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Depository sees gold, silver rush

Business already is good for a Wilmington, Del., bullion and rare coin depository that opened three years ago, but it’s expected to be even better in the weeks ahead now that a major New York City bank depository has told many of its customers to remove their valuables, the firm announced Nov. 27.

“As soon as the news broke that HSBC was kicking out individual investors and even some commercial accounts to accommodate storage for large institutional accounts at its facility in Manhattan, I started getting phone calls from worried investors and even executives of some commercial firms who suddenly need a safe place for their gold and silver coins and ingots,” said Robert L. Higgins, CEO of First State Depository Company LLC, which opened in Wilmington in June 2004.

The door to the 5,000-square-foot vault weighs more than 5,600 pounds. The depository has up to $400 million capacity insurance with Lloyd’s of London for the gold and other valuables shipped in from investors and companies nationwide, but Higgins says that insurance coverage may have to be increased with the anticipated additional requests for secure storage.

“It was surprising to see how many people who never owned gold before started buying it this past year,” he said. “We’ve had many first-timers contact us to store their coins and precious metals purchases. Many people have put gold bullion coins in their IRAs.”

Higgins advises investors facing eviction from the HSBC depository to transfer their valuables prior to Jan. 1, whether to his depository or somewhere else, as long as it’s by year’s end.

“That way, you won’t have to pay HSBC’s annual storage fee that is payable in January,” he explained. “There’s another advantage for investors to move their valuables to Delaware.
Unlike New York, there is no tax imposed on the payment of depository storage fees in Delaware.”

First State Depository provides secure custody services to institutional, commercial and individual investors. Precious metals are accepted in various forms: from small ingots to bars weighing 100 kilos (220 pounds) to gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion coins like the popular American Eagle, South African Krugerrand and Canadian Maple Leaf.

Rare coins, those with a premium over their intrinsic bullion content because of their historic value and appeal to collectors, are accepted only if they have been certified by one of the major authentication firms such as Numismatic Guaranty Corporation or Professional Coin Grading Service.

For more information, contact First State Depository at (302) 765-3352, or visit online at www.FSDepository.com

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