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Precious Metals Storage: How to Pick The Best One

Donny Gamble
April 5, 2022
gold storage vault
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Thankfully the gold standard is long dead and gone. Once gold lost its value as a currency buoy, it became an entirely separate investment. Precious metals storage became a business, and the IRS has since deemed it an investment if you purchase it for your IRA.

Basically, gold buyers have benefited immensely. Gold vault storage means putting your gold in a depository that can hold onto your gold. We’re going to walk you through how to find the best gold vault storage.

You want your gold to be an investment, so you need to know where to put it so it’s safe and secure. We’re not going to recommend individual companies, but rather how you can grade and gauge them on their value and determine for yourself where storing gold is best.

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Find Gold Vault Website Prices

We’re going to start with the price, because if we’re just talking about expensive options and you have a new precious metals portfolio, it’s not going to work.

Browse websites for gold vault storage companies, called depositories. You’ll find that they often put their prices on the website. For typical customers under $500,000 or so, the pricing plans are typically displayed.

Some gold vault websites may say that for accounts over a certain amount, usually that $500K mark, you have to schedule a phone call or talk with them directly.

Larger individual vaults are harder to come by.

Transfer Times

How long does it take to get gold into your vault? Your broker will have their own times for the buying process, but that’s not at the fault of the gold vault company.

They have their own in-house process for checking the gold and crediting it to your vault. How long is that going to take? In the event that there is an enormous gold price surge and you want to sell to a buyback program, is it going to take forever for you to take advantage of that price spike?

Fee Structure

Fees are everywhere. It’s unavoidable. No matter which brokerage you go with for your gold, there’s going to be something to block the way.

Since they’re unavoidable, they should at least be transparent. Yes, the brokerage has to make money, but how much money are they making as a reputable business, and how much is being skimmed off of specific, niche transactions?

Before you ever sign up with a brokerage, you should know what you want to do with gold investing. Once you know that, you can better identify the pain points that you are willing to put up with, and the ones that you aren’t willing to endure.

Gold depositories have their own separate fees from your brokerage, so why did we include this section? Because sometimes the depository will have additional fees on top of just storing your gold and receiving orders, such as a limited number of gold transactions (buy orders) that they’re willing to process per month. 

Just get the fees and facts straight before picking a brokerage and depository to store your gold.

Insurance Policy

How much coverage do you need for your gold, silver, and other precious metals? Rather, how much do you want? The insurance offered should reflect what your financial goals are.

It would be terrible to store over the allowed amount in gold and have everything off the top void of insurance.  This is a situation where you should contact the vault company and ask them for validation of their insurance or for some way to see a guarantee of that insurance

Maybe it’s in the notice when you sign up, but you should definitely know what you’re getting into first and foremost.

Picking a Depository

Some brokerages only have relationships with specific depositories. That means you’re going to have to use whichever one they tell you to use, and you still have to eat those fees.

This sounds terrible, but in practice it’s not that bad. The price won’t fluctuate by a whole lot, so even if your monthly fees are $50 more than you would have with another brokerage, it’s not the only marker of a good brokerage.

Their fees might be lower, processing times may be shorter, customer service may be more readily available if you need them.

All we’re saying is this: don’t judge the number of available depositories offered by your brokerage as a sign that they’re bad or anything along those lines.

If you’re still trying to find out which gold brokers you want to sign up with, now would be a good time to see what their depository options are. 

Many sites have these listed, but otherwise you will have to contact them. Hopefully, they’ll allow you to choose multiple options, but it’s not always a given.

Even then, there are only so many IRS-approved gold depositories in the United States. Having limited options doesn’t mean it’s a chokehold on your ability to invest in gold for retirement.

Bottom Line

Your gold has to be stored in an IRS-certified depository, but it doesn’t have to be an egregious process. Find a vault, talk to your broker, and begin your investment journey with gold.

It doesn’t cost much to store your gold, even on an annual basis. Every penny spent doing it is important to secure your assets.

The typical annual cost rarely exceeds $400, meaning you could store your gold safely for 25 years for $10K (and it’s going to more than appreciate in value in that time frame). 

That’s less than you’re going to spend on life insurance in the same amount of time.

Precious Metals Storage FAQ's

How much does it cost to store gold in a vault?

It depends on the value of the gold. For accounts around $50,000 in value, you can expect to pay around $30-$50 per month for storage.

Accounts at $100,000 typically cost around $60 upwards of $150 per month. However, this can relate to the physical size of the deposit area instead of the account value.

If you have X amount of gold and it takes up X amount of cubic feet, you may be charged for that (though this is typically done in communal storage).

Are precious metal vaults safe?

Yes, gold vaults are not only safe, but insured. Even if something happens to your gold, you would be compensated for that amount in excess of millions of dollars

This depends on the specific arrangement that your gold vault of choice sets, which you can usually learn about through their website.

If not, an email to their contact address should be able to solve the issue and tell you how much you can reasonably expect.

Some gold brokers will store your gold in multiple depositories if you have a high-ticket account to take advantage of multiple insurance programs at the same time.

What is the best way to store gold?

In an IRA-approved vault. If your gold isn’t stored in a vault/depository that is IRA-approved, then the IRS will tax you as having a collectible.

In an IRA, it’s an investment within the bin or container that is your individual retirement account. Otherwise you’ll be paying a lot of tax.

This is the only way your gold can be IRA certified and actually count as an investment, otherwise you’re dead in the water.

How much does precious metals storage cost?

Precious metals storage will be an annual fee, plus whatever your gold broker receives for individual sales when you buy more.

Precious metals storage costs are usually not in excess of $250 - $400 per year for most accounts, and that includes broker fees from the different companies that we were able to find.

Regal Assets

Regal Assets is an alternative asset investment firm that specializes in a proprietary IRA you can use to invest in both precious metals and cryptocurrencies.

About the author 

Donny Gamble

I’m Donny. I’m a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.

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