Many investors who acquire precious metals as an asset and as a way to diversify their investment portfolios are storing them in insured depositories rather than taking personal possession. In fact, more individuals are storing gold and silver than at any time in recent history, and for good reasons, according to Diamond State Depository, a Delaware-based precious metals storage facility.
"After the turmoil we've seen in global financial markets in recent years, people are investing in physical precious metals in record numbers, and most want to have direct control over their investments," says Mike Clark, president of Diamond State Depository (DSD). "Investors who deposit their gold and silver in a personal depository account are the managers of that metal. Nothing can be done with their metal without their written instructions."
In an emergency, ownership doesn't matter if you can't get hold of your metal, he said. After hundreds of U.S. bank failures in recent years, bank safety deposit boxes and vaults are no longer the most secure places to store gold and silver. And the value of precious metals in electronic or paper form -- ETF's, futures, options, stocks and mutual funds -- depends on the fate of the issuers, exchanges and underwriters involved.
Investment managers and national governments are recognizing these risks and acting accordingly. For example, for the first time last year a University of Texas endowment fund opted to take delivery of close to $1 billion in physical gold and had the bars stored in a New York warehouse. And recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified gold as a "safe asset" that sovereign governments should add to their national reserves. As a result, the central banks of many countries around the world in recent years have been adding gold to their treasuries in record amounts.
Physical silver and gold are financial assets that have served as a medium of exchange almost since the beginning of time. Today, individual investors can buy and store gold and silver in various forms, particularly as bullion bars and coins, and also as certified numismatic coins.
Investors buying silver, in particular, in significant quantities often choose a depository over a safe at home because of silver's considerable weight and bulk, Clark says. For example, $1,650 worth of silver - the approximate value of one ounce of gold - weighs 50 times more and requires 112.5 times more cubic space to store than that ounce of gold.
Diamond State will not move a customer's holdings without written instructions from the account holder. Precious metals held at Diamond State Depository are insured and held "off balance sheet," meaning that an investor's metals are not listed as an asset of the depository, and they cannot be the subject to any claims beyond those of the owner. Stored metals are protected by advanced, round-the-clock security and are underwritten by the leading global insurer of precious metals. While held at Diamond State, an investor's metals are available for transfer to other internal accounts (such as when their owner wishes to sell them), for direct shipment to the owner, or for quick delivery into commercial markets.
Diamond State Depository is staffed by precious metals and banking professionals with more than 100 years of combined precious metals and customer service experience. Strictly-enforced operating protocols are designed to ensure the safety of customers' assets. For example, the depository only allows vault teams consisting of two members to handle precious metal assets. Also, staff duties are segregated so that employees who enter account data are separate from those who handle assets.
DSD encourages on-site customer visits and commercial customer-conducted audits and inspections. Based in Northern Delaware, two hours south of New York City, Diamond State is accessible by interstate highways, Amtrak and other rail lines, international airports and deep water ports. Shipments to and from Diamond State are made promptly and cost effectively, Clark says.
About Diamond State Depository
Diamond State Depository is the newest and most modern precious metals depository in the United States, offering secure custody and fulfillment services for a diverse array of precious metals products, including coins, bars, powder, sponge and industrial material. Its Canadian affiliate is International Depository Services of Canada Inc., opening May 2012, precious-metals storage facility located near Toronto. (IDSofCanada.com) 855-362-243. For more information on Diamond State Depository please visit DiamondStateDepository.com or phone 888-322-6150 or http://diamondstatedepository.com.