Two Letters Re: Advice on Storing Precious Metals


Our prayers for you and your family continue daily.

My grandfather has six 12″x12″ square wooden posts on his farm house’s front porch. Each one has held various caches for over 55 years and no one has ever been aware. It was not until 20 years ago that I was painting the posts and felt the need to replace a split board that he let me in on the secret. By the way, if a cache needed changing, it was usually done every few year as the posts were scraped, primed and painted along with the porch.

For almost 16 years, our home has had PVC pipe caches inside our aluminum porch pillars/posts. Similar porch posts can be easily purchased at home supply centers or you can make them from wood like Pappy’s porch on the farm.

I realize this is not necessarily convenient for frequent changes in contents and they’re not perfectly secure from fire or tornadoes, but they have been effectively hidden from hundreds of people: family, strangers, etc. who have climbed, leaned, touched, and passed by them unaware, for years.

Better than a safety deposit box so far and I personally know of no one else than Pappy with a longer, successful track record of hiding and accessing caches. Please withhold my name and email as I’m giving away a family secret after much prayer for the benefit of others. Sincerely, – S. in Ohio

Here is an idea on another place to hide cash or coinage at home: Take an old coffee can or two and put your valuable in the bottom of the can, fill it about half way. Then, on top put in a bunch of old nuts and bolts and fill to the top. Put these cans on a work bench in the garage or utility room with similar cans. Most thieves will not even touch them or look twice at cans of “junk”. Then just hope your wife never decides to “clean out your junk!” – Rick V.

JWR Replies: Your comment underscores the importance of letting trusted family members know the location of keys, caches, and vault combinations. The large number of abandoned safe deposit boxes each year is indicative that too any people err toward too much secrecy within their families. Ditto for caches of cash found in walls or found in attics, often decades after someone passes away. And who knows how many hidden (but undisclosed) valuables have ended up in landfills.