and you can hide whatever it is inside other stored junk.

Anonymous said...

I will second that idea of leaving yourself a note. You think, "It's gold, I'll never forget"

A person might melt some lead around some gold, rub some dirt on it, nobody's going to think it's valuable, except Moountain rifleman... hopefully he's not the stealing type and you've got nothing to worry about.

Nelson said...

Forty years ago I was warned about stashing metallic valuables in the house! Even back then bad guys routinely used metal detectors to ferret out your family silver.

Think about places where there's already enough metal to disguise your gold, like the rebar in a concrete floor, or inside the dishwasher or fridge. And by "inside," obviously I don't mean sitting on a shelf in an appliance.

The decoy-safe idea is a good one - I thought of a version of that one - a small safe loaded with bricks to make it heavy as hell but still moveable - with a note inside that says "SUCKER!" ;-)