Gold and Silver Bullion Storage at the West Point Mint

As a break from the string of Gold Kennedy Half Dollar posts, I wanted to complete the series of articles from my tour of the West Point Mint. This final article takes a look inside a bullion storage department containing newly $2 billion in gold and silver.

Previous articles from my visit include:

The West Point Mint was originally called the West Point Bullion Depository and served as a storage facility for silver bullion. It once had the highest concentration of silver of any US Mint facility, earning the nickname “The Fort Knox of Silver.” In 1980, West Point also began storing gold bullion in its vaults. Shortly afterwards approximately $20 billion worth of gold was stored at the facility, making it second only to Fort Knox for gold storage.

In the following years, the West Point facility began to take on more production duties including minting commemorative gold coins and American Gold Eagle bullion coins. It gained status as an official branch of the US Mint on March 31, 1988. Production would continue to expand, eventually including commemorative silver coins, American Silver Eagles, American Platinum Eagles, American Gold Buffalo coins, as well as other numismatic items.

In addition to the extensive production activities, the West Point Mint continues to serve depository functions. During my recent visit to the facility, I had the opportunity to step inside one of the storage compartments.

gold

The compartment contained stacks and stacks of gold bars. I was told that these were “Good Delivery” gold bars from approved purchasers. The bars were .9999 pure and had a weight of 400 troy ounces each, carrying serial numbers and hallmarks from the manufacturer.

gold-bars

I was able to very carefully pick up one of theΒ  bars, which carried a value of more than $500,000. It was much heavier than expected for the small size and unwieldy to handle.

compartment

The entire compartment contained more than 1.4 million ounces of gold with a value of more than $1.8 billion.

silver-bars

Silver bars were also stored in the compartment within a caged area. At the time of the visit, there were 2,800 silver bars with a total fine weight of 2,778,708.334 troy ounces and total value of $58,936,403.76.

signed

In what appeared to be a long running tradition, I was able to sign the wall of the storage compartment.

scale

A historical giant scale can also be found within the vault. You can see my signature on the section of the wall appearing above the left tray.

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Comments

  1. AkBob says

    GF – I wish I could give the mint the same benefit of the doubt as you may be giving them, maybe not too. I normally would have had to think this was a very good possibility and frankly I hadn’t even thought about it but I have to defer to my feelings and actions of past by the mint and do NOT feel that they would do that when they know they can replace them easily (even though it would be the prudent thing to do). It’s just very hard for me to give the mint the benefit of the doubt at this time. I do however think the mint is trying to do a better job of producing nicer coins (quality wise) and better designs but it all ends there as if you can’t produce them in a timely manner and can’t get them shipped then what’s the sense. I personally feel it’s time for a shake up at the mint and get some better folks in there managing it. Here we have a new release with 40,000 already produced and we are what, 6 days out and not one has even shipped yet:(((( Maybe I’m too impatient and expect too much from a business. Would anyone continue to buy from the mint if they didn’t have to???? Would you make your purchases from a business that did what they should do rather than what they want to do. Remember, it is a business and I can’t buy into the fact that this is just a gov’t entity and you shouldn’t expect too much, that’s BS. Why should we have to expect this from the US Mint? A lot of questions and some will agree with me and some probably won’t but that’s ok, each to their own and this is just my opinion. After this event, I really have a bad taste in my mouth and feel very embarrassed about the JFK release. I just hope regular folks out there don’t think that regular collector’s are the same as dealers. I may just switch to stacking bullion now. Time will tell. Thanks to all that contribute to this awesome forum and give their ideas, thoughts, insights and analysis, it’s very helpful to many of us. More heads together can be better:))) I just hope that this was a “wake up” call to the mint and to some of the dealers as well as ALL of the TPG’s that participated in this “DIRTY” deal. The US Mint is partly responsible for what happened last week. It’s a black eye to our hobby, JMHO though.

  2. Pittsburgh P says

    Voice of unsoundness? Stupidity? Not trying to be mean here just looking for the opposite of reason… no it’s not faith. Oh no PCGS handles so many coins-they do a good job anyways? I feel so bad for them… what are you their mom? Go ahead and pay more for your grading to make sure the modern coin that came straight from the mint with coa is legit. I’ll pass… I enjoy hearing all opinions but no need to be an ass.
    Anyway seems like most comments before me summed it it up nicely. Well said CO, well said…

    Louis very true, lets hope someone hears us and at least begins to make some changes…

    I thought VaRich WAS appointed ambassador! Hey I’m on this dog!!! I’ll take all the gold stars you’re given Va-AND all the gold JFK cancelations out there! I can only do so much though, if we get the same amount of cancelation this week their gonna have too recall ones they put in the mail πŸ˜‰ The last 4 days of the sales week averaged 161 per- So if that holds were lookin at 1127 per week. Imo it will not even be that strong with exceptions the week the silver set comes out and Christmas if they are still available then. If it goes to Dec 31 as stated we have roughly 19 weeks @ 1127 is 21,413… So an estimated total of 83,754-lower than my low end estimate of 88,888…
    It’s true the UHR did not sell over half of what it did til months after availability but imo this is a different monster. Don’t believe it’ll be available as long & there are more than just one offering with the silver & clad. Just my lowly opinion & if you’re on the fence save yourself now- cancel.

    Jon I don’t know if it would work but I do like the idea of having a tangible cord from the mint.

  3. simon says

    Louis : Here is John Maben (owner of MCM)’s take on things

    Not very inspiring and quite frankly very insipid

  4. NC-Phil says

    Folks looks like the first batch of Kennedy gold coins are shipping today. My 12:18pm order has been shipped.

  5. thePhelps says

    @gbotz…JFK would probably not have prefered to see his image on a US coin in the first place.

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