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How do I keep silver coins safe?

December 3, 2012: 6:29 AM ET

When you buy silver coins and have them delivered, how is that shipment protected and insured? Can you have the coins delivered directly to a bank to be put directly into safe deposit boxes?—Name withheld

When buying coins in precious metals, the seller will typically ship to any legitimate address, whether residential or commercial, and will fully insure the coins and replace the product should something happen in transit.

Once the silver has been delivered, it is up to the buyer to choose whether to store the silver at home, in a safe deposit box or anywhere else, says Michael Haynes, CEO of American Precious Metals Exchange, which deals in silver coins. Wherever it's stored, you have to provide your own insurance. If you choose to store it at a bank, the bank's FDIC insurance will cover only the currency value of the coins, not the metal value, Haynes says.

Silver coins in particular have a high weight- and volume-to-dollar-invested ratio, says Haynes, so storing them can be bulky. Some precious metals dealers also provide storage services where you can store your coins, fully insured, for an annual fee.

— Austin Kilham

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