Safe place to store large volume of coins?

breenthumbNovember 15, 2008

This is a bit of a sticky situation, but to simplify I'll just stick to the basic question.

Can anyone here suggest a secure storage place for about 6 Xerox boxes of coins for several months? It's too much for a safety deposit box and average padlocked storage is not secure enough.

Asking for a friend who's DH died and is going away for the winter--and his adult kids from first marriage are circling like vultures. Any suggestions? Thanks, Sandy

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My aunt kept all of her jewelry, coins, paper money, important papers, etc. in the bottom of her chest freezer. Then, she piled meat & 'stuff' on top of everything so it didn't show. The freezer was in the garage just like you'd expect in CA. It wasn't even locked. That freezer was worth a small fortune! After she passed away, at age 96, we had fun unloading, laughing, & rummaging through the goodies. We even found several $20 St. Gauden's double eagles nicely packaged in a Cool Whip container. I'll bet she'd been hiding valuables there for 50+ years! She was a wonderful person. I miss her!


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:18AM
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I'd contact the local bank to ask if they have a recommendation regarding storage or if they could possibly store them for that period in their vault. You could do an online search for "secure storage" in your area and make sure that they're insured or bonded. Might want to make sure her insurance covers it also.

Does your friend have a long range plan for the coins? Might want to share the following with your friend.... We have an elderly relative with buckets and buckets of old coins hidden in a secret or hidden room in their house. The person doesn't know what to do with them so figures that when they die the family can just take care of it. They always have a concern of someone breaking in and taking them. Personally, I wish they'd just contact an antique coin dealer and be done with it and have peace of mind. No one has an emotional attachment to the coins, no one needs or will need the money and it's going to be an issue and hassle of how to distribute or divide when the time comes to get rid of it. Unless they have a plan for the coins, why not cash them in and the friend benefit from the proceeds while they're living?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:32AM
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Tricia, thanks for sharing that cute story and pleasant memories of your aunt. I think I'd like her too.

Hilltop, what you've written is the situation exactly--boxes of coins found among all the other boxes--some valuable and lots of junk. She's been weeding her way through it all. She does plan to sell them and actually will need the proceeeds (the sticky part I don't feel I should go into).

The death was very recent and since she's leaving so quickly she'd like to put that off until she gets back in the Spring. Then she will have time to find a (hopefully) trustworthy dealer without rushing into anything and making a big mistake.

Asking the local bank or CU is a good place to start. Even if they can't help they may know who can. I'll pass that along. Thank you. Sandy

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 2:18PM
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and average padlocked storage is not secure enough.
Do you mean a storage locker that you rent monthly? I don't see why that wouldn't be secure enough. I can't believe the theft stats from these places are any higher than from the average house.

The ones in my area require a passcode to get into the compound. And getting to the interior storage units in these places is like going through a maze - not the kind of place that a thief would be attracted to. She could make them look like benign boxes of books.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Did you ever see the movie "The Shawshank Redemption".

One of the actors in the film (Tim Robbins) plays a banker who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison. He makes friends with a fellow inmate named 'Red'.

He plans his escape and tells Red that if he ever gets out of prison he should go to a specific hayfield near Buxton, Maine to find something that has been buried there.

Might not hurt to have a little money stored (buried?) someplace where circling 'vultures' are unlikely to look!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 11:06AM
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All I can suggest is to NOT use a bank safety deposit box. No banks I have went to will insure what you place in it and I have heard of many people having valuables stole from their deposit boxes.

I also know my mother used to store stuff in the freezer. Seems pretty common!

My grandmother used to keep coins on the back of her cabinets. When we cleaned her house we found many jars full of coins behind the tupperware and pots and pans.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 4:56PM
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Chances are they are only worth thier face value. I would just convert them to cash or deposit them. You could always separate out any old coins she was unsure about for latter valuation.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Since you're the one doing the inquiring, etc., maybe it would be the least costly and simplest for you to just store the six boxes at your house for the winter. Six xerox boxes don't take up that much room, pretty much blend in with other stuff in a basement or garage, and it's unlikely the step kids would be circling your house - particularly if any plan is executed without telling anyone.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 9:01PM
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If you live in the country, how about getting some heavy plastic pails from a fast food place in which their cooking oil is delivered, washing them thoroughly, installing the coins, digging a hole in the back yard (or field, if you don't want to tear up the lawn), depositing the buckets, then filling in the holes?

You must, of course, make a map to detail the location of the buried treasure ... and it seems to me that the weakest link in this chain is ensuring that the map is well hidden from inquiring eyes. But if it's in your house and the circling vultures know nothing of your part in the game, it should be relatively safe.

On the other hand ... if it comes to the attention of the wrong eyes at your house ...

... it could be that another band of vultures might arrange for the hole to become unfilled ...

... earlier than had been anticipated!

On the other hand, I'm with Chris8796 ... coins from recent years carry no more value than their base amount, so leaving them uncashed does not permit the owner to take advantage of the return that they could develop if invested, meagre though that may be should she choose a bank account.

In our local supermarket, one can dump in a bucket of coins to let the machine do the sorting ...

... and they charge 98 cents for each $10.00 worth dropped in! That's about triple the amount that those dollars'd earn in a bank for a year.

Our local bank, near that store, installed such a sorting machine a few months ago - and they charge nil fee.

They do pay a little more than nil on amounts deposited with them ... but not much more!

However ... how about using the coins minted in recent years that have no additional value to buy gold coins?

The value of gold went up for a while, last year and many say that it should continue to rise, but has dropped back for a time, which they think will not continue for long.

Which may well give purchasers in recent days the opportunity to develop some substantial increase in value ... and that rather likely before major passage of time.

Good wishes for finding a way to store the coins that will keep them safe from circling vultures, prying eyes and other predators.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:32AM
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There are two problems related to gold coins, these days, I hear.

1. Very hard to find.

2. Highly overpriced, relative to the amount of gold that they contain.


ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 12:08AM
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Thank you all for the replies and good suggestions. Several of us friends offered storage space but I believe she took them to her sons house. She has also given him POA so he can handle/sign anything that may come up re her DH's estate in her absence.

The snowbird has already flown the coop to be with family down south on her way to her winter haven. Thanks, all. Sandy

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 2:50PM
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