With an allocated account, you purchase specific types of coins or bars of precious metal, which we can then store for you or ship to you (fees apply for storage and shipping). If we store your allocated account precious metals for you, they are in a secure vault, and you can always request that we deliver your specific type of coins or bars to you.
With an unallocated account, you do not purchase any specific coins or bars, or own any particular piece of physical metal. Instead, with each unallocated purchase, actual physical metal (in the form of bullion, coins, or bars) is added to the pool of other physical metals that other TIAA Bank unallocated account holders own and that we securely store in a vault. You may move from an unallocated account to an allocated account at any time (fabrication and storage/delivery costs will apply).