As an educated precious metals investor, I am often asked about my methods for securing such lucrative items. Specifically, those who approach me are interested in how I make a business with a product (precious metals) that can be easily stolen and melted down. In the old days, a lock box, stagecoach and armed guard wasn’t enough. Nowadays, hiring an armored truck is a pricey option reserved for businesses or the filthy rich. Surely I must spend a fortune transporting gold and silver coins across the country.
What I tell them strikes a response I always enjoy seeing. I nod my head and say: “Actually I transport my gold and silver the same way the Hope Diamond was shipped.” That’s the diamond worth over $200 Million. Seriously. Then, of course, I spend the next few minutes explaining how the Hope Diamond was donated and transported from New York City to Washington D.C. in 1958. The total shipping charge was $145.29 and only $2.44 was for postage, the rest was for insurance.
Sure, that was over 50 years ago, but the reality is this shipping method is still available. And available to everyone. Few people seem to realize that they have access to such a secure form of shipping.
Where is it available? Your local post office. That’s right, the Hope Diamond was shipped via registered mail by the United States Postal Service. Registered Mail is one of the most secure shipping methods available to the public, yet only a handful of people know much about it.
That’s what brings me here, writing this article to share my method. It’s really not a secret, it just seems to have been lost as general knowledge over the years. The postal service has been around for over 200 years. They have developed a time-tested method for transporting items securely. Registered Mail implements a chain of custody that requires an act of God to break without someone knowing who broke it. For starters, items shipped are protected by safes, cages, sealed containers, locks and keys. It’s easy to complain about the price of stamps going up, but the USPS has a monopoly on offering safe, secure, insured transportation.
I am honestly more leery of the people around me in line than when I actually hand over my box of gold and silver coins at the post office. I have shipped hundreds of boxes of precious metals over the years and I have yet to be disappointed. Registered mail sometimes takes longer than standard shipping, but that’s because of the added accountability at each step. Everyone, and I mean everyone, who comes in contact with my box of precious metals is documented and accounted for.
The cost is minimal for the service offered. Still, it would be nice to tell people I have a private armored truck or mob ties that make me untouchable. The only reason I can think of for why more people don’t know the secret about registered mail is because it is a steal of a deal. If everyone started using it, I doubt the Postal Service could keep up without taking a loss.
Not my problem though, so the secret is out. I have been buying and selling precious metals: mostly gold and silver coins, in bulk for years now. It is a feeling of empowerment to open a simple cardboard box and reveal the shiny treasure inside. My precious metals retirement account makes me rich in the long run but doesn’t let me see my treasure until I retire. I think the feeling of opening a treasure box is what keeps me in this business.