When accumulating gold and silver sometimes we encounter issues that we didn’t even know we should have been prepared for. Today, I’m going to cover one of these issues in depth. Hopefully this article equips you with ways to protect your investment well into the future. So, can you store gold and silver together? Let’s examine the question.
When accumulating precious metals It’s important to understand that the similarities can stop at the shine. Characteristics and most importantly care varies between all metals even non precious ones.
- Gold is a very soft metal that is easily damaged but does not tarnish in it’s purest form.
- Silver is harder than gold but scratches and tarnishes easily
- Gold and Silver do not react chemically when stored together.
- Gold and silver could damage each other physically when stored together.
- Gold and silver have specific care instructions.
- Gold and silver should not be stored together.
An active metal is the name given to a group of metals that quickly react with other substances. Not to get too scientific, but when looking at the periodic table of elements the most active metals are to the left of the chart. Metals listed towards the bottom left of the table are more ‘active’ than elements towards the top.
Properties of gold
Gold is an extremely soft and malleable metal, making it perfect for jewelry. Gold is not an active metal meaning it hardly reacts with anything. Although gold falls in the same column of the periodic table as silver it’s almost impervious to reacting with other elements, similar to platinum. Gold in it’s purest form does not tarnish meaning 24 karat gold will not tarnish.
Properties of silver
Silver is almost white in it’s purest form and is actually the best known conductor of electricity, but would be to expensive to use. Silver is far more easily oxidized than gold but is not chemically active. However, silver does tarnish relatively easily and quickly, especially if it’s stored or handled improperly. Silver is not an active metal but nitric acid will attack it.
What happens when gold and silver are stored together?
Over the course of several months (possibly years) silver will oxidize and turn black. Some fear that this process might transfer minute amounts of tarnish to other metals if they are in contact with the deteriorating silver, however gold does not tarnish and should be safe in that regard.
Some also worry that if you store silver in contact with a gold coin or bar for a period of years it could possibly cause redish spots to form on the gold. But when researching for this article, I had a hard time finding anyone that this actually happened to.
Others think that gold jewelry could develop a smokey white or possibly even a bronze or black cantina when stored with silver. However, the consensus among people actually in the industry is that the two could be safely stored together without reaction issues. But should you?
Should you store gold and silver together?
In the end if your in a jam, storing gold and silver together for a short period shouldn’t cause you to lose sleep, but it’s not advisable. The more important point is that it’s best to invest in individual protection products for each of the metals in your possession. The objective is to properly take care of each of your metals and by storing them together they could scratch each other and cause undesirable marks on the surface.
Gold is soft and should be wrapped in a fine cloth specifically designed for handling gold then placed in a coin box, jewelry box or a ziplock baggie before placing it in a safe.
While harder than gold, silver has it’s own flaw in that it easily scratches and tarnishes, and should always be stored accordingly. Stored silver should always remain free of moisture and should not be bundled with rubberbands or stored in containers made with pvc. Boxes made especially for silver are lined with a fabric specifically designed to keep your silver free of tarnish.
If your metals are stored in products specifically made for each, then storing them in a safe together should be fine. By following the care instructions for all of the bullion in your portfolio, you can ensure that your investment will return the most possible if the time ever does come to sell.
Enjoying our content? Check out another article- Eight ways to buy American Silver Eagles at cheap prices.