Gold coins can absolutely be kept at home as long as proper security precautions are taken. Storing gold coins at home does come with some risks that need to be addressed such as theft, fire, flood damage etc. With the right preparations, these risks can be minimized. Some quick tips include using a fireproof/waterproof safe that is securely bolted down, avoiding keeping all your gold in one location, having robust home security systems in place, and being discreet about your holdings. Additionally, one should ensure their homeowner’s insurance policy covers the full value of their gold coins. Overall, with prudent planning storing gold coins at home is a viable option for many investors.
Is it Legal to Own Gold Coins?
Yes, it is completely legal for individuals to own gold coins in the United States as well as most other countries. There are no restrictions on private ownership of gold coins. This differs from the past when private gold ownership was outlawed in the US between 1933-1974. Since the 1970s, however, the laws have changed to allow individuals to once again buy, sell and own gold coins.
Today, gold coins remain one of the most popular ways for folks to invest in physical gold. From common pre-1933 classic gold coins to modern bullion coins like the American Gold Eagle, gold coins are a tangible way to hold gold. When buying gold coins, just be sure to purchase from reputable dealers.
Advantages of Storing Gold Coins at Home
There are several potential benefits to keeping some gold coins at home:
Full Control and Access
When you store gold coins at home, you have complete physical control over your holdings. You don’t need to depend on any third party to hold your coins in a vault or storage facility. This also means you can easily access your coins any time you like.
Avoid Storage Fees
Storing gold at home avoids the storage fees charged by banks, dealers and other facilities for holding your coins and bullion. These fees can eat into returns over time.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Gold stored at home is completely private. You don’t need to notify any company about the amount of gold you hold. This is appealing for investors who prefer discretion when it comes to their precious metals holdings.
Security in Crises
During times of severe financial crises like bank failures or currency collapse, having personal possession of gold coins provides security that storing them with financial firms does not. Through history, there are unfortunately cases where people’s savings held at banks were lost, confiscated or became inaccessible.
Risks of Storing Gold Coins at Home
While keeping gold at home has its merits, there are also some risks to consider:
Perhaps the most obvious risk is robbery and theft. Gold coins have immense value concentrated into a small space, making them an attractive target for thieves. Having gold coins at home substantially increases this theft risk versus storing at a well-secured facility with full time professional security.
Fire and Flood Damage
House fires and floods also pose threats. Even if the gold coins survive, structural damage to a home could make them difficult to recover. Unless properly secured in a fireproof safe or vault that survives the disaster, home storage exposes coins to damage.
There is also the risk of simply losing coins around the house, whether through misplacement or accidental disposal. This is especially true if children or others in the home are unaware the coins are there.
Lack of Insurance
Many homeowners’ insurance policies only cover a small amount of gold, often just $200-500. Having coverage gaps means you could suffer large losses if coins are lost or stolen. Special precious metals insurance may be needed.
Storing all your gold coins at home puts your entire holdings in one place and at one address. It’s generally smart to diversify across multiple storage locations instead of concentrating all your holdings in one spot.
Tips for Storing Gold Coins at Home
If you decide to keep some gold coins at home, here are good practices to follow:
Use a Safe
Invest in a high quality safe that is fireproof, waterproof and tamper resistant. Safes that meet Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container rating standards offer rigorous protection for valuables. Avoid lightweight safes that can be easily stolen or broken into. Secure the safe to the floor/wall.
Pick Discreet Locations
Don’t make the location obvious by putting your safe in the master bedroom or home office. Use more discreet spots like hidden floor compartments, upper shelves of closets, inside appliances, or buried in the yard. Avoid anyplace a thief would easily look.
Keep Details Private
Only share details about storing coins at home with those who need to know like a spouse. Don’t talk or post publicly about it.
Get Specialized Insurance
Look into precious metals insurance to fully cover the value of your gold. Some providers allow you to insure just the gold without itemizing other home valuables.
Add Security Layers
Use a home security system, cameras, motion sensors, hidden cameras, and other tools to protect your home. Make it difficult for thieves to access your home or safe undetected.
Split Up Holdings
Don’t keep all coins in one place at home. Store some at different discreet locations around the house or property to diversify risk. A portion can also be kept in a safe deposit box.
Home Storage for Specific Coin Types
Certain kinds of gold coins are better suited for home storage than others:
Modern bullion coins like Gold Eagles, Maple Leafs and Krugerrands are excellent for home storage. Their gold content is guaranteed by the government mints that produce them. Popular sizes like 1 oz are convenient to store at home.
Low Mintage Collector Coins
Rare proof and mint state collector coins with special finishes should generally be avoided for home storage. The risk of damage, loss or theft outweighs the benefits for these more valuable coins. Third party storage or a bank vault is recommended.
Classic Pre-1933 Gold Coins
Coins like St. Gaudens Double Eagles and Indian Head $2.50 gold pieces can be good for home storage in lower grades/common dates. But higher grade, more valuable examples are better left to professional storage facilities better equipped to handle delicate numismatic coins.
Proper Handling and Care
Coins kept at home should be handled and stored carefully to avoid damage:
– Wear cotton gloves when handling. Avoid touching the surfaces of coins directly.
– Keep coins in protective capsules or tubes when not being handled.
– Avoid cleaning coins as this harms their surfaces. Just use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently wipe away dust if needed.
– Don’t expose coins to chemicals, moisture, or environments that could cause damage or corrosion.
– For long-term storage, place coins in archival quality coin folders or acrylic holders.
Best Gold Coin Storage at Home
Here is a summary of the best practices for safely and securely storing gold coins at home:
|– UL listed residential security container rated safe
– Secured/bolted to floor & foundation
– Multiple layers of protection
|– Hidden areas of home like upper closets, appliances, sealed walls/floors, buried in yard
|Home Security System
|– Motion sensors, cameras, alarms to detect any break-ins
|Avoid Talking Publicly
|– Don’t discuss details openly – only share with those who need to know
|Precious Metals Insurance
|– Get specialized policy to fully cover gold coin holdings
|Coin Handling & Care
|– Use cotton gloves, avoid touching surfaces
– Store in archival capsules/folders long term
|Split Up Holdings
|– Don’t keep all in one spot – diversify storage locations
Frequently Asked Questions
How much gold can I legally own at home?
There are no legal limits on the amount of gold coins you can own as a private individual. You can buy and own as much gold as you want to store at home.
What is the best type of safe for gold coins?
Look for an UL rated safe that has a RSC (Residential Security Container) designation, at least 10 gauge steel walls, fire/water protection, anti-theft mounting, and a combination lock. Popular options include Liberty, Browning, and AMSEC brand safes.
Should I tell home insurance provider about gold coins?
You don’t need to proactively disclose, but read your policy’s coverage limits for valuables like gold. Many standard policies only cover small amounts. Consider getting a rider policy through a provider like Collectibles Insurance to fully cover numismatic coin collections.
Are gold ETFs a better alternative to physical coins?
Gold ETFs can provide convenient exposure to gold prices without the storage hassles. However, they do not offer the same tangible asset ownership that physical gold coins provide. Many investors use a mix of both physical and paper/ETF gold holdings.
How can I buy gold coins to store at home?
Purchase from reputable dealers like APMEX, JM Bullion, SD Bullion, Money Metals and Advantage Gold. Only buy coins in tamper-proof packaging from recognized government mints like the US Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, etc.
Storing gold coins at home can make sense for investors who want to maintain direct ownership and access to their holdings. While risks like theft and damage remain, basic precautions like using a safe, home security systems, and specialized insurance can help mitigate those risks. When buying quality bullion products from trustworthy sources and storing them securely, home storage provides a convenient option for owning physical precious metals. Just be prudent in your storage approach and security preparations.