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Taking Physical Delivery of Silver and Gold from COMEX

Commodities / Gold & Silver Dec 06, 2008 - 04:58 AM GMT

By: Submissions

Commodities Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleA Memorable Delivery Experience - For those who remember, I wrote a letter asking about taking delivery from the COMEX. Well I would like to tell you about a very educational experience.

Recently, we took a delivery from the COMEX. The process was a bit cumbersome but very enlightening. First, I would like to say that the process of dealing with the custodians was very professional. However, let me begin my story of amazement.

The silver and gold were to be prepared and packaged for shipment by the existing custodian. As I understand it, this was part of the delivery out fee. We will get back to the packaging later.

The metal was arranged for a pick up and delivery using a very well known armored carrier. Initially, everything was going as planned. After the metal was gathered from various custodians, it was on its way to one of our facilities. We were in contact with the armored carrier who laid out a time frame of when to expect arrival of the armored truck. We were told that shipment arrivals usually occur in the morning and with plenty of notice.

This is when the story gets interesting.

Three days after the shipment leaves New York, I get a call at 4:50 pm from one of our vault managers. He mentioned if the armored carrier ever called with a delivery time. I told him the armored carrier was supposed to call us with an estimated time of arrival. Our vault manger paused and said, “I have a big armored truck sitting outside.” He mentioned to me later that the truck was fairly weighed down in the back with the headlights shooting up in the air. Anyone in the armored transportation business would say at this point we have a problem. An unscheduled delivery, 10 minutes before the vault is locked down, darkness setting in, and a truck with an obviously big payload sounds like a setting for a Jessie James novel.

But wait it gets better.

The packaging which the COMEX custodian charged for consisted of pallets of silver with metal bands over the bars. The gold bars were in a simple cardboard box. There was no shrink wrap over the pallets or secured container holding the gold bars. It seemed like a $10 glass bowl bought on the internet was better prepared for shipment than this extremely valuable cargo.

Somehow during the transportation, the bands on the pallets holding the silver bars broke and some of the bars were scattered in the armored truck. To make matters worse there was no invoice providing an itemized list of bars and their serial numbers. In fact on the invoice, the delivery date was to be two days later.

Typically, this is a point when you get someone in charge on the phone. Well, that is what we did. We contacted the carrier's regional transportation official. We told him in most cases a delivery like this is usually not accepted due to risk and liability. After a few words the carrier's manager said if you do not take delivery we will send the metal back to our regional office, load it on a trailer, and send it back to New York.

When you are talking several tons of metal, you think twice about moving this around. After we inspected the metal for damage and counted the bars, we accepted the shipment.

Please understand taking delivery from the COMEX entails some risk. But for many proponents of gold and silver to simply say “have the metal shipped to a business, store it at home, or do not let a third party handle or store your metal,” investors might consider this experience. When you have armed guards show up at your doorstep with a shipment, they are trained to carry out a certain function. They are not there to greet you with a smile like a mailman or newspaper delivery boy.

Our armored facility is very well equipped to handle deliveries whether scheduled or unscheduled. Fortunately, the experience of our management team turned a potentially costly situation into safe and secure delivery.

Do not let this story dissuade you from taking delivery off the COMEX. The above story is not your typical delivery and most armored carriers provide a very secure environment for its cargo and the items held in their vault. For us the process is routine. Our facility can support you in preparing the three items requested by the COMEX custodian for delivery, arranging for a pick up and transportation, and securing valuable assets in a fully insured/segregated facility.

Bob Coleman

© 2008 Copyright Bob Coleman - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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