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Swiss Bank Safe Deposit Boxes Frequently Asked Questions
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What are these boxes and how were they used ?
Most Swiss banks have a vault room where individual clients can rent out a strong box to deposit precious items and documents. To ensure the system’s security, two different keys must be used at the same time to open the box. One is the bank’s key and the other belongs to the client. This means the banker will be there when the client opens the box. To make sure the client’s privacy is preserved, there is a removable metal box inside the strong box. The client takes this removable box to a private booth where he can do what he wants with the contents in the fullest privacy.

These boxes are most often left at the bank and it is only rarely that a client would take it home. The box would always remain the bank’s property and it is extremely rare that one would be available for purchase by a Swiss, let alone by a foreigner.

Is the box burglar-proof?
No. These boxes were made to hold and carry the valuable items stored in a locked strong box located in the bank’s vault. They are made of chromed tin with optional brass handle and lock. You can padlock them but they will not withstand the assault of a professional burglar worth his jackhammer.

How do people who buy boxes use them?
Our bank boxes have all sorts of functions. Some people use them to store documents, collections of small items, etc… Many people display them in their home or office, sometimes as a place to empty their pockets (metaphorically) or as a holder for sweets or brochures. 

What sort of items did these boxes contain?
People would store all sorts of valuable items in these boxes. Small boxes could contain such items as gold coins and gold bars, jewels, bonds and shares, contracts, official documents or even compromising letters. Larger boxes would be used for paintings, sculptures

Are these real boxes from a real Swiss bank?
Absolutely! You will get a certificate from a Swiss notary public certifying the provenance of your box.

Some man on the Internet is selling tin boxes for 1$ - how does this compare to what you are selling?
We sell authentic, vintage Swiss bank boxes from a real Swiss bank and which have been used for many decades. These are unique Swiss banking souvenir with an authenticity certificate, not some two-bit made-who-know-where tin boxes.

I am a wholesaler, a shopkeeper, a decorator and I would like to buy a number of doors or boxes – can I do that?
Absolutely. We welcome wholesale inquiries and creative decoration ideas and can offer quantity discounts – just contact us. One thing we cannot do is create more boxes than we have. These are original items and we have only a limited number of boxes on hand – first come, first served.

What happened to the vault where these boxes come from?
Two Swiss banks merged a few years ago and in a large Swiss city the new bank suddendly owned two large bank buildings facing each other on the same street. They renovated one at huge expense and sold the other one. The vault room in the sold building was one of the largest and most beautiful in Switzerland, spreading over 3 floors. After very long negotiations with several parties, Micheloud & Cie was finally able to buy the entire vault room (not including of course the contents which had already been transferred to the new room!).

Can I get a box with my favorite number?
Yes, if we have it and for an extra charge. Please let us know of the box number you would like to have and we will revert to you to confirm if it still available. Contact us as soon as possible since each number is on one box and one box only.

Why do bank uses boxes inside the safety deposit boxes?
All but the largest Swiss bank safety deposit boxes use an inside box. This for three reasons. 1) To protect the client privacy, as he can take the inside box out of the locked safety box and bring it to a private room where only he can see what goes inside. 2) To take full advantage of the safety deposit box’s size. It is much easier to take out the box that occupies the full volume of the space rented by the bank and easily access its content. 3) In case of death or technical repairs, the bank can ask its own locksmith to drill a box and have a Swiss notary be present to put a sealed security ribbon around the box to guarantee that the box contents will be untouched and kept private from all but the client.

Prices can change without notice. Each item is unique and can be different than the general descriptions found on this website. If in doubt please check the price list for an exact description. We do not represent in any form the firms who originally manufactured these items nor the banks who used them. These items are sold for collecting and decorative purposes only.
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© Swiss Banking Antiques Mizan & Co. 2008 Lausanne, Switzerland, Tel. ++41 21 331 15 00  info@swiss-banking-antiques.com. Kein Teil dieser Website darf ohne vorherige schriftliche Genehmigung vervielfältigt werden. Ausdruck von http://swiss-banking-antiques.com/d/tresorkassetten/faq.html