Investing in physical gold bullion has only become more popular with time. One of the age old questions surrounding this prudent form of investing in physical precious metals remains where do you store your treasure once you acquire it? The fact is that if your gold is not part of a retirement or investment account, then you are not limited geographically by your country’s borders. On this page we will list the top international gold & silver companies that offer state-of-the-art offshore storage vaults. Let’s begin by this table that will give you a good overall view of the market:
Since the U.S., the UK and Australia are amongst the only developed nations in the history of the world with a track record of confiscating all non-collectors’ gold, it is a sensible idea for investors in those regions to store it in a safe third-party nation with a well-respected offshore gold storage company. In this article, we will consider both the best third-party storage countries and the companies storing gold for customers in these highly secure locations.
Top Things to Look For When Investing in Gold Offshore
There are six good characteristics to consider when investing your gold in an offshore locale. These are all listed out below with a brief explanation of each factor:
1. Stability – Most important in the choice of where to keep your physical metals is the stability of the country in which you send them. Any country which is politically or economically unstable is a bad choice for obvious reasons. Gold seizure or confiscation is always a possibility in any country struggling fiscally or economically.
2. Security – Safety and security are your second most important considerations for a gold storage haven. This relates to both the safety of the facility and the likelihood of a major crime spree taking your metals home in a looting spree or major vault breach and theft incident. Any territory without low crime and ironclad safety should be strictly ruled out as a potential choice.
3. Infrastructure – Infrastructure refers to elements like a secure and sophisticated vault, good airports for ease of access to your metals, and secure roads along which precious metals storage companies like Brinks can move them in an armored car. This might be slightly less important than the first two, but it is nonetheless worth considering when you are looking abroad.
4. Legal issues – This is a more intangible quality in an offshore gold storage location but ultimately critically important. Strong legal systems mean that the government and its employees cannot simply seize the gold held in the jurisdiction’s vaults. They will also not simply cave in and turn over all of a person’s property to a foreign government just because a little pressure is applied to them diplomatically.
5. Privacy – You do not want your home government or regulatory agencies to be aware that you have squirreled away gold in Switzerland. This means that the country has to respect your rights to ownership and privacy of this ownership. Some countries have secrecy laws in this regard that are punishable by jail time when they are violated by their own citizens and residents.
6. Risk of Confiscation – Believe it or not, the United States is among the select and rare group of nations on earth that can claim to have actually confiscated all of its citizens precious metals in the past. This is why the U.S. is not your best choice of venue to vault your metals. Countries like Singapore, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands on the other hand would never dream of such an action (and more importantly never have stooped to it before in their collective histories).
The Best Offshore Gold Storage Centers
The real estate development Mecca of the United Arab Emirates has another lesser known claim to fame. It is a world gold market and storage center on a large regional scale. This is undoubtedly your first choice of gold storage place for the entire Middle East and Africa. As among the largest centers for trading gold, they handle the passage of a good fifth of all annual worldwide gold production here.
The DMCC constructed an enormous vault for the UAE back in only 2009, making it a modern state of the art security complex for your precious metals. It features all of the latest in inventory management and security systems. This new facility was built for both longer-term and shorter-term gold storage as well as for other valuables.
Dubai is also a tax free zone where precious metals are concerned. This makes it among the least expensive places on earth to both purchase and store your gold. Because the cost of storage for precious metals is so unbelievably cheap here, this is a solid choice for a place to store your gold holdings safely. Add to this that Dubai is FATCA- and FBAR-compliant and you can not go wrong in the UAE.
Most wealthy investors and families will agree on one thing— that Switzerland and neighboring principality Liechtenstein are the best places in which to keep your valuables and assets. This is not only because they look at protecting foreign assets as a core part of their entire economies and matter of economic survival, but also because they have been doing it so very well for more than 300 years now.
The internal politics of the nations are both stable and not intrusive governments of coalitions. It is this along with the longstanding regard for individual privacy that has maintained these two alpine nations at the top of the list of most trusted safe haven centers in the globe.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein possess world class infrastructure. Their laws protect precious metals ownership and possession using the highest level of security measures possible and with insurance policies too. Finally, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are fine geographical locations to visit in case you need easy access to withdraw your precious metals in person.
There is a growing trend of moving gold storage to the Far East in recent years. This has helped such safe haven offshore jurisdictions as Singapore to steal some of Switzerland’s thunder for being the modern day go-to location for vaulting gold in the world. Singapore has all of the qualities you want to see in a gold storage venue. It is among the most stable and safest places in the world, and both economically and politically sound. It has begun to emerge as the leading precious metals hub for gold trading in Asia too.
On top of this, they have built the Singapore FreePort. This 25,000 square meter facility gives a significant boost to their efforts in developing the city-state into a world-leading gold storage and trading hub. They astutely modeled in on the Swiss FreePort model with climate-controlled and high-security storage in mind. It makes them the only such facility in all of Asia in fact. The vault is found conveniently located next door to the Changi Airport too, making it super convenient as well as highly secured and technologically advanced in its own unique duty free zone.
It all combines to make Singapore among the best places on planet earth to vault gold. Their prices are highly competitive, the premiums over spot are super low, and their storage charges are imminently reasonable. Corruption and crime are both nearly unheard of in the city-state, regulation is kept to a bare minimum, and even the tax structure is super friendly to investors and businesses alike.
It is no exaggeration when analysts claim that the Cayman Islands prove to be the most superior choice for storing precious metals in the Western hemisphere. This is because of a variety of excellent characteristics to the offshore British crown colony territory that start with proximity. The beautiful and highly visually appealing islands lie a half day or less travel from all of the major cities in North and South America as well as Central America and the Caribbean Sea island nations. All major U.S. airlines fly there along with British Airways (every day of the week in fact) to their modern airport the Owen Roberts International Airport of Georgetown. This airport is found a mere under kilometer (half mile) from the precious metals storage facility.
In general, it is discretion you are looking for in storing your metals. The SWP is a privately held and managed storage facility which does not suffer the burdens of any wealth reporting mandates to either foreign, British, or local Cayman Islands governments. The colony is also a completely tariff- and tax-free island. It has been this way for the island’s entire history. They have neither sales tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, nor even income tax here. Precious metals are not held captive to tariffs either entering or leaving the territory either. There is not even any VAT value added tax applied to buying or storing any form of precious metals in the Islands.
As an important financial center, the Caymans have grown to become the fifth biggest one on earth. As this industry has become the “bread and butter” for the average Cayman Islander, the government gets that complete economic freedom for people and investors pays the bills and keeps the islands prosperous. For politically stable jurisdictions, it does not get any better than being a British Overseas territory and crown colony.
This is because they enjoy rock solid British legal traditions and modern political systems that are fully backed up by the full military might of the United Kingdom and its historically formidable navy. The islands’ infrastructure and services are world-class as well. What’s more, unlike the mother country, the Cayman’s are strictly neutral in all global disputes and on all important world issues.
As the gateway to up and coming gold superpower China, Hong Kong is an interesting choice for an offshore gold storage location. In 2012 they opened up a brand new state of the art gold storage facility to meet the rising demand for gold storage and investments. It is easily the biggest one in all of Hong Kong and is conveniently found at the international airport. With a capacity for a thousand tons of gold storage, it can conceivably hold around 22 percent of the entire Fort Knox gold reserves.
This facility services commodity exchanges, governments, refiners, bullion banks, exchange traded funds, and wealthy families and individuals. Hong Kong’s long-enduring tradition of independence, professionalism, and integrity make it a world-class storage location for your personal gold holdings.
The Best Offshore Gold Investing Companies
Now we turn our attention to seven of the leading offshore gold investing companies. Along with a brief background on each of them, we will consider their various pros and cons.
#1 Regal Dubai
Regal Assets dates back to 2009 when Tyler Gallagher founded it in the U.S. Since then, his precious metals investment firm has grown to become a Fortune 500 company which has been consistently recognized by Forbes, the Huffington Post, and Smart Money alongside Inc. 500. Inc places it as the #20 ranked financial services-providing firm in the U.S. today.
The company offers a large selection of gold and the other precious metals (including platinum and palladium products) for investors who are either interested in outright purchasing or overseas storage of bullion coins and bars. Among their fine inventory are the most popular and purest coins and bars from around the great gold-producing nations of the world. A huge pro is that they offer gold storage in most any nation of the world.
The company claims to have vaults in nearly every stable country on earth in which you can choose to vault your precious metals. The Dubai office co-owns the DMCC’s new highly secure storage vault. With low storage fees, world class service, and solid bullion products selection, it is hard to find a con to Regal Dubai.
#2 Gold Switzerland
The precious metals investment division of Matterhorn Asset Management of Switzerland is called Gold Switzerland. This Swiss conglomerate specializes in preserving wealth for its considerable stable of high net worth institutions and individuals. They pride themselves on advising investors regarding gold purchases, sales, investments, and transfers of the precious metals. Their storage options for gold include their incredibly secure and highly regarded vaults in Switzerland. The pros are many and obvious. Cons are that their storage fees are higher than Regal’s. Swiss advice does not come cheap, especially not at Gold Switzerland.
#3 Gold Broker
Gold Broker.com prides itself on direct storage that does not involve intermediaries of any kind. As a division of FDR Capital based in offshore banking haven island nation Malta, this company helps both corporate and private party investors to purchase physically held gold and silver bullion and to store it completely outside of the U.S banking system, either onshore or offshore.
Their premiums are low and they feature a wide-range of secured offshore storage facilities from which you can choose, such as Zurich, Singapore, Toronto in Canada, and New York City. The firm’s glowing reviews demonstrate why GoldBroker.com has become so popular.
#4 Kitco Hong Kong
Kitco is a world famous name of an American-based advisory, holding, and transacting precious metals broker. Their Hong Kong storage division does exactly what you might reasonably expect — store your precious metals which they sell you in their vaults in Hong Kong off the coast of China.
Kitco takes great pride for being among the best-known and most highly regarded precious metals dealers globally. For those of you who want to internationalize your gold assets, you now have access to an Asian offshore storage center that is both secure and which features low costs.
#5 SWP Cayman Islands
SWP is an outfit based on Grand Cayman Island in what many experts consider to be among the safest of precious metals storage jurisdictions anywhere.
The firm is well-positioned in this the fifth largest financial services market on earth. North Americans find the convenience and ease of travel to their highly secured vaults to be an appealing feature of this gold bullion sales and storage company SWP that takes pride in its ease of buying back previously purchased precious metals from clients.
#6 GoldCore Ireland
Ireland may not be the first location you think of for safe and secure precious metals storage, yet GoldCore Ireland has been effectively servicing and storing clients’ precious metals holdings here since 2003. They were the original gold broker in the Emerald Isle and they have grown to become the nation’s most-trusted and best-established gold operation as well. The company proudly services its clients not only in Ireland and America, but through more than 45 other countries globally.
With joint headquarters and storage offered in both Dublin and world gold center London, they serve a wide range of offshore and onshore clients. They sell bullion products for delivery and storage as well as wealth management and advisory services. GoldCore Ireland prides itself on its vast depth and variety of precious metals offerings, analysis for retail and professional investors, and its reliable information on the industry.
#7 Swiss Gold Safe
A final Swiss offering in the world of offshore bullion storage is Swiss Gold Safe Limited. This private corporation is based in Altdorf, Switzerland and dates back to 2006. The firm delivers medium-term to longer-term storage of valuables and precious metals in their privately owned highly secured Swiss-based vaults and also Liechtenstein-based vaults. In case you no longer trust Switzerland and its vaults since they divulged their private client banking records to the U.S. a few years back, then you can try their vaults in the picturesque neighboring principality of Liechtenstein. Swiss Gold Safe’s storage is fully insured and entirely independent from any banking system and regulatory authorities.