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Is there any need to store gold in chests in my home(s)? Can I be pickpocketed by NPCs in the game or otherwise unexpectedly lose gold or items from my inventory? Or can I safely carry all my gold around?

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One of the only reasons, imo, to depositing gold, is when you know a quest will take your valuables from you for the duration of the quest. I have heard of being pickpockted, but I don't think it's part of the game. –  Domocus Jan 17 '12 at 4:51
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related: Can we get robbed of gold in Skyrim? –  Drake Jan 17 '12 at 11:09
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2 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

It is safe to carry around all your gold, even stolen pickpocked gold, gold stolen off tables and coin purses: Gold is considered to be untraceable, and thus is not confiscated when you goto jail, according to The UESP wiki, and supported by the fact that gold doesn't gain a stolen caption in your inventory most of the time.

However, if you acquire gold with the stolen tag through currently unknown means, this gold will be confiscated when you go to jail, and should be stored in your house.

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This is incorrect. Gold can be marked as stolen. Confirmed by myself and others in the comments on my answer. Pickpocketed gold doesn't appear to get marked as stolen, which is probably what led to this misapprehension. –  agf Jan 17 '12 at 9:51
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I have acquired gold marked Stolen, which was confiscated by a guard. No idea where I got it, since pickpocketing and lifting coin purses from taverns doesn't appear to mark the gold Stolen. –  Jonathan Drain Jan 17 '12 at 10:53
    
I've updated this to include it, but I'm going to assume that 'stolen' gold is a bug until I see a reproducible way of getting it. If pickpocketing it and lifting it off tables doesn't mark it as stolen, and another way does I'm pretty sure it is a bug. –  Canageek Jan 17 '12 at 18:24
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If you're arrested with stolen gold, it will be confiscated along with any other stolen items in your possession.

Other than that, it is perfectly safe to carry gold around.

Edit: Doesn't match the UESP Wiki, however this is correct. See the comments. Confirmed that my gold is marked as stolen in game, and that stolen gold will be confiscated.

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Are you sure on that @agf? uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Jail#Stolen_Items notes that gold is not taken when you are arrested. –  Canageek Jan 17 '12 at 5:48
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I see that, but it doesn't square with my experience in game. My gold is marked as stolen, and if I put it in a container, it turns red. I discovered this when I had a 5g bounty in Solitude, so put my stolen gear in a barrel and talked to a guard, only to have all of my gold disappear. I reloaded and add my gold to the barrel. Can anyone else test if they get the same result? –  agf Jan 17 '12 at 6:52
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Just tested this, and concluded that while pickpocketed gold is not marked Stolen, it IS possible to acquire Stolen gold somehow, and Stolen gold will be confiscated when you pay your fine. When I paid a 40g fine to a Whiterun guard he took around 100g and my gold was no longer marked Stolen, suggesting that I had about 50g Stolen gold and it was confiscated. Gold pickpocketed later didn't acquire the Stolen status. Perhaps gold marked Stolen is a bug? –  Jonathan Drain Jan 17 '12 at 8:48
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@agf Further testing would be necessary to determine what exactly causes gold to be marked as Stolen. I just lifted a coin purse from the Bannered Mare and it was not marked Stolen. I haven't tested coins picked from tables. It does appear that while gold can be marked as Stolen, stolen gold usually isn't marked. –  Jonathan Drain Jan 17 '12 at 10:50
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I'm betting it is a bug, as gold is supposed to be untraceable. How is the guard supposed to know that that 5 gp was lifted off a merchant instead of found in a chest? –  Canageek Jan 17 '12 at 18:26
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