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July 4, 2024 | Where You Store It: Choosing a Country for Offshore Gold

John Rubino is a former Wall Street financial analyst and author or co-author of five books, including The Money Bubble: What to Do Before It Pops and Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom. He founded the popular financial website in 2004, sold it in 2022, and now publishes John Rubino’s Substack newsletter.

Deciding to store gold and/or silver offshore is just the first step in a long process. Choosing a country and a storage service, then contracting to buy or ship the metal, are all make-or-break decisions. And very few newcomers to offshore storage understand everything.

So here’s a just-released article from offshore specialist Nestmann Group that answers the major questions:

Best Countries for Offshore Gold Storage

For decades, our firm has provided the international planning piece for groups that sell precious metals to clients. A big part of that planning is helping clients identify the best countries for offshore gold storage… at least, what’s best for their situation.

In this article, we share what we’ve learned from those decades of experience helping them buy and store precious metals overseas. And our preferred places to do it.

Why do clients store their gold offshore?

In its simplest form, offshore gold storage involves buying gold overseas and storing it in a secure facility outside your home country.

Sometimes, clients who own gold in the US want to move it to an offshore storage facility. But that can be quite pricey so we often suggest selling the gold held stateside and buying again overseas.

Different clients store gold offshore for different reasons, but most of the time, it comes down to safety; assets held outside the US are safer than assets held within (at least, from an American perspective.) It’s a diversification strategy.

If you’re going offshore for the first time, moving a percentage of your wealth into metals and holding them in an international vault is a fairly easy way to get started.

That said, some countries are better than others for this purpose. Here are our personal “best in class.”

Top Countries for Offshore Gold Storage


Switzerland is often the first place people think of when you mention “offshore gold storage.” It’s a classic for conservative investors focused on wealth preservation, who want a safe place to store their metals. Here are the highlights:

  • The Swiss government boasts the highest gold reserves per capita globally. The long tradition of gold storage has made Switzerland a trusted name for investors worldwide.
  • However, fees can be high and expectations of service, while professional, can be a bit of a disconnect for US clients used to US-type service levels.
  • Swiss providers tend to be a conservative lot and have (yet) to embrace some of the latest features of companies in other jurisdictions.
  • A few Swiss vaults support IRA accounts.


Singapore is an excellent choice for offshore gold storage thanks to a modern infrastructure and strong legal framework. It has a number of state-of-the-art storage facilities with advanced security measures. Some key points:

  • Like Switzerland, it prioritizes stability and security.
  • Roughly speaking, fees are about the same as Switzerland.
  • Singapore has some interesting features not commonly found elsewhere. That includes the ability to buy gold on leverage and to borrow money using stored metals as collateral.
  • We’re not aware of any Singapore vaults that accept IRA-owned accounts.
  • Thanks to its location in the heart of Asia, it can especially be a good fit for investors with a strong focus in that area of the world.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands have become an ever more popular choice for US clients thanks to its proximity to America. Gold storage is a relatively new option in the Caymans, but several companies now offer it. The highlights:

  • Fees are generally quite competitive compared to other jurisdictions.
  • Vaults have a very high level of security.
  • In some cases, you can add to your holdings, or sell them, electronically.
  • A few vaults support IRA and even RRSP (Canadian retirement) accounts.


Austria is a preferred location for offshore gold storage due to its historical stability and strong banking sector. Key benefits include:

  • The only private vault we know of in the world that offers 24-hour access, seven days a week.
  • The ability to purchase gold directly from the Austrian mint and store it safely in a private vault.
  • We know of at least two Austrian banks that offer gold storage accounts for Americans.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a strong player in the offshore gold storage world thanks to its robust regulatory framework and economic stability. Key benefits include:

  • One of the world’s oldest private vaults, dating from the 1930s.
  • A turnkey service in which you can send a private vault your gold holdings and have them place it in your safe deposit box, then send you the key (or hold it through a chartered accountant).

How to Choose the Right Offshore Storage Facility

Selecting the right offshore storage facility for your gold is as important as the country in which you place it. Unfortunately, we’ve known plenty of places in “good” countries that weren’t up to snuff. And we’ve known some vaults in “bad” countries that were best in class.

Here are some things to consider:

Security Features

  • High-Security Vaults: Look for facilities with state-of-the-art security systems, including surveillance cameras, biometric access controls, and armed guards.
  • Proximity to the Police: The closer the better. In one vault in Vienna, in addition to armed guards on site, police can be dispatched in as little as a minute in case of a problem. (They’re across the street.)


  • Insurance Coverage: The facility should provide a default comprehensive insurance coverage for stored gold, protecting against theft, damage, and other risks up to a set limit. You can also buy additional insurance if you like to cover the full value of your holdings. And watch out for exclusions and limitations.


  • Provider’s History: Research the storage provider’s track record. Obvious but true: established providers with a history of reliability and customer satisfaction are generally safer bets.
  • Client Reviews: These can be tricky to find because most people don’t let the world know where they’re protecting their own assets. If you can get a referral from someone with deep knowledge and/or personal experience, that’s a good sign.


  • Transparency: Choose a provider that is transparent about their procedures, fees, and policies. The best ones will tell you up front what everything is going to cost.


  • Ease of Access: Consider how easily you can access your gold. Some facilities offer global access, allowing you to retrieve your gold from various locations worldwide. In others, you need to make a personal visit to get your gold during regular business hours.
  • Customer Service: Evaluate the facility’s customer service, ensuring they provide prompt and reliable support for any inquiries or issues.

Recommended Reading

There’s a lot more, including tax implications and strategic advice. Read it here.

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July 4th, 2024

Posted In: John Rubino Substack

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