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Thread: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

  1. #1

    Default Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    To those who are well traveled: am I allowed to to carry undeclared (or untaxed) gold or silver bullions or coins on my person on international flights? I'm talking about maybe 20 to 50 lbs. Would gold or silver even set off the metal detector or xray machines?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic LightInTheWallet's Avatar
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    Popcorn Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    I am certain that twenty to fifty pounds of metal will set of a metal detector. The bullion question I cannot help with ( I believe that under ten thousand face value on currency and coinage is O.K. for departure from U.S. although the destination country might have an issue with and may issue duty,fees, etc. seeing you as a source of revenue)ymmv.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    I know coming into canada over $10k you need to declare it, if not and you are caught everything will be seized. However the declaration is just putting thing on record and you won't be taxed or anything. This is with cash thou, dunno how gold coins work, if they are seen as commodity you will probably be taxed.

    Edit: dude, 50 lbs of gold?! You are talking about three quarters of a million bucks there! Or are you talking about lbs as in british money?
    Last edited by jzmtl; 03-13-2008 at 12:51 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    If you have 50lbs of gold bullion, I'd imagine you'd also have your own jet taking you places.

    But yes, i"m pretty sure 30-50 lbs of gold and silver will set of a metal detector. If they didn't, all those old guys at the beach would just be waving those wands around for exercise. I can't imagine how you'd be able to carry it in your pockets anyway without looking like you're smuggling....well.... like 50 lbs of gold in your pockets.

    It'll show up on an x-ray also. The limit is $10k I think for travel, but I don't know how they would actually prove it without a scale and the latest spot prices for bullion. I gotta wonder why you're carrying so much gold and silver on a flight? Seems like it would be a lot easier and safer to either ship it insured or sell and buy it at your destination?

  5. #5
    Flashaholic frosty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Gold hit an all time high today. $1001 an oz.

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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    If you're talking about a carry-on, you should check with the airline(s) you plan to fly. I believe most if not all airlines limit the weight of your carry-on bags, and many airlines also are limiting passengers to a single carry-on each.

    If you plan to tape/attach these coins to your body or sew them into your clothes, that sounds like a really uncomfortable flight. Would also look highly suspicious if "detected."
    Having a right and doing what's right is not always the same.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Gold and silver bullion bars and coins are your possessions and you can do with them and travel with them as you like.

    However,

    You must declare any amount over 10k on a simple form. You are not (legally) taxed in any way, but you must report larger amounts or you risk confiscation and a visit with local law enforcement.

    With regards to "current spot prices/oz" it's as I understand it up to the official questioning you to use their good judgement. I'm sure you would slide through if you had 12 krugerands instead of just 10.

    You can gripe all you want about the reporting requirements; one of the reasons why people buy especially gold or platinum bars and coins is the privacy. However, you must understand that like with a lot of things in life, bad people have made things harder for everybody else. A typical way to launder money is to move precious metals around through ports. If you're carrying 50 pounds of gold bullion, it is certain that you will be stopped.

    By the way, one of the biggest reasons that gold is more widely invested in than silver is that simply it is more valuable/oz than silver. A fortune in gold can be carried in your pockets, whereas 20k in silver is over a hundred pounds and quite bulky. If you're concerned about travelling with your coins you're much better off selling the silver, and buying platinum or gold, and then rebuying silver wherever you end up.

    Also, while I am in no way recommending that you bypass reporting requirements, rhodium is over $6k an ounce last time I checked.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Am I the only one who noticed the irony of post #2? Specifically, someone with the screen name of "LightInTheWallet" posting in a thread of someone else asking about carrying a large amount of precious metals.

    Regarding the original question, unless the precious metals in question are family heirlooms or something unique, I agree with everyone else who said to simply sell it, and then buy an equivalent amount wherever you may be going.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Actually it makes a lot of sense to keep the coins if you're travelling or moving to another country. By bringing, say a krugerand instead of a thousand dollars to Europe, you can sell that krugerand for Euros directly, instead of exchanging currencies. For that to work well however, you have to so a little research first to find a good gold dealer or bank that pays you a good spread and is always buying.

    For example, as I understand it, in Switzerland, many banks will trade metals over the counter for currency with the bare minimum spread of minting fees. It's important in such circumstances to have widely accepted coins or bars that do not have to be assayed. Added to the usual suspects of Pamp Suisse and Credit Suisse products, you would probably be safe with Eagles, Krugerands, etc.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Thanks for the tips guys, I won't be travelling anytime soon (I don't think), and if I should have to carry metals, I won't be flying alone with 50 lbs. of gold on me. Also, not everybody bought when the yellow metal touched 1000.

    I don't mind selling and rebuying them, but the destination may have some questionable gold bullions that I don't want to take over. Bullions here are safer.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    You can buy Pamp Suisse bars in every country on this earth.
    I the places where those are not available in kilo quantities, krugerands are a great second option.
    In places that have small quantities of even those, Chinese Pandas are widely recognized and available.
    But then you know that, don't you.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobofish View Post
    You can buy Pamp Suisse bars in every country on this earth.
    I the places where those are not available in kilo quantities, krugerands are a great second option.
    In places that have small quantities of even those, Chinese Pandas are widely recognized and available.
    But then you know that, don't you.
    Haha, thanks for the tip, man, I appreciate the effort. You obviously have never travelled anywhere outside of U.S. and Western Europe. In some countries, which shall go unamed in my post, you only realize your Suisse bars are suspect when the dealer you bought it from refuses to take it off of your hands. Same goes for the Krugerands and the Pandas.

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  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Some countries have serious restrictions on precious metals. My neighbor told stories of smuggling many ounces of precious metals into Germany to be used in their test equipment.

    There may be a requirement that you leave with the same amount that you declare going in too.


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  14. #14

    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget_lover View Post
    Some countries have serious restrictions on precious metals. My neighbor told stories of smuggling many ounces of precious metals into Germany to be used in their test equipment.

    There may be a requirement that you leave with the same amount that you declare going in too.


    Daniel
    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Why don't you carry diamonds? I guess they weigh lot less. I am talking about real diamonds, not the ratings system based on diamonds used by Emeror'c Club!

    - Vikas

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    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    since this thread concerns metals brought on board, does anyone know whether they will confiscate magnesium bars if I brought them on board?
    [if this is way off topic, please , thanks]

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Well try one, worst can happen is you are out a $5 bar of magnesium.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    I just flew in from Taiwan hours ago and filled out the appropriate US Customs form indicating the 10K monetary declaration. Cash, checks, coins, and bullions apply.
    强光手电是我最爱得

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bullions or coins allowed on flights?

    Wanna buy some flashlights from me? Hehehe...

    Quote Originally Posted by adamlau View Post
    I just flew in from Taiwan hours ago and filled out the appropriate US Customs form indicating the 10K monetary declaration. Cash, checks, coins, and bullions apply.

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