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Anyone own Gold/Sliver Bullion Bars?
Old 11-14-2007, 07:07 AM   #1
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Anyone own Gold/Sliver Bullion Bars?

Where did you buy from? How can you tell you have pure gold and silver? Did you pay a prem over spot? What size bars do you own? Do you keep it in a Safty Dep box?

I have a friend who is a "coin" dealer trying to pedal this stuff.

JD
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:29 PM   #2
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I would imagine your local gold/silver exchange business would be a good place. I sold a gold bullion coin (a South African Krugerrand that we happened to have) recently and got almost 99% of the spot price. I would imagine you'd pay similarly low premium when buying. And I was just selling a single coin -- not any kind of volume even. Anyway I'd start by shopping around with local businesses like that.
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:59 PM   #3
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I started buying gold coins a couple of years ago when I started having a bad feeling about the dollar. I had a bunch of cash that I didn't want to keep as cash, but didn't want to invest it conventionally either. I started buying gold coins at the local coin and stamp dealer. He gave me prices just above spot prices. Of course in retrospect, I'm really glad I did it.

I do keep the coins in a safety deposit box. You can buy bars if you want, but coins are a little more user friendly. American Eagles are not pure gold, but they make up for it by being slightly more than 1 ounce coins. Krugerands are the same. Canadian Maple leaf gold coins are 99.9% pure and are of course exactly 1 ounce.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:05 PM   #4
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I would buy coins over bullion... but not at the top of the PM bubble !
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:24 PM   #5
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Agreed so far....for the small investor, coins always recommended over bars or other forms. You can also buy by mail (registered) from reputable dealers. I've done this several times with no problems (in the low $400s -- looks good in hindsight!) . Some firms have been around a long time so they should be reputable. Selling coins probably could be done the same way, but I've always sold at a local dealer. You can also buy (indirectly) with a couple of gold ETFs nowadays.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info.

So a dealer who sold you the coins would buy them back whenever you wanted to sell?

I doubt I would do it as an investment. It would be more for fun. There is no sense buying now at the top. I'll just keep an eye on the PM prices for a while.

JD
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:42 AM   #7
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I dabble in it from time to time. I wouldn't buy right now. I don't think gold is at a top (I think it was driven down artificially for many years, and recent events plus the dollar's decline have made it hard for central banks to keep it down), but even if it's in the intermediate stages of a raging bull run (as I believe) I think the rally is tired for now and needs some healthy consolidation.

I bought some gold early this year when gold was around $600 an ounce -- mostly four-coin U.S. and British gold proof sets which were purchased for an average of about $30 over spot per ounce. Still, I only have about 1% of my net worth in physical precious metals and about 2% in gold mining stocks and mutual funds. It's worked well as "insurance" against economic fears and a declining dollar over the last few years, but in those small quantities it's not going to make me rich.
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:44 AM   #8
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A few year ago, when the spot price for silver was in the $4 range, I used to buy Silver American Eagles (1 oz, $1 US Mint coins) for about $1 over spot from a coin dealer in PA and resell them on Ebay for a pretty decent profit, frequently double my cost plus S/H. I bought them by the 20 coin tubes and then sold them one or two at the time in protective acrylic capsules, usually getting anywhere from $8 to $14 apiece from "collectors". I also bought a fair quantity of 20 coin tubes at about $120 per tube, put them in my safe deposit box until spot prices doubled, them sold them by the tube on Ebay at more than 2X what I paid for them. I bought and sold some commemorative silver coins as well, and did pretty good there too. The American Eagles are generally considered bullion, although they are a legal tender U.S. coin, however there is also a pretty good market for the coins by collectors. They usually sell for a good bit more than the spot price. Certain years had lower production numbers and really bring much higher prices. 1996, for example.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:36 AM   #9
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So even though I'm buying coins, that may or may not be legal tender, they are always valued by the weight * spot, plus any collective value?
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:15 AM   #10
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The nice thing about the gold and silver coins - is that they're really pretty!

LOL!

Audrey
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:22 AM   #11
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This would seem to indicate that the current inflation adjusted price is pretty dang high vs historic levels and trends. That it might head up from here is very speculative.

Seems to me that there is one big spike when we had the big inflation hump in the 70's...probably because everyone went with the "buy gold to hedge inflation!" line of thinking. Then around 2000 when asset allocation really came into vogue and everyone wanted someplace else to go in a sliding equity environment.

Other than that it looks like a good place to slowly lose money to inflation, with periodic unexpected hikes due to non financial situations...every 30-40 years or so.

Seems a bit of a long holding time.
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:45 AM   #12
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Why not buy GLD? Far less worries about spreads/commissions/postage/sales tax/theft, etc.

Course, I'd be looking on the short side 'bout now if I were a speculator.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:13 PM   #13
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I inherited a few gold coins and bought a few more in 2003-2004 from an reputable online coin dealer. I bought specifically 1 oz Maple leaves (99.999% pure gold). I paid spot + 1-2% if I remember well. I inherited Gold Swiss Francs, but those have a relatively low purity. I also bought some silver in the same period but I don't buy silver coins. I prefer to invest in good quality sterling objects (trays, bowls, flatware...) that I can actually use (as opposed to coins that just sit in a box). In my neck of the wood, antique stores used to sell many sterling silver artifacts below spot but they caught up since last year and jacked up their prices dramatically. I used to roam antique stores with a small electronic scale and a calculator to calculate the actual value of the silver content and when I found an object I liked for a good price I would buy it. I try a keep about 1.5% of my networth invested in precious metals. In the past two years though the price of precious metal increased so much that I did not have to buy any new gold/silver piece to keep up with my increasing networth.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:23 PM   #14
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So even though I'm buying coins, that may or may not be legal tender, they are always valued by the weight * spot, plus any collective value?
Yes, and no, and yes.......Depends! You can buy gold and silver coins for purely the bullion/per ounce value. Basically what they would be worth if melted down and sold as a lump of metal on the spot market. You could buy a $1.00 face value Silver American Eagle coin that is newly minted or from a year's minting that has no special significance because a high number of that coin were minted, and you would still pay not the $1.00 face value, but a little over the "spot" price. I don't even know the current spot prices, but let's say silver is currently $14 per oz. You're gonna pay about 1% or so over the $14 per coin. You will get somewhat of a break buying in large quantities. If you're buying coins that were minted in a year when production was fairly low, then demand for that particular year's minting for that coin is higher, driving the price for that coin higher. I remember when I could buy a 2001 Silver American Eagle coin $1 coin for about $5 to $6 but the exact same $1 coin with 1996 stamped on it was going for 5 to 6 times that amount. There are several different values and markets for coins. The face value, the numismatic value, and the bullion value. Face value is obvious, it's stamped on the coin. This value goes out the window when somebody decides for whatever reason that coin is desireable as a collectible. There are different levels of "collectibles" as well. Someone who is into collecting truly rare and highly valuable coins, as in hundreds to thousands of dollars type coins, would laugh at the lesser collectors who are grabbing up and paying inflated prices for modern collectibles like the Silver and Gold Eagles, the American Buffalo coins, etc. But....there's clearly a market for the modern stuff, and the only slightly older stuff too. People pay higher and higher prices every day for these coins on ebay and other auction sites. Many on-line coin dealers trade in this type of coin everyday and it's probably a good bit of their bread & butter I would think. People every single day pay more than an item is really "worth" simply because they want it. What you don't want to do is sell a gold or silver coin strictly for the bullion or spot price without knowing whether it might have a higher market value as a collectible. I've seen $20 face value coins sell for thousands of dollars, even though they would have been worth maybe $300 in melted down form. You gotta know what you're selling or it'll cost ya! I didn't even mention how the value is further escalated when a person pays to have a coin rated by the PCGS and gets a high rating. That's when the price shoots even higher! There's a lot of money to be made buying and selling coins, and a lot of it is related to the fact that people are more than willing to pay more than they should. I guess emotions are part of it, the excitement of a really cool coin they want. There's also the aspect of newbies in the collecting world who just are too easily parted from their money.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:32 PM   #15
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Here's something interesting. Go to The United States Mint Home and check out the prices for some of the gold & silver, and platinum American Eagle Proofs and Uncirculated coins as well as some of the commemoratives.etc. Those are not the prices you would pay if buying the coins in bulk from a dealer for bullion. Note that the Eagles are $1 denomination coins! So if you walked into the 7-11 with a Gold Eagle Proof $1 you just paid $789.95 for, all you'd get for it would be a Coke and a pack of crackers! Unless the guy behind the counter had a clue! If I were the clerk, I'd probably let you have a 6 pack of Cokes and maybe a moon pie as well!
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:16 PM   #16
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I inherited a coin collection and now I'm kind of in to saving silver coins and am buying a few silver eagles every now and then. I may try to buy some of the smaller gold coins just to have. Not a big investment just to have a few and maybe in few years they might be worth more.

Of course then I think: I inherited one collection who will get mine if I die? I don't have kids, what's the point of collecting more stuff? But I buy a few coins a month, hold on to them, and see what happens. Plus it keeps me busy organizing them and researching the older ones on the internet and in books.
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Old 11-19-2007, 03:26 PM   #17
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I would appreciate it if you would leave them to me!
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:23 PM   #18
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I doubt I would do it as an investment. It would be more for fun.
Unless you enjoy accumulating piles of coins like Scrooge McDuck, I don't really see the fun. :confused:
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:27 PM   #19
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Where did you buy from? How can you tell you have pure gold and silver? Did you pay a prem over spot? What size bars do you own? Do you keep it in a Safty Dep box?

I have a friend who is a "coin" dealer trying to pedal this stuff.

JD
i once bought them from fidelity investments and took delivery. bad move. i had to pay sales tax in my state for taking possession. i wouldnt do it anymore. gld works just fine
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:32 PM   #20
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the thing about gold is to make it work you have to treat it like any other investment. you have to adjust it every so ofton buying more when it drops and selling some off when it rises . even if you bought it at the high in the 70's thru the years by adjusting your portfolio back to the proper percentages you would have been adding more and more cheaper priced gold to your mix. even now you probley would have made alot of money had you bought it back at that orig 850 price. examples are always given comparing the price now to the price in the 70's but not rebalancing your portfolio all these decades would be stupid for any asset class in your mix. the truth is you would have done just fine holding gold had you rebalanced every year.
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