You might know how to store your gold coins and bars, but have you ever thought about how you’d move them? What would happen if you relocated across the country or the Atlantic?
Roughly 40 million Americans move each year, and many of them move during the summer. If you move, follow these tips from U.S. Money Reserve to learn how to safely and successfully transport your gold, whether it’s across town or overseas.
Preparing to Transport Gold
Before you do anything else, gently wipe clean your gold bullion coins and bars with a soft cloth. Removing dust and debris can help prevent damage caused by corrosion or dirt during transport. If your coins are encapsulated in plastic cases, skip this step. Do not remove the coins from their cases.
Next, figure out how you’re going to store the gold coins and bars during the journey. To store the coins, use plastic coin bags, tubes, or the original coin holders. As for the bars, wrap each one in a clean cloth or protective plastic.
While gold coins can easily be tucked into a box or bag—or even your pockets—gold bars will require more TLC. The bars should be put into a case or box, according to PocketSense.com. If you’re stacking the bars, separate the layers with bubble wrap or soft cloths to protect them from damage.
Transporting Gold by Car
If you’re traveling by car, you shouldn’t run into any major issues transporting gold coins and bars—unless you’re crossing the border into Mexico or Canada. Transporting gold across national borders can be tricky, so do your research.
Before heading to Mexico or Canada by car (or via any other mode of transportation, for that matter), read the country’s rules about bringing gold there. Also, alert the nearest office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that you’ll be taking gold coins and bars into Mexico or Canada.
When you’re making a DIY move within the U.S., be sure your gold is securely stored (preferably in your own vehicle or the passenger cabin of your moving truck) and don’t leave it unattended, even if you’re making a quick pit stop along the way.
Regardless of whether it’s a domestic or international over-the-road move, check with your homeowner’s insurance company to find out what coverage, if any, you’ll have while transporting your gold. Auto insurance doesn’t cover any belongings inside your vehicle, including gold coins or bars.
As you head from point A to point B, monitor weather conditions so that you can shield your gold from extreme heat or dampness.
Transporting Gold by Bus or Train
Much like you’d transport gold coins and bars by car, you should carefully pack your precious metals for the bus or train ride. Also, don’t let the gold out of your sight while you’re en route to your destination.
Before buying your ticket, contact the bus or train operator to find out their rules about transporting gold. Check with your insurance company regarding whether the gold will be covered while it’s in transit, too.
Transporting Gold by Plane
If you’re jetting off to your new home, your best bet could be to stash your gold in your carry-on luggage. Don’t stick gold in your checked bags—you run the risk of the coins or bars being lost, stolen, or damaged.
Before going through security or customs, tell the officers that you’re carrying gold, USA Today advises. If you have paperwork related to the gold (such as sales receipts or certificates of authenticity), be ready to show it to the officers. Keep in mind that you might end up having to show officers your gold coins or bars in a private screening area. However, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shouldn’t have a problem with your gold going down the conveyor belt and through the x-ray machine.
USA Today warns against displaying your gold to anyone or asking a stranger to watch the bag containing your coins or bars. Keep the bag near you at all times.
It’s worth noting that you’ll likely be required to complete declaration forms when you’re taking your gold to another country, and you might be obligated to pay taxes.
Transporting Gold with a Moving Company or Courier Service
Avoid shipping your gold coins or bars with the rest of your household belongings when they’re being transported by a moving company.
Although your mover might not prohibit transporting valuables like gold coins and bars, it’s generally best to keep valuables with you when you’re moving, the American Moving & Storage Association says.
“A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether that belonging can truly be replaced. If it can’t, don’t ship it,” the Association says.
While gold coins and bars technically can be replaced, who wants to go through the hassle of trying to locate them if they’re lost or stolen and then filing an insurance claim if they can’t be retrieved?
Plus, if you let a moving company take your gold from your old place to your new place, the gold will be out of your sight and your control until it reaches your final destination. Owning physical gold is about staying in control of your financial future.
A trustworthy courier service like Brink’s, G4Si, Malca-Amit, and Via Mat can transport precious metals, but it’s likely too costly to do so if you own a relatively small amount of gold. If you do own enough gold to warrant the expense, contact several courier services to compare price quotes for armored gold transportation.
Sending Gold by Mail
Believe it or not, you can send gold through the United States Postal Service. You can’t ship gold via DHL, FedEx, UPS, or their competitors, though.
Use Registered Mail if you decide to pay for U.S. Postal Service shipping. Items sent by Registered Mail can be insured for up to $50,000. This insurance is one of the biggest advantages of shipping gold by mail. Plus, when you use one of the post office’s Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes, you can pack it with up to 70 pounds of items at no extra charge.
As with many other shipping methods, though, remember that the gold you send via the U.S. Postal Service will be out of your control until it arrives at your new home.
Transporting Gold FAQs
Q: Can I take gold out of the U.S.?
A: Yes, you can take gold out of the U.S. But as you might guess, there are rules to follow.
If you’re driving into Mexico or Canada, you shouldn’t encounter any problems bringing in gold bars and coins. However, you should notify the nearest office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that you’ll be heading across the U.S. border with gold. Also, read up on the guidelines for the country where you’re taking the gold.
If you’re flying into another country with gold in your possession, be sure to inform a U.S. Customs or security officer that you’re carrying gold. Once you arrive at your final destination, you might need to declare that you’re carrying gold.
When heading back to the U.S., keep in mind that you can’t bring gold from Cuba, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), or from most places in Sudan.
Q: How much gold can I travel with?
A: Typically, you can carry coins or a small amount of gold bars when you’re flying without much of a problem. Larger quantities of gold might come under scrutiny, though. Also, different countries and airlines might have specific rules about how much gold you can transport.
Q: Can I carry coins on an airplane?
A: Yes, you normally can carry gold coins on an airplane. But you should let customs or security officials know that you have the coins, and you shouldn’t put them in checked baggage. If you’re flying abroad, check the regulations of your destination country to make sure you’ll be in compliance when you arrive. In addition, be sure you’re traveling with proof that you own the coins.
Q: Can airport metal detectors detect gold?
Airport metal detectors can detect gold—up to a point.
A metal detector at an airport can detect whether an object is metallic or organic, reports GIVT. But it can’t determine whether a metal object is gold. If the operator of a metal detector suspects you’ve got gold in your possession, you or your luggage might be subject to inspection.
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