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Vault Receipt


A vault receipt is a financial document declaring the ownership of a specific quantity and quality of a precious metal stored in a secure location or vault. It is often used as proof of ownership in commodity transactions. The receipt provides details such as the type of metal, its weight, purity and the name of the vault where it is stored.


The phonetic transcription of “Vault Receipt” is: /vɔːlt rɪˈsiːt/

Key Takeaways

  1. Vault Receipt serves as evidence that a specific quantity of a commodity is stored in a specific location. It’s particularly useful in the commercial trading industry.
  2. These receipts provide security to the holder as they can expect the commodity held in the vault, irrespective of the vault owner’s financial conditions. In simple terms, it’s a certificate of ownership.
  3. Value of a vault receipt fluctuates with the price of the underlying commodity. They are usually issued in situations where physical ownership of the commodity is not practical, and are often used in futures trading for delivery purposes.


A Vault Receipt is crucial in the business and finance sector as it is a document that verifies the ownership of precious metals, commodities, or other valuable items that are kept for safekeeping in a vault. It assures the goods’ owners that their valuables are securely stored and can be claimed whenever necessary. In commodity trading, these receipts often serve as proof that certain quantities and qualities of a commodity are available for delivery against futures contracts. Hence, vault receipts play a fundamental role in establishing trust and accountability in such transactions, enabling transparent and efficient trade.


Vault Receipt, commonly used in commodity trading, is predominantly intended as a proof of ownership of a stored commodity. This receipt is issued by a warehouse, terminal, or depository, and generally indicates the details of the stored goods like quantity, type, and quality. The possession of a vault receipt is a direct representation of the ownership of the commodity in the vault, with the concept akin to holding a title deed to a piece of land. Hence, the primary purpose of a vault receipt is to provide an accurate record and confirmation of commodities held in storage.

From a business perspective, a vault receipt can be used to secure a loan or participate in trading activities. Since commodities represent tangible assets with their respective market values, they can be used as collateral against loans, with the vault receipt functioning as proof of collateral possession. Additionally, in futures markets, they enable the trading of commodities without physically moving them, simplifying the transaction process. In this manner, vault receipts play a pivotal role in facilitating financial transactions in commodity-based businesses.


1. Commodity Trading: In commodity trading, a trader could purchase a large quantity of gold and have it securely stored in a vault. The trader would then be given a vault receipt, which is essentially proof of ownership, indicating how much gold they have in the vault. This receipt can then be used in the process of selling or trading the gold.

2. Precious Metal Investment: An investor buys a significant amount of silver as a long-term investment plan. The silver is stored in a secure facility and the investor is given a vault receipt. The receipt not only serves as a proof of ownership but also provides details about the amount and purity of the silver.

3. Warehouse Storage: A business stores their excess inventory of goods in a vaulted warehouse. The warehouse then issues a vault receipt to the business, which serves as legal proof of ownership and lists the quantity and description of the items stored. A vault receipt in such a scenario can also help the business to maintain its inventory records accurately.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Vault Receipt?

A Vault Receipt is a document that certifies the ownership of a specific amount or value of precious metals or other stored commodities in a secured vault.

What are the key components of a Vault Receipt?

A Vault Receipt typically includes key details such as the identity of the owner, the type and brand of commodity, the weight, the purity of the metal, and any related unique serial numbers or identifiers.

For what purposes are Vault Receipts used?

Vault Receipts serve as proof of ownership and can be used for trading, financing, or leveraging in commodity market transactions.

Can a vault receipt be transferred?

Yes, a vault receipt represents proof of ownership and can be transferred or sold to other parties, thereby transferring the ownership of the commodities the receipt represents.

What types of commodities are typically represented by Vault Receipts?

Vaults Receipts are commonly used for precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, or palladium, but they can be used for any type of commodity that is stored in a secured vault.

How are Vault Receipts secured?

Vault Receipts are typically stored and protected digitally within a secure management system to prevent loss, theft, or tampering.

Is the commodity represented by a Vault Receipt insured?

This largely depends on the vaulting service provider. Some providers may offer insurance for the commodities in their vaults, while others may not. Holders of Vault Receipts should verify this information with their respective vaulting service providers.

Are Vault Receipts recognized internationally?

Yes, Vault Receipts are internationally recognized documents and can be used for international transactions or finance activities.

Is a physical inspection of the vaulted commodities possible?

The conditions for inspecting physical commodities vary among vaulting service providers. Some providers may allow for inspections while others may not. Holders of Vault Receipts should verify these terms with their respective providers.

Related Finance Terms

  • Collateral: Assets or property pledged by a borrower to secure a loan.
  • Warehouse Receipt: A receipt for stored goods, often used as proof of ownership in commodities trading.
  • Commodity Trading: The buying and selling of raw materials and primary agricultural products on exchanges.
  • Custodian: A financial institution that holds securities and other assets in electronic or physical form to minimize the risk of loss or theft.
  • Safekeeping: The storage of assets or important items by a financial institution on behalf of its clients.

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