How Much Space Does $1M Require?

December 2, 2019

When considering the space requirements of $1,000,000, the first question is in what form?  I will try to illustrate the volume and weight of $1 million dollars in three forms: $100 bills, gold eagle coins and silver eagle coins.

I have had some customers surprised by the volume of metals they have ordered when it arrives.  Some have been overwhelmed (usually with silver) and others have been underwhelmed (usually with gold).

First just for fun let’s look at US dollars.  Over the course of many movies it has been fun to watch what Hollywood supposes a million dollars in cash actually looks like.  My wife and I were watching a movie some time ago and the one million dollar ransom was stuffed into a very small briefcase.  We both looked at each other and said, “Not big enough!”.  If the million dollars is in $100 bills then it will just barely fit into an oversized brief case or a normal carry on airline suitcase and would weigh about 22 pounds.  Of course you can use your imagination for smaller denominations.  Twenties would take five times as much room, so perhaps 2 or 3 duffle bags and would weigh about 110 pounds.

Gold depends on its value against the US dollar but for this illustration we will use gold eagles valued at $1,500 / each, so we would be looking at 667 - 1 troy oz coins.  These would weigh about 50 pounds and would fit into a small brief case.  However, at 50 pounds you better buy a heavy-duty brief case with a good handle!

Silver again depends on its value against the US dollar but for this illustration we will use silver eagles valued at $19/each, so we would be looking at 52,630 - 1 troy oz coins.  It might be easier to imagine about 105 US mint monster boxes of 500 coins each.  The weight of the coins, containers and boxes would be about 3,820 pounds or just shy of two tons.  The stack of mint sealed monster boxes would be 41’ tall.  If stacking inside a safe the inside dimensions would need to be 2 1/2’ x 2 ¼’ x 7’ tall.   If you used 100 oz bars, they would pack in a little tighter.  If you used 90% old US coins they would require more room and shelving to stack.

Before you place that next order consider the weight and room required for storage.  If you are considering off sight storage just give us a call and maybe we can help.  Weights and sizes remain the same but the dollar value of gold and silver are subject to change so if you are reading this in 2025, well you are probably crying right about now!

Larry LaBorde

Larry LaBorde owns Silver Trading Company, LLC (www.silvertrading.net) and has sold gold, silver, platinum and palladium around the world since 2001.  Larry travels the world meeting with customers, investors and interesting people from almost everywhere.  Contact him at llabord@gmail.com.

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Larry LaBorde is a precious metals broker in Louisiana with a worldwide customer base.  Larry also is involved in several family businesses including contracting, commercial real estate, private investing and wholesale distribution.  Larry has been married for 35 years and has two grown children.  Larry is an active member at First United Methodist Church, a 32 degree mason, a member of Downtown Shreveport Development Corp, the Lions Club, the Shreveport Yacht Club and the Bonner Family Office.  Larry enjoys sailing, writing and traveling around the world.  Visit Silver Trading Company, LLC at www.silvertrading.net for all your precious metals & storage needs. 

A medical study in France during the early twentieth century suggests that gold is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

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