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Gold certificates aren't gold, but allocated gold is a lot closer

Q: Regarding allocated vs. unallocated gold, I agree you
are at risk with the bullion bank's performance in regard
to the latter, in the case of a typical U.S. bullion bank.
But why not select someone like Perth Mint in Australia,
where your gold is government-guaranteed?

A: You are a general creditor of Gold Corp., doing business
as Perth Mint. Its 2002 financial statement shows that it
has approximately 4.5 times more debt than equity, fairly
high leverage. Are you prepared to be a general creditor of
Gold Corp., given that kind of leverage?

The term "your gold" is not correct. You don't own the gold
represented by Perth Mint certificates. You own a PROMISE
to pay you gold, which was the basic point of my article.
Promises to "pay" gold are different from gold you own. If
you own a Perth Mint certificate, you do not own gold.

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This is true of any contract.

This is true of any contract. Any contract implies the right of either party to breach and pay damages for that breach.

Ventura 2012

It never ceases to amaze me that people think they "bought"

precious metals when all they have are pieces of paper.

Unless you actually can hold the gold or silver, you bought paper. You didn't buy gold or silver.