At long last, Texans have a safe place to store their gold.
The Texas Bullion Depository opened in Austin Wednesday, three years after state lawmakers signed off on creating an official place for people to store their gold and other precious metals.
“We’re proud that the nation’s first state-administered bullion depository is now a reality — this is a big day for Texans who want to secure their precious metal assets,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who became the depository's first customer this week. “I deposited some gold."
Anyone who wants to stock up on gold now may buy bullion from a dealer and have it shipped directly to the depository.
But they also may deposit precious metals they already own.
Once they arrive, the metals will be tested to make sure they are pure.
Depository workers will take pictures of the metals — gold, platinum, silver, palladium and rhodium — when it arrives and those photos will show up on a person's online account dashboard. An account can be set up at texasbulliondepository.gov.
“You can feel comfortable storing your precious metals with us, knowing that we test and verify your items before they are deposited to your account," said Matthew Ferris, chairman of Lone Star Tangible Assets, which has built and will operate the depository.
Each deposit will be stored separately, which means any metals you deposit will be the exact ones you'll get back when you make a withdrawal.
Deposits are automatically insured through Lloyd's of London, according to the depository's website.
In the works
Plans for the depository have been underway since lawmakers approved the measure — shepherded through the Texas House by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake — during the 2015 legislative session.
"I can’t think of anyplace else in the world that could create a bullion depository this way, and I’ve heard from legislators across the country who want to do what we are doing, from Tennessee to Utah,” Capriglione said. “We will see a lot of financial interest in this depository, with gold, silver and other commodities coming here."
Financial institutions, cities, school districts, businesses, individuals — even other countries — could do business with the depository.
Storage fees will be charged to generate revenue for the state.
Those fees could add up, particularly in storing larger amounts, such as the estimated $1 billion owned by the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Company now stored at the HSBC Bank in New York. The company pays to store the gold there. Some Texas officials have long indicated they would like for the gold to come home.
The Austin site will serve as the depository until next year, when a larger facility is expected to open in Leander.
Officials stress the safety of this new facility — and the one yet to come.
“Combining the entrepreneurial spirit and technical expertise of the private sector with the trusted oversight of the Comptroller’s office is what makes this so special,” Hegar said. “Texans can rest easy knowing their gold is right here in the Lone Star State."
Texas Bullion Depository
How to use the depository? Create an online account at www.texasbulliondepository.gov
Where is the depository? The depository is at 1908 Kramer Lane, Suite 300, Austin. A second location is being built in Leander and should open next year.
What hours will it be open? 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
How can you talk to someone about it? Call 844-416-4653