How Are Precious Metals Stored in My IRA?

Buying gold, silver or other precious metals within your IRA account can seem complicated and you may have several questions about these types of accounts. In fact, many people don’t even know that you can buy certain types of gold, silver, platinum or palladium in your IRA account.

One of the most common questions about using an IRA account to purchase precious metals is: “What do I do with my metals after purchasing?”

Fortunately, the answer to this question is quite simple…

Per IRA guidelines, eligible precious metals purchased in an IRA account must be stored at an approved depository.

A depository is a secure location that provides storage and custodial services for precious metals.

There are numerous benefits to having your precious metals stored in an approved depository.

  • Precious metals depositories are extremely secure locations. These depositories feature state-of-the-art surveillance and security systems. Vaults are constructed and maintained according to the Bank Protection Act and UL standards. These vaults feature time locks and automatic re-locking mechanisms. Metal detectors monitor the exits from high security areas within the vault. Dual control procedures, redundant alarms and restricted access all help ensure security of precious metals. These facilities are under constant surveillance and activity is digitally recorded. These facilities are quite possibly some of the most secure on the planet.
  • A depository may even provide insurance coverage. The Delaware Depository, for example, features a $1 billion “all-risk” insurance policy through Lloyd’s of London. This insurance coverage adds to peace of mind.
  • Your bullion is fully allocated and is held off balance sheet. What this means is that your gold, silver or other precious metals are fully accounted for and are not comingled with bullion belonging to others or to the depository. Being held off balance sheet simply means that your bullion is not listed as an asset or liability by the depository holding your metals. In other words, if the depository were to go bankrupt, your precious metals are still yours.
  • Another often overlooked benefit (when metals are bought in an IRA account) to having your precious metals stored in a depository is the fact that you do not need to handle your precious metals at all. Your metals are delivered straight from the dealer to the depository and are insured along the way. This removes any risk of loss or theft that you may incur transporting precious metals on your own (from a coin shop to home, for example).

Having your gold, silver or other precious metals stored safe and sound in an approved depository is just one of the many potential benefits of using your IRA account to invest in these metals.

Storage of precious metals is an issue that may purchasers do not consider. While buying and storing small amounts of gold or silver at home can be comforting and provide some peace of mind, it does come with some significant risks. Precious metals can be lost, stolen and even forgotten about. Owners of precious metals can pass away and their heirs may not even know they own precious metals that are stored in a secret location.  Having your metals stored in a secure location can also provide a great deal of peace of mind and regular account statements will help ensure that you never hide and forget about your precious metals.

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