Visiting Your Precious Metals in Bullion Depositories

Once you purchase physical precious metals for your gold IRA, your coins, bars and rounds get shipped to the depository of your choice. Did you know that some precious metal depositories actually let owners visit their precious metals?

Customers of Birch Gold Group who’ve selected Delaware Depository, International Depository Services or Texas Precious Metals Depository all have visitation privileges. Should you ever decide you’d like to see your precious metal IRA assets in-person, here’s how it usually works. (Keep in mind, this process could vary depending on your custodian. We suggest you contact your custodian directly to ensure you get the most accurate details of their specific procedures.)

Arranging to visit your precious metals at a participating depository

First, you’ll contact your custodian and request an in-person visit to your depository.

Your custodian will contact the depository on your behalf and start the ball rolling.

Depository staff will contact you directly to arrange an appointment date and time. They’ll request identification documents (driver’s license or passport, license plate, etc.) to confirm your identity before and at the time of your visit. They’ll confirm your appointment date and time.

Obviously, you’ll need to travel to the depository location. Make a special trip, or integrate your vault visit into your vacation – it’s up to you!

What to expect during your visit

First of all, don’t expect a flashy location. You would probably drive right past most bullion depositories without a second glance unless you know exactly where they are.

For example, the Delaware Depository’s Wilmington, DE location is on a fairly busy road near an auto parts store and a pharmacy. From the outside, it looks about as exciting as any generic office building. It could be an insurance company or a medical billing center.

You’ll be met at the door by a member of the depository’s staff – and you won’t be by yourself at all during your visit. Your identity will be confirmed (better have those documents!) and your ownership. There will be metal detectors, video cameras and a number of locked doors.

Expect to be led to an empty conference room while another member of the depository staff retrieves your precious metals. Don’t expect fancy storage – depositories generally use pretty common containers to keep your property organized. Plastic bins and cardboard boxes aren’t unusual.

Once your precious metals are retrieved and brought into the room, you can confirm for yourself that everything is present. You can perform your own audit, take pictures, whatever you want, with a few exceptions:

  • Do not try to take photographs of the depository’s employees or facilities.
  • Do not try to remove anything from the premises.

Once you’re satisfied that everything is exactly as it should be (or your appointment duration expires), the depository employees will pack up your precious metals and return them to the vault. You’ll be escorted courteously to the exit.

Your depository visit might look like this

We recently received photos from a customer's visit to International Depository Services. Here's a brief description of the visit itself:

"It was all very formal and professional. Very discrete building. Staff made absolutely sure my identity was confirmed before letting me deeper into the building. I walked through multiple metal detectors. I had to wait a few minutes for my gold and silver to be brought out from the vault. Just to be clear, they didn't let me anywhere near the vault itself! A person brought out a plain cardboard box and set it on the table. He explained they didn't store my gold coins and silver bars in the box, that it was just to make carrying them easier. There was a copy of my itemized inventory record right there, too, so obviously they'd counted and confirmed all my items before even leaving the vault. He stayed in the room while I looked at my metals. Everything was there, exactly as I expected, and it felt amazing to see my proof coins in such perfect condition! When I was all done, he counted everything and packed up the box to return it to the vault. Another employee escorted me out. The staff were perfectly pleasant the whole time. Even so I could tell they were watching everything, very alert. They seemed to have a healthy obsession with security. I couldn't be more delighted with the service, especially now that I know just how safe and secure my gold and silver really are."

Here are some of the photos our customer shared.

Precious metals depository visit - proof gold coins and 100 gold twin maple coins

Here's the box they used to carry my American eagle proof gold coins and my 100 gold twin maples. Nothing gleams like real physical gold!

Precious metals depository visit - 1 oz proof American eagle gold coins

A few of my 1 oz American eagle proof coins, in absolutely flawless condition. Even the original U.S. Mint boxes looked brand new!

Precious metals depository visit - 1/4 oz proof American eagle gold coins

Here are some of my 1/4 oz proof eagles, again, absolutely flawless and untouched. They could've been minted yesterday.

Precious metals depository visit - 1 oz silver bullion bars

A few of my silver bars. I have more but it seemed a little silly to take pictures of all of them.

Why don’t all precious metals depositories allow visitation?

It’s easy to jump to conclusions here – "If a bullion depository doesn’t let me come in any time I want and see my precious metals, something nefarious must be going on…"

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the primary reason that a depository doesn’t allow private visits is security. From the point of view of the institution, letting non-employees into the building is a security risk!

For those customers who cannot visit, some depositories will take pictures of your metals, although some charges may apply.

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