Hiding gold in all the unusual places

Section:

By Ben Steverman
Bloomberg News
Thursday, October 6, 2011

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-06/hiding-gold-in-all-the-unusual-...

If you're looking for a safe place to put your investments, Chad Venzke has a suggestion: Dig a hole in the ground four feet deep, pack gold and silver in a piece of plastic PVC pipe, seal it, and bury it.

The 30-year-old central Wisconsin resident trusts no one but himself to store and protect his gold and silver—not banks, not investment funds, and certainly not the government. It's precisely because of this suspicion of institutions that he invests in those metals to begin with. In case of emergency, "you always want to have your precious metals within arms reach," he says.

Venzke is hardly the only investor who wants his precious metals nearby at all times. A pound of gold worth about $24,000 can easily fit in a pocket; how to protect it is a decision that carries expensive consequences. Do-it-yourself investors who don't trust banks must find creative storage options, whether burying gold in the yard, submerging it in a koi pond, stashing it behind air-conditioning ducts, or placing it under carpets. All these options are debated in online gold and silver investor forums. They're also debated and demonstrated in youtube videos, including one by Venzke that has been viewed more than 7,000 times.

... Dispatch continues below ...



ADVERTISEMENT

Sona Drills 85.4g Gold/Ton Over 4 Metres at Elizabeth Gold Deposit,
Extending the Mineralization of the Southwest Vein on the Property

Company Press Release, October 27, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sona Resources Corp. reports on five drillling holes in the third round of assay results from the recently completed drill program at its 100 percent-owned Elizabeth Gold Deposit Property in the Lillooet Mining District of southern British Columbia. Highlights from the diamond drilling include:

-- Hole E10-66 intersected 17.4g gold/ton over 1.54 metres.

-- Hole E10-67 intersected 96.4g gold/ton over 2.5 metres, including one assay interval of 383g of gold/ton over 0.5 metres.

-- Hole E10-69 intersected 85.4g gold/ton over 4.03 metres, including one assay interval of 230g gold/ton over 1 metre.

Four drill holes, E10-66 to E10-69, targeted the southwestern end of the Southwest Vein, and three of the holes have expanded the mineralized zone in that direction. The Southwest Vein gold mineralization has now been intersected over a strike length of 325 metres, with the deepest hole drilled less than 200 metres from surface.

"The assay results from the Southwest Zone quartz vein continue to be extremely positive," says John P. Thompson, Sona's president and CEO. "We are expanding the Southwest Vein, and this high-grade gold mineralization remains wide open down dip and along strike to the southwest."

For the company's full press release, please visit:

http://sonaresources.com/_resources/news/SONA_NR19_2010.pdf



While there's no way of knowing how many investors take Venzke's advice, there are growing piles of precious metals in, under, or near American homes. From mid-2010 to mid-2011, U.S. investors bought up more than 100 tonnes of physical gold coins and bars, up from 15.2 tonnes in 2007, according to the World Gold Council. (A tonne, or metric ton, is 1,000 kilograms.) Worldwide bar and coin demand rose 37 percent during the mid-2010 to mid-2011 period, according to the Council, even as demand from exchange-traded funds backed by physical gold, and similar products, fell 84 percent.

The notion of keeping one's gold in a safety deposit box -- inside the banks many gold aficionados find so untrustworthy -- is anathema to many gold bugs. Venzke, who predicts "runaway inflation" and a crisis leading to a "new form of currency within this decade," worries that the boxes won't be accessible if banks shut down in a crisis. "How are you supposed to get your stuff out of there?" he asks.

For those storing gold and silver in or around their home, the most immediate danger isn't a crisis or a dip in metal prices. It's theft. The FBI, which tallies the theft of precious metals and jewelry in one category, says $1.6 billion was stolen in 2010, up 51 percent from 2005. Just 4.2 percent of the lost loot was recovered last year.

Metal detectors are a big worry. Basic detectors can find metal on the surface or in the first 12 inches to 14 inches below ground, depending on soil conditions, says Louis Mahnken Jr., a sales representative for Kellyco Metal Detectors in Winter Springs, Fla. That's why Venzke advises burying it at least four feet deep. There are online debates about the best way to frustrate such thieves, including using scrap metal as decoys or hiding metal by covering it underground with asbestos or mirrors.

Metal owners also use the "hiding in plain sight" maneuver. According to dealers, some customers buy 100-oz. silver bars, paint them black, and use them as doorstops. That's foolish, says Steven Ellsworth, a coin dealer in Clifton, Va., who teaches security classes for the American Numismatic Assn.

Ellsworth is a believer in keeping precious metals in bank safety deposit boxes, as well as having high security at home. "My wife sometimes thinks we're over-secured and calls our residence 'the compound,'" says Ellsworth, a retired Army colonel. His security measures include fences, alarms, cameras, and dogs.

Safes can certainly deter thieves. Yet an inexpensive fire safe may be exactly the wrong place to put your valuables. Richard Krasilovsky, president of Empire Safe, calls such safes "handy carrying cases for burglars." A fire safe is designed to protect papers from fire, not from intruders, says Ryan Smith, a senior product manager at SentrySafe. "It wouldn't be wise to put any more than $20,000 of valuables in our products," he says.

Krasilovsky, whose company makes high-end safes, says safes must be very strong and very heavy—a recent sale was of a $10,000 safe that weighed 4,000 pounds. A proper safe starts at $2,000 and could cost as much as $40,000, he says. If the safe isn't certified to resist burglars with tools for 30 minutes, a so-called "TL-30" rating, "you're buying an expensive boat anchor," says Ellsworth.

Of course, whether gold is buried, put in a safe, or hidden under your bed, there’s nothing to stop a determined person with a gun from making you show them where you put it. That’s why it’s important no one ever know you have gold in the first place. Krasilovsky’s company will deliver safes in the middle of the night, installing them where no one, including a contractor, is likely to stumble across them.

"People have to be extraordinarily secretive," Krasilovsky says. This secrecy keeps away not only thieves but also prying relatives and the tax man. "One of the benefits of owning precious metals is nobody knows you own it," Venzke says. "It's the most private investment you can make."

Unless, of course, you feel compelled to post youtube videos sharing insights about where to stash your gold.

* * *

Join GATA here:

The Silver Summit
Thursday-Friday, October 20-21, 2011
Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Washington

http://cambridgehouse.com/conference-details/the-silver-summit-2011/48

New Orleans Investment Conference
Wednesday-Saturday, October 26-29, 2011
Hilton New Orelans Riverside Hotel

http://www.neworleansconference.com/

Support GATA by purchasing gold and silver commemorative coins:

https://www.amsterdamgold.eu/gata/index.asp?BiD=12

Or by purchasing a colorful GATA T-shirt:

http://gata.org/tshirts

Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal

Or a video disc of GATA's 2005 Gold Rush 21 conference in the Yukon:

http://www.goldrush21.com/

Help keep GATA going

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16



ADVERTISEMENT

Prophecy Platinum Drills 120.9 Meters
Grading 1.26 g/t PGM+Au at Yukon Wellgreen Project

Company Press Release
Monday, September 26, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada -- Prophecy Platinum Corp. (TSX-V: NKL, OTC-QX: PNIKF, Frankfurt: P94P) has announced the drill results received from its 2011 drilling Wellgreen platinum group elements, nickel, and copper project in the Yukon Territory.

Borehole WS11-188 encountered 457 meters of mineralization grading 0.47% nickel equivalent (including 0.72 grams per ton platinum, paladium, and gold) from surface to the footwall contact. Within this larger swath of mineralization, the hole encountered a high-grade section of 17.8 meters of 3.14 grams per ton platinum, palladium, and gold, 1.03% nickel, and 0.74% copper (1.77% nickel equivalent).

The hole was drilled completely outside of current resource boundaries, between the East Zone resource and the West Zone resource that was reported in the company's press release no July 14, 2011.

The high-grade intercept located between the two resources not only demonstrates that the East and West Zone resource form a single, geologically contiguous body but also indicates that the higher-grade material in the East Zone continues to the west and at depth at Wellgreen.

For drill result tables and maps, please see the company's full press release here:

http://www.prophecyplat.com/news_2011_sep26_prophecy_platinum_wellgreen_...