Comptroller first depository customer

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Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is so fond of the idea of the state having its own bullion depository he became its first customer.

After announcing the recent opening of the Texas Bullion Depository – the first state-administered precious metal depository in the nation – Hegar added some of his own gold to the facility’s ledger.

“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 Hegar, whose office will oversee the depository. “I deposited some gold. The process was easy, and I hope people will go to TexasBullionDepository.gov and set up an account.”

State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, who authored the legislation to establish the depository, said other states are taking notice.

“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,” said Capriglione. “We will see a lot of financial interest in this depository, with gold, silver and other commodities coming here.”

Planning for a permanent home for the Texas Bullion Depository began earlier this year, at a site in Leander that should be completed in 2019. Tom Smelker, director of the Comptroller’s Treasury Operations Division, was named administrator of the depository in 2017.

“This facility is going to have state-of-the-art security, layered with cameras, alarms and biometric access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Smelker said. “And everything you store with us will be completely insured.”

Depositors can buy bullion from a dealer and have it shipped to the depository directly or send in precious metals they already own. Metals admitted to the depository will undergo three types of non-destructive testing, including a density scan to ensure purity.

Depository personnel will take a photo of metals upon deposit, and that digital image will be displayed on the depositor’s online account dashboard. The depository will accept deposits of gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium.

In 2017, the Comptroller’s office partnered with Texas-based Lone Star Tangible Assets as the vendor to build and operate the depository.

LSTA is operating a highest-rated, Class 3 vault as the depository’s initial location.

“Private depositories are not regulated, but ours is overseen by the same agency that has helped grow the Texas economy to the 10th largest in the world,” said Matthew Ferris, LSTA chairman. “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.”

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