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How To Hide Gold, Precious Metals, Etc.

|Includes: SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD)

In the wake of the recent sudden drop in the price of gold and the subsequent wave of buying of "physical" gold by retail customers, there has been some discussion online about the best methods of storing and/or concealing it. I happen to have collected a few tips on the topic a few years ago from comments on several websites, so I'm happy to contribute them to the conversation. I believe the original commenters, whose screen names I've provided (except a few I've lost track of), would feel the same way. (Three or four of the tips were my own comments originally.)

Tips are grouped under three headings: Indoor, Outdoor, and General.


Roger Knights:

Here's a new one. Inside a fire extinguisher, with tightly packed cushioning to prevent noise if shaken. Few thieves or gov't. agents would think to look inside one--or know how to do so safely.

I recently learned that home fire extinguishers can be decommissioned (for safe disposal) by wearing eye protection and SLOWLY unscrewing the plastic top until the nitrogen inside starts to hiss out. Just let it hiss until it's all gone, then undo all the way and shake out the powder.

However, the narrow necks on these devices means they will accept only fractional gold coins--small fractions. (But that's another reason why thieves won't look there.)

turkey george palmer

Many interior doors are hollow; you can cut a slot in the top of them an inch wide and 4 in long. You can put items in bags or something attaching the bags to fish hooks on fish line dropping them down in the door from the top. Tie the line at the top.


Gold is tiny if you have brick walls or tiled floors lift / gouge out some room, glue the gold in, and cover over with tile or cement.


The best place to hide gold is where there's some other metal decoy to avoid detectors. Washing machines are good because nobody will steal them. So are radiators. And hedge by spreading it around. Determined thieves who know you have gold will get to it, your goal is to prevent them from getting to all of it. So unless you're in a compound and armed to the teeth, another important factor is making sure nobody around you knows you own quantities of metals.

legal eagle

Inside crown moulding...


I heard of someone who bought a pair of second-hand curtains at a charity shop. When they unpicked the hem to take them up, out fell a row of gold sovereigns - they had been used as weights.

Other good ideas are inside plug sockets or light switches - UK ones have lots of empty space inside. Or hollow out the top of a door. Or inside the back of the washing machine.


Other places, fractional gold is always best for hiding: Inside doorknobs, inside metal table or chair legs, inside electrical outlet boxes, inside the plunger bulb in an unused toilet (works best with a baggie of cash in the tank with it). Key elements are: proximity to other metals, not inside of anything that might be stolen for other reasons, variety, and for long-term holdings, inaccessibility.

Either have more than one safe, one of which is well hidden, or if you only have one, PMs don't go there.


Under the fluffy insulation in the attic.


You can make your own book safes pretty easily. One link of many:

Bendromeda Strain has both fake books and a pretty nice looking mantle clock with fold down face that will hold a .357 revolver. You can put some serious gold in there I would imagine.

Fred C Dobbs

A gold bug told me something similar. He said attach your gold to the wall under the sink in the kitchen or bathroom and cut a piece of dry wall to put over it.

Vato poco:

4) If you're robbed by some random jerkoff looking for a cheap score, *Do Not Hide Your Metals in The Master Bedroom!!* a) that's where they look first b) there are some crews - including a famous one in Phoenix - who broke/cut windows (Thus no sensor triggered) into high-end master bedrooms, and burgled ONLY the MB. ALWAYS lots of jewels, TV's and guns in an MB. Never even went into the rest of the house. Why? Because *Nobody has a motion sensor in the MB, that's why.

5) If they DO go into the house, they WILL look in the freezer, toilets and dump the bookshelves. So forget about those.

Hugh Jorgan

In your children's rooms among their sh*t. Bad guys don't look there.


I met an old man whose dad was a bootlegger and they were once raided by the USG immediately after selling some moonshine. They never found his stash, which was in the hot water heater.

hey. Great idea, gold does not rust ... put it in functioning hot water heaters.


For example have 500-1000 worth of stuff cash/cheap jewelry etc. they can get into and out of real quick, don't even let them want to hang around trying to find more.

Visonic makes the SIM card alarm auto dialer from the Home Security on-line store in Riverside (in case the landline is cut, power goes out, etc). They also make some burglar bombs which douse the intruder with pepper spray and call your cell from a SIM card. Burglar Bomb is the company name for the pepper spray machine.



Add an extra post to your deck. Make sure it matches the others. Plant your gold under the "support" with a thin veneer of concrete. Nobody is going to dig up a "footer" to explore a metal hit on their detector, especially if you gave them plenty to do by driving railroad spikes all over the yard.


Go into the auto junkyard business. Not only do these prosper in hard times, but there's loads of heavy (needing a forklift) metal stuff around, under which you can put any metal object you please without fear of detectors.

Mr. Mandelbrot

My grandfather had a friend that bought a farm with several beehives. The bees were long gone. When he went to put them in the burn pile, he found $300,000 cash in one (this is circa 1960ish).


Around, behind or inside something metal will help. A good detector can distinguish gold from steel but the operator needs some skill. At least you'll know your treasure went to a high-class thief.


He told me charcoal layers over a buried stash hide it from metal detectors.

He also told me that the best place to hide things is where it takes a lot of energy to move things (like casks of nails, machinery parts, greasy stuff), because police don't like to get hot or dirty and neither do thieves. His reasoning was if they were willing to work, they wouldn't be cops or thieves.

Pseudo Anonym

Depends how much gold you got - buy a used car, stuff it into the engine (cylinders, oil pan, etc.) and don't drive it.

fellatio is not...

We actually wrapped them tightly in tin foil and painted them to look like a standard brick, than built a planter out the back door 3 high and 11 round, in a "U" shape, put dirt inside the planter and a small plant :) It's in a place on the patio where it won't get stepped on or kicked; we water the plant and see it every day, as do guests who have NEVER even looked twice.


If you live in the country and you want ultimate security for the _long term_ part of your gold stock, open the valve to your septic tank and drop it in. This will keep you from selling it until it's absolutely necessary, and will deter all but the most determined thieves.



Right, till you go on vacation or otherwise out of the country for a bit and the tank overflows so your house sitter has to call a septic service to come empty it. Or you just forgot you put it down there till you see the truck driving away. Though if it were in a container too large to get sucked up the cleanout pipe it would stay pretty secure I guess. Just as long as it is not one of those fiberglass tanks shaped like a submarine, those are known to pop out of the ground and float away in floods. This is the best suggestion so far, but it is still not perfect. I think I would have it rigged so that there was a discreet line secured near the cleanout hole you could catch with a hook, no way am I going into one of those tanks to feel around for a cache.


Throw some of your Gold coins in the Septic tank.... they will sink to the bottom and lie flat ! When pumping the tank fit some galvanized rabbit cage wire over the mouth of the hose as an over kill precaution!


You're much better off salting with non-ferrous metal, since metal detectors can discriminate between ferrous and non-ferrous (gold, or brass or aluminum.)

So instead of nails, chunks of copper pipe, old brass and old aluminum cans would work better.

Also, metal detectors usually have terrible shielding on top of the search coil. So if the path of least resistance in the search puts metal above the coil, such as burying the cache below a metal fence gate, for example, it can really screw with the sensitivity.


Bury it under an existing water pipe - no need to go 4' down.


Multiple locations in geographically separate areas all under immediate control. The odds of someone getting one stash are pretty low if it's hidden correctly, the odds of hitting even half of them are infintesimal. This works in most situations, even if you have to get out of Dodge, assuming one of the other places is a destination.


Well, if you want to know...

You can stash stuff the way the homeless vets say they cache items

Step 1. Go to a bakery and get 4 or 5 two gallon icing buckets...for free!

Step 2. Put precious items in 1 bucket, seal with duct tape, bury in ground.

Step 3. Find 3 or 4 dead small animals (roadkill), put 1 in each of remaining bucket, add hand full of washers, and some water. Duct tape REAL GOOD, bury in ground around bucket #1.

If some poor sucker digs one of the BAD buckets, especially after 2 or 3 months, I don't think he'll be looking any other buckets....

They also use the bad buckets for people or things who p*ss them off...

Yeah, these guys play rough, too rough for me to think about getting on their BAD side...


A wise man once told me that when digging a hole most people stop when they find a dead horse. OK, so it was about hiding a body but it applies to PMs too.


Page down and learn how to properly hide your cache. Metal detectors and equipment can still find some of these, so plan accordingly.

Ginger said...


Maybe it was on ZH(?) that I read a tip.. Someone said to bury your metals at least 3-4ft deep at a location you trust and then sprinkle bb pellets all around the area and far away from the area .. the goal being that any metal detectors would pick up the pellets and no one would have a clue as to where the bb's stop and the metals start.


People these days can just leave GPS coordinates and a description of the "spot" that is marked X.


The answer in one acronym: GPS.

No, not the automobile kind, one of the aircraft or vessel types that displays longitude, latitude and altitude. Find extremely remote places in the boonies, bury your stash 1 to 3 meters deep in extremely well sealed pipes or containers, then write down the coordinates in some other misleading format (a series of telephone numbers, a series of social-security numbers, a series of car VIN numbers, a series of insurance policy numbers, whatever works for you - and write the digits in reverse order too, and/or offset the digits by the first n primes, or whatever you will surely remember but nobody else could ever guess.

Leave half the information required to find your loot with one trusted friend, or better yet arrange for the information to be delivered upon your death. Arrange for another trusted friend to get the other half of the information required to find your loot upon your death. Neither should know or expect anything before then, and most importantly neither should know each other, or even know of each other.

by Doña K

The silver drawback is the price to weight ratio when you're on the move.

A 5' long 1-1/4"D PVC pipe full of 1 oz. of gold maple leafs = $1 Million - Painted dark gray in a roll bar of your Jeep or in the kitchen plumbing under cabinets and a thousand other ways to keep it close when you have to.

snick said...

Insight, another tip was to bury your PMs in a forest reserve and note the coordinates of the stash with a GPS device. (... and I guess you have to hope that the satellites keep working after TSHTF ...)

sophocles says:

November 9, 2012 at 1:45 am

You know, there is one place-or direction-by my (daily) observations where nearly 90% of humanity, including myself, do not unconsciously look at, in, or search. Often, not even the Police do (having watched some Officers on the hunt, at night with torches, on different occasions…:-). That direction is Up. (Why are the rooftops known as "The Thieves' Highway?")

In a birdhouse high on a wall or in a tree.

In a bird's nest in a tree.

In a downspout or rain gutter.

Gold is remarkably small and a $100,000 investment will literally fit in the palm of your hand. In the old days, people would bury their gold coins and bars in a box or jar in the backyard. Precious metals aren't ferromagnetic and therefore metal detectors have a very hard time finding gold buried more than a foot deep, making it extremely hard to find to all but the person that buried it.

Roger Knights

Some of one's stash could be stored in a rented self-storage unit, hidden inside a bulky, heavy, badly worn (scratched, dented, rusted, missing-a-part, etc.), low-value item.

Roger Knights

Here's one place a metal detector can't uncover a stash of gold coins, etc.: If it's placed inside a hollow chain-link fencepost. Pop off its cap first (place a screwdriver below its lip and tap it upwards around its perimeter with a rubber mallet (to reduce noise)); replace it (tap down) when done.

Use a topless (sawed-off) Coke can with a coat-hanger "bail" threaded through two holes punched near the top edge. To retrieve, lower an untwisted (stretched-out) clothes-hanger hook to snag the bail. For convenience in recovering, place the can with gold in it atop up to ten empty Coke cans. Spread it around inside several posts in different locations (in case the fence gets taken down). They can be on public land, so if someone suspects you have gold, they won't be able to find it on your place.

This method (along with others of interest) is described in the book, "How to Hide Things in Public Places," by Dennis Fiery, on Amazon at

There are about a dozen other books on hiding places listed on Amazon. Some of these are fiendishly ingenious. Select their Books category and search for "hiding places". Here's the link:

Click on any of the relevant books that come up and then scroll through the items under "Customers who bought this item also bought," in order to see other books that the keywords in the initial search missed.

Here's a link to a Kitco thread on hiding places:


Roger Knights

Leave a document with your lawyer, to be opened after your death and delivered to a specified party, revealing the location of your stashes.


Two documents with two lawyers, one is the key to decode the other. Lawyers aren't necessarily trustworthy.


Or maybe held in a private vault offshore and away from the banking system, somewhere where you can sell it in small quantities and exchange it for cash, and send it back in whatever small amounts you need, as and when you need it...

You wouldn't even need to buy a shovel.


Brink's Salt Lake City

Via Mat Miami

First State Depository

Cube Global Storage Canada

Brink's Hong Kong

Via Mat New York

Via Mat Frankfurt

Via Mat Zurich


This is why you use a 3rd party private vault like Brink's Salt Lake City, Brink's Hong Kong, Via Mat Miami, Cube Global Storage in Canada, etc.

It helps to look poor or like there's nothing valuable, my bet is crooks would be far more likely to try to force open a safe in a $2M house with a Ferrari in the driveway than they would dig with a shovel under a single-wide.

Oh, and silver is much harder to hide than gold, that sh*t is bulky.

mess nonster

Complicating considerations...

1. Gold shouldn't be hidden so well it's hard to get to when you need it.

2. It shouldn't be hidden in large quantities, because you probably won't need it all at once, just a little at a time. If you keep going back to the same place over and over again, someone is bound to notice.

3. Dispersing one's hiding places also makes it less likely that all one's gold will get kyped at once. Another advantage is that if someone decides it will be good fun to torture you with a hot road flare until you tell them where your gold is, you only have to tell him/her abut one of your stashes. Then you can dig up some of the rest to pay the doctor.

4. The downside to lots of hiding spots is that you might forget some of them, and that you increase the liklihood that someone else will find some of your gold.

5. Aside from such practical considerations, there is the Big Thief to worry about, the government. If you purchased your gold through some traceable transaction, eventually the Confiscation Police will be asking you where your gold is. If you can't account for it, then it's off to Club Fed for your 700 calorie a day gulag slimming and toning exercises. A lot of good your gold will do you then.

6. Once people know you have gold, and that you are willing to exchange it for food and other necessary items, the prices you will be charged will approximate your desperation. Sure, I can sell you a loaf of bread ... that will be one krugerand, (or five), please! So, it will be stolen from you, one way or another.


If you buy online, the government knows you have it, somewhere. If this system is as evil as some think and things get bad enough, the feds may provide lists of addresses to free agents, offering to split the loot. And a total collapse may mean ruthless local 'authority' which will go door to door.

If guns fail or you're caught by surprise (it happens), you can be sure that if the invaders believe you have gold, they will extract the information from you or kill you trying, human life will be cheap. If the invaders have their act together, they'll know how to determine if something is real gold (child's play), so a stash of fakes is a good idea, but know when to use it. Multiple stash locations are ideal, but they may still find a way to extract it all from you. The grim best outcome may come from making it virtually inaccessible - buried under something very heavy; slant drilling under your foundation is an option, or encased in the brickwork of your chimney. That at least forces them to work to get it, work that may be interrupted, God willing.



If you split your stash you are more likely to lose some of it, but less likely to lose all of it. It is your choice.

Rule one as above never tell anyone where you store your metal, have more than one location and have a fake stash around the place.


You can thank a friend for theft. Many times people get robbed by friends or acquaintances. Why? Because they know what you have and where you keep it.

Remember the rule of three. You tell three people, then they tell 3 and they tell 3 ... and it's no longer a secret. Keep your mouth shut.

If/when the revenue man comes, have a small offering set aside showing that you are a compliant serf.



True. My only thefts, that I know of, were by aquaintences, friends of friends.

Ginger said...

I don't even tell my children about my metals because I don't want them to say anything at school.

To the OP, I'd say get a box very close to your home so if things begin to look dubious, you can get there. Switch to a local bank and pay attention.

kliguy38 said...

I recommend a home safe or a storage serve as a DECOY.....keep some silver in it...but keep the majority elsewhere. Home breakins will torture you to give it up....if you keep it in one place then you have NOTHING to give up except your entire stash.....once you give up your decoy....hopefully you live

Ginger said...


Excellent advice. duh. I will break mine up and store bits here and bits there. ..Some in the safe sounds like a smart idea. ..Kind of like diversifying in the miners.. don't put all your eggs in one basket.

The town did a routine walkabout with our local beat cop and he gave me a tip about that garage door pull (cut it off because they stick a [clothes] hanger through the top of the door, catch it and yank it)....and he didn't have a clue to my safe...

Lots of junk is a deterrent, even for me to get to it!

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.