How Do I Buy Gold and Silver?

How to Buy Gold and Silver

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

I often get many questions about how to buy gold and silver:

  • How do you buy gold and silver?
  • Why should I buy gold and silver?
  • What kind of gold and silver should I buy?
  • What is the difference between numismatic and bullion coins?
  • Which of these should I buy?
  • Where can I buy gold and silver?

Including the following important questions:

  • Will the government confiscate my gold and silver?
  • Can the government make owning gold illegal?
  • How do I know if my gold and silver dealer is reputable?
  • Do buyers get some kind of confirmation that what they are buying from these shops is real and certified?

These are just some of the questions I will try to answer in this post.

Why You Should Own Gold and Silver
First off, why should you own precious metals?  Read this:

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the “hidden” confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”

Who do you think this was written by?  If you guessed former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan, you would be correct.  It is titled “Gold and Economic Freedom,” and it was originally published in 1966.  (Click here to read the entire Greenspan article.) After reading this, it is hard to believe he was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve for nearly 20 years.  Gold is the antithesis of the Federal Reserve Note.

Greenspan’s article is the time tested reason for owning gold.  For more current reasons, look no further than “The Seven “Ds” of the Developing Disaster,” written by gold expert Alf Field.  In short:

  • Deficits
  • Dollar
  • Devaluations
  • Debt
  • Demographics
  • Derivatives (this is the big one)
  • Devolution

The above are the reasons why Field says gold and silver are bound to rise over the long term.  (Click here to read the complete article from Field.)

Video Explanation for How and Why to Buy Gold and Silver

For an explanation on how and why to buy precious metals, we turn to world famous gold expert Jim Sinclair.  Below is a video interview posted on USAWatchdog.com in October of 2013.  Gold is simple form of wealth protection from a declining U.S. dollar.  Listen to one of the top gold experts in the world for why you should own physical precious metals.

How To Buy Gold and Silver
Now that you know the “why,” let’s get into the “how” of buying gold.  First of all, gold and silver are sold by the “Troy” ounce.  A “Troy” ounce weighs more than the ounce (avoirdupois) used to measure milk or meat.  A Troy ounce is 31.1 grams, which is more than the 28.35 gram ounces you come across in everyday life.  So, a  Troy ounce weighs about 10% more than a regular ounce.   Put simply, it is most common to buy and sell precious metals by the Troy ounce.

Gold and Silver Numismatic or Bullion?
When you are buying physical gold or silver, you can buy numismatic or just plain bullion.  Numismatic coins are for experienced coin collectors.  There are numismatic gold coins and silver coins.  The value is determined on things such as date it was issued, rarity, condition and even the mint where it was produced.

There is a great learning curve to be an investor in numismatic coins. You must also have a trusted and knowledgeable coin dealer to work with.  If you are a beginner or if you are just trying to protect your wealth and buying power of your money, then invest in bullion.  There are two main types of bullion products:  bars and coins.  I prefer gold eagle coins and silver eagle coins the best when buying bullion.  Let me explain why.

First, let’s just talk about bullion in coin form.  A coin is a universally recognized unit of weight, and many consider gold and silver coins to be money.  No, you cannot go to the supermarket with a gold or silver coin and buy groceries, but coins are the most liquid way to own bullion.  Unlike jewelry, you know the exact amount of gold or silver in the coin.  It is minted by a government, and that makes it very difficult to counterfeit.  These features make gold coins and silver coins easy to cash in and trade.

Gold Bars and Silver Bars
I don’t recommend gold bars or silver bars of any kind.  Bars can range from a few grams to 600 ounces.  Small bars do not carry the same prestige as a minted coin.  Multiple ounce bars cannot be broken up, and you are forced to sell the entire bar if you want to liquidate it.  Large bars are usually for extremely wealthy people investing large amounts of money.  The only advantage to buying gold or silver in bars is you pay smaller premiums (or commissions) per ounce.  Don’t get me wrong, gold and silver bars are valuable, but they are not as easy to sell or trade as coins.

Depending on the market and supply and demand, premiums (or commissions) can range from a few percent to 10 percent of the spot value of the quantity of gold sold.   (If the mint shuts down, or there is some severe shortage in bullion, or there is systemic financial failure, then all bets are off and the sky is the limit on bullion commissions.) The spot value is the raw market price of refined gold or silver. Premiums are charged in addition to spot gold prices and silver prices.  The price of gold and the price of silver can fluctuate every second of every business day on the open market.  Many experts say to worry less about the commission you pay and more about the product you are buying.

Advantages of Owning Coins vs Bars
Still another advantage for coins–multiple ounce bars cannot be broken up.  You are forced to sell the entire bar if you want to liquidate—it’s all or nothing.  With coins, you can sell small, medium or large quantities when you want to cash out.

Yet another advantage of coins over bars is their acceptability. Once again, coins are better than bars because bars (small or large) do not carry the same prestige as a minted coin.  Even when prices rise dramatically, coins will likely be accepted without question or assay.   An assay is a scientific measurement of the amount of gold in a coin or bar.

In short, base your purchase on the future sale of the gold price or silver price, not saving a few bucks on premiums (or commissions) when you buy.  Here’s another way to look at it.  If you decided to sell some of your gold at $10,000 per ounce, what do you think would be more desirable: a Gold Eagle or a stamped 1 ounce bar?  The Gold Eagle will win out every time.  That does not mean that a 1 ounce bar is not valuable—it is.  It is just not as valuable or sellable as a 1 ounce coin.  Think of the “sell” when you buy, and pay a little more for quality.  If you are buying gold or silver–buy coins. (If you are a beginner, I do not recommend proof coins because it’s easy for the beginner to pay too much for them.)

Which Gold Coins Should You Buy?
So, which coins should you buy?  Let’s start with gold.  You should try to buy only 1 ounce coins.  The reason is if you buy what are called fractional coins (1/10, 1/4, 1/2 Troy Ounce), you are charged a premium, or commission, on each coin.  So, for example, if you bought 10  1/10  ounce coins compared to a single 1 ounce coin, you would have  exactly the same amount of gold.  However, your commission charges on the 10  1/10 ounce coins would be many times higher than the single 1 ounce coin.  Buy 1 ounce coins whenever you can, and only buy fractional bullion coins if you can manage to get them for the same commission as a 1 ounce coin.

So, which gold 1 ounce coins should you buy?  The 4 most popular coins to own are the

  • U.S. Gold Eagle
  • U.S. Buffalo
  • Canadian Maple Leaf
  • South African Krugerrand.

These 4 coins are the most popular and most recognized in the world.

There are other fine gold coins that are minted throughout the world. For example in Australia, China, Mexico and Europe. They are simply less popular, but are very much still valuable.

Buying Silver
When it comes to silver, there are two main ways to buy it.  Once again, you can purchase bars or coins and, once again, coins win out.  I’ll give you the same reasons as discussed above when I talked about gold.  Bars do not carry the same prestige as coins, and you cannot break them up.  There are two types of bullion coins you can buy to accumulate silver–one ounce silver coins and “Junk” silver coins.  First, let’s talk about one ounce silver coins.   One ounce minted coins are made by several governments including the U.S.  Most governments do not mint fractional silver coins.  I do not recommend non-government minted coins, only officially government minted silver coins.

The 2 most popular and recognized silver 1 ounce coins in the world are the:

  • U.S. Silver Eagle
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf

There are other very high quality official government minted silver coins, but the Silver Eagle, Maple Leaf  are the 2 most popular and well known ones in the world.

Junk Silver
Then, there is “Junk” silver.  “Junk” silver is any U.S. dime, quarter or half-dollar minted on or before 1964.   1964 and earlier  dimes, quarters and half-dollars had 90% silver content.  “Junk” is sold by face value of the coin.

The most popular way to buy “Junk” silver is a 55 pound bag.  A 55 pound bag is $1,000 in face value of the coins, but that also equals 715 ounces of silver.  So, for example, a bag of dimes may have a face value of $1,000, but you pay the same as you would if you paid for 715 ounces of silver.  You always pay the spot price of silver plus a commission.  The advantage of buying “Junk” silver is you pay less commission per ounce than a 1 ounce silver coin, but you still have coins.  It is the cheapest way to buy quality silver coins officially minted by the government.

You can also buy “Junk” silver in much smaller increments.  Just remember that $1.50 in change equals about an ounce.  So, 15 dimes of “Junk” silver is an ounce and so on.  This way, you can always figure out how much you are paying per ounce when you buy “Junk” silver.  The most desirable “Junk” from best to least are half-dollars, quarters and dimes.  There are a few later years of coins after 1964 (mostly Kennedy half-dollars)  that had 40% silver, but those are extremely bulky and are the least desirable “Junk” silver coins.

Gold or Silver Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)
What about gold or silver Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)?  Are ETF’s as good as physical gold or silver? ETF’s are not just as good as physical gold or silver.  There have been questions about how much precious metals they actually hold.  Nothing is as safe as holding the physical metal in your possession.  If you are going to buy gold and silver mining stocks, you must do your homework.  You must also constantly keep track of the mining company.  Again, nothing is as good as physical gold or silver.

Jewelery vs Owning Gold and Silver Coins
Is jewelry the same as owning gold or silver coins?  No, because there is no uniformity in jewelry.  It does not have a uniform weight or metal content.  Jewelry has to be melted down.  When most people trade in their gold jewelry, they commonly get 50% or less of the actual gold weight.  That is why coins are the preferred way to own gold.  They are uniform in weight and content.

Will Gold and Silver Be Confiscated?
Will the government confiscate my gold and silver?   The government can make owning gold illegal, but it probably won’t.  The last time it was confiscated, we actually used gold as currency. The $20 gold piece was used right up until 1933.  FDR confiscated them because he stopped the use of the coin and raised the price of gold to $35 per ounce.  It was a move that was supposed to help The Great Depression economy.  We do not use gold as currency today, so a confiscation is a lot less likely.  You will be required to report the gain when you sell, and you will be required to pay taxes. Also, make sure you save your receipts, because you will only have to pay taxes on the gains, not on the total purchase price of your precious metal coins.

Where to Buy Gold and Silver Coins
So, where do you buy gold or silver coins?  You can buy online or you can buy in your own hometown.  Do your research no matter where you buy.  Ask for recommendations from your friends, and you can also check online Internet sites and forums you trust.  When it comes to checking coin prices with commissions or premiums included, you can check by (clicking here.)   This page will give you a total price with spot price of the coin and commission.   You can also check Discount Gold and Silver Trading by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.  Please feel free to check other online sellers out there.  If you pay prices  like these  for your gold or silver, you can be assured you are getting a fair price and are not being ripped-off.

Gold and Silver Storage
When it comes to storage, you can use a bank safety deposit box.  Just be sure to check your bank’s rating on a regular basis.  Two of the best places to check your bank are Bankrate.com (click here) and The Street.com. (Click here) If your bank’s rating starts to fall, you will probably want to move your precious metals.  You can also buy a safe.  If this is your preference, do your homework on what kind of safe to buy and picking a secure place to install it.

Delivery of Gold and Silver
Finally, when buying silver or gold coins, you should always take physical delivery.  Do not let third parties hold your precious metals on a permanent basis. Your property is best held by you.  Be sure you know and understand exactly what you are buying, and you will do just fine.  Good luck and good fortune with your gold or silver coin purchase.

Free Gold and Silver Report
This page is supported in part by our friends at Discount Gold and Silver Trading. In turn, they also created a free report on the “12 Things you Need to Know Before You Order Gold and Silver from Anyone”. To contact Discount Gold and Silver Trading for more information or to get your FREE report – CLICK HERE or on the below banner (both links go to another page on USAWatchdog.com).

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Comments
  1. John Bernard

    Greg
    There are also 1 ounce silver rounds from various mines. These are 999.9 percent silver as opposed to coins which are generally 92%. Of course the eagles are the same but command a higher premium at times. Silver rounds are coin shaped and assay stamped. They may not be as liquid as some coins but they have the same per ounce value as silver is silver in what ever form. The bars are indeed a different story. They can be broken but only with difficulty. These are for investment or for anticipated catastrophic large purchases.

    I really hope none of this comes true as most people will be in big trouble.

    • Greg

      Thank you John. I would buy the coins I mentioned unless there was no other alternative.
      Greg

      • Janet

        Greg – What do you think about rolling over part of your 401k into gold?

        • Greg

          Janet,
          All you can get in a 401K is papaer gold. Is this a 401K or IRA? Everyone should have a physical gold position held under their direct control. I like silver too, so you should have both.
          Greg

        • gordon

          i would get my money out of a 401(k)because you have no control over that investment account, if you have to withdraw money out of it before you reach 59.5 you pay at least 10% penilty tax on the amount you take out, also when you do get old enough to withdraw on the accont you are taxed at the earned income rate, which is the highest. a lot of times if the investment does bad you have no exit stratigy to protect your princple or interest you built up. i would quit counting on others to do investments for you as they will just take your money in high fees and commissions for them selves. your best bet is to get a financial education and manage your own investments.

          • Skip

            I would get out of 401k and take the penalty. I know this is an old thread but the government is looking to “manage” retirement accounts against US treasury bills. And we all know how that winds up.

            Sorry bout the website. It’s the only one I have.

    • Kevin

      The way I understand it, silver eagles are actual U.S. money and
      you don’t have to declare as precious metals as such when entering
      or leaving a new country? Just something to think about. Kevin

      • Greg

        Kevin,
        I don’t know anything about that maybe someone who reads this site may know. Anyone?
        Greg

        • gordon

          you buy silver eagles and you do not know that they are legal tender? silver eagles have three values (1) legal tender or face value, which is $1.00 (but who would be stupid enough to use it at face value)(2) its bullion value (3)numismatic value, which is very opinionated, and that is why i buy bullion only. i’m suprised you would not know this or maybe you are nothing but a salesman trying to sell coins for a broker.

          • KGB

            I think he meant he didn’t know if there was a requirement to declare the coins upon exiting the country, not that they were (or not) legal tender?.

      • Skip

        Yes you have to declare all precious metals in your possession and it would be in your best interest to do so if you are seeking refuge in another country.

  2. slingshot

    “Excellent”, as Mr.Burns would say.
    Your article just about covered it all except how to use it. Just like we used to do. To use it in our daily transactions as we do Fiat. That is the only way we will beat the bankers and their scam.
    Many think this would be easy but the hardest thing to accomplish is to recognize the illusion that even today as the stock market goes up and so does the Price of Gold everyone thinks they are getting wealthy. Well, everything costs more, or will. There is a major difference from those who entered the Precious Metals at the bottom and those buying now. Besides the price, the cushion, as I call it, is less at the moment and so the price swings scare people. I have been through a few. Do I still buy? Yes, in small quanities. Do I think it is going higher?
    Yes, as long as they keep printing fiat and continue to bail out everyone under the sun.
    That being said, we still have learn how to transact in gold and silver. Ever think of just going to the coin shop to look and touch various gold coins to identify them better in the future. Especially the less known coins. Know the names of the well established silver coin manufacturers besides the government.
    It is one thing to accumulate wealth, but another in how you use it.
    This is not investment advice. Only to get you thinking.

    • Craig

      When traveling, you only have to declare the face value of a coin to the customs level. So, if you have $1 gold coins, you could theoretically carry up to 10,000 coins at $1.00 each without declaring them. Further, if you had over $10k in face value, the law simply states you have to declare it. That’s all. It is not based on spot or market pricing at the time.

  3. James Denning

    The overlooked problem:

    You can afford one grain of gold (approx $3.00)
    You buy the gold to retain purchasing power to buy one loaf of bread.

    Gold @ $1400
    1 loaf of bread == 1 grain of gold

    Gold@ $5000
    1 loaf of bread (still) == 1 grain of gold
    HOWEVER:

    Government tax on gold profit is currently 28%
    Now you can only by 80% of a loaf of bread. – Neat trick!

    Who needs to confiscate gold?

    • Greg

      Good point James.
      Greg

      • Jack

        In my view, if you put your USD in the bank and get some interest on it, you will have less than 80% purchasing power by the time a grain of gold buys a loaf of bread.

        While appreciation of federal reserve notes is not taxable, it hasn’t happened at any time in the USA; notwithstanding, there are periods where the USD has gained increased purchasing power abroad – in those cases, conversion to gold has provided returns to investors when the value of the USD retreated back to norms.

        Hope that helps – I agree with Greg about taxes being a form a monetary confiscation; but, I still prefer the USA over alternative locations (for many reasons – and I believe paying taxes is part of our mutual contribution to the USA’s benefits).

        • Greg

          Jack,
          Thank you for the comment. I think gold and silver are not just good investments but may be necessary for survival. Gold and silver have a 5,000 year track record of money and as a store of value. I agree with you, that you gotta pay taxes. I hope you have grains of gold and silver stockpiled.
          Greg

        • Jill

          Jack, If only our government spent our tax dollars wisely. I pay taxes but I feel most is wasted. Health Care and Welfare are not God given rights. Wealth redisribution via taxes is not what our fore fathers beleived in.

          • Andre Abreu

            What is the difference between a welfare mama and a banking executive? The welfare mama doesn’t deserve a hangman’s noose.

            • A. Huxley

              Exactly…Thanks for that bit of truth…

          • A. Huxley

            Hey, Jill, control over the creation and distribution of currency, the life-blood of economy, in the hands of a few greedy and sociopathic oligarchs, at the detriment of the masses is also not a God-given right. Also, in your diatribe, you conveniently omitted the tens of trillions of dollars spent on military activities for the sole purpose of further enriching said oligarchs…

    • Jill

      James, If gold goes to $5,000, I’ll bet you’ll find bread in short supply.

      • eric

        Gold has gone from less than $300 / OZ. to over $1700 in 12 years or so. There is still plenty of bread.

    • Doug

      Have you ever heard of nontaxable barter? 90% silver will be very useful! Get some dimes.

    • George

      FYI… 24 grains in a pennyweight(dwt) and 20 pennyweights in a TROY ounce (480 grains,31.1034768 grams) and 12 troy oz in a troy pound (5,760 grains,373.24 g) as of today 16apr2013 gold at 1383 oz, a grain of gold is about U$D 2.88 and at the above suggest rate of U$D 5,000 a grain of gold is U$D 10.42…which is meaningless because as the James suggests owning gold is a hedge to retain buying power

  4. kc ramone

    If you remember Greg, I’m in Toronto and took your advice and bought one oz. gold and silver Canadian Maple Leafs. It was very simple to do and I have a sense of relief and confidence. Thank you. Two of my American friends came up to Toronto for the day and bought the same (gold and silver maple leafs.) They left the coins here in safety deposit boxes on site at the Scotia Bank, bought through Scotia Mocata. The transactions are all done in USD so they were ahead of the game as I had to change my money. It was so easy for them. Would you advise your readers to consider this option of buying and storing in Canada? Best wishes-kc

    • Greg

      KC,
      That is only a good option for folks on the border or for people where travel costs are not a problem. I like Canadian coins as they are some of the very best in the world!
      Thank you for the comment and feedback.
      Greg

  5. Ghana

    Would you honestly trust someone telling you to pay your taxes to the United States of Fraud? As a salesman the first words out of my mouth when asked about commissions, “Don’t worry about those, the real “cost” is in poor quality, blah, blah, blah!

  6. Dr. Neal J. Houston

    Great Post Greg…right up my alley…Very informative
    I thank-you…
    Best Regards,
    Dr. Neal J. Houston (cgvs)
    Chief Numismatic Consultant

    • Greg

      Dr. Houston,
      Thank you for your professional endorsement of this post.
      Greg

  7. lostinmissouri

    Greg,
    I am amazed every time I go to sites, like Coinflation.com, and see just the melt value of those pre-1964 halves, quarters, dimes.

    That really reveals what the banksters have done to the dollar, and goes along way explaining, why Americans, and the rest of the world, are starting to be interested in gold/silver.

    I read that 97% of Americans today, have never even held a gold coin.

    When the masses, start wanting gold/silver….it is not hard to see the “moon shot” prices, that’s coming.

    • Greg

      Lostinmissouri,
      Gold ans silver are still a deal now in that it is the only way to preserve your buying power. Silver will go up much higher on a percentage basis than gold. Both will prove to be great investments.
      Thanks for the comment.
      Greg

  8. Bob Andrews

    Thanks Greg for this informative post. You mentioned the Silver Vienna Philharmonic but not the gold VP as a coin you’d recommend. The Silver VP was first released in 2008 while the gold VP was released in 1989 and is reportedly (from several sources) the most widely held gold 1ozt coin in the world (although, certainly not in the US). Would you also put the gold VP on your recommended coin list for purchase?

    Again, thanks for the article.

    Regards,
    Bob

    • Greg

      Bob,
      I wrote this post from a U.S centric perspective. For people in the U.S. Gold and Silver Eagles are a top choice. If I were a Canadian my top choice would the Gold and Silver Maple Leafs. I should have made the point that if you live outside the U.S. then you should put as your first choice bullion coins that are the most popular in your country or region. My point here is you want top quality gold coins to be assured you will have a easy time when it comes to sell them. Thank you for pointing out the information about the Gold and Silver Vienna’s.
      Greg

  9. Roger

    Thank you for the excellent guide for starters. Just one comment: gold bars highly reputable refiners such as Pamp are internationally recognized and accepted. They command relatively high premiums, yet a bit lower than the coins you mentioned.

    • Greg

      Roger,
      If we are comparing one ounce bars and coins, then coins win out every-time–hands down. Keep in mind, I wrote this for beginners, so this is the surefire, can’t miss basics. If you have experienced buying and selling gold, and you are buying 100 or 600 ounce bars then sure, go for it Thank you for your comment and perspective.
      Greg

  10. James

    Greg,

    Once again a great post for us “little people”. It’s comforting that we have folks like you, with integrity, to help us through this mess.

    Have you considered a blog about using creativity to make a living?

    I say this because I am using some of my professional skills on the side to make a little money. I’ve also seen a posting on Craigslist from a person that will take care of the dressing of deer (meaning butchering) for a small fee for those who hunt but don’t want the mess. I thought that was brilliant.

    In these days and most likely in the future, folks will have to be creative to survive.

    Look forward to hear you again on WZTK 101.1 FM.

    Merry Christmas

    James

    • Greg

      James,
      One good tip for the little guy– buy silver coins. You can buy “Junk” silver in $100 dollar face value increments and smaller. You can also buy one Silver Eagle at a time. Silver will go up much higher than gold in price on a percentage basis. It will prove to be a great investment. Thank you James for the comment and kind words.
      Greg

      • back country montana

        WOW $100 face value that like all i make in a month im lucky to buy $3-$4 face value a month!! so much for the little guy bricklayers. now you know why so many people are not in gold. not really written for the working poor of this country…..

        • Greg

          Back Country Montana,
          You can buy it in smaller increments than $100 face value. You can save up that $3-4 a month and still get silver. See if you can give up something if you really want to get silver. Then again, maybe you should stock up in caned food. It might be more useful to you. Just brain storming here. Thank you for sharing your perspective with us.
          Greg

          • Frannie Fargo

            You can take your 3-4 dollars and buy one junk dime. Buy one junk dime at a time if you have to. Before you know it, it all adds up.

          • LibertyChick

            The good thing about having junk silver is when our dollar is value-less and we walk to the grocery store with a wheel barrel full of green backs and still can’t afford a loaf of bread, that silver “junk” dime will buy the loaf of bread. If you go with a 1oz silver or gold dollar, not sure they will have junk silver change to give you, only worthless greenbacks.

            • Greg

              LibertyChick,
              Hang on to that “junk” Ag!!!

  11. While Rome Burns...

    “BY A CONTINOUS PROCESS OF INFLATION, GOVERNMENTS CAN CONFISCATE, SECRETLY AND UNOBSERVED, AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE WEALTH OF THEIR CITIZENS. THE PROCESS ENGAGES ALL OF THE HIDDEN FORCES OF ECONOMIC LAW ON THE SIDE OF DESTRUCTION, AND DOES IT IN A MANNER THAT NOT ONE MAN IN A MILLION CAN DIAGNOSE.” John Maynard Keyes, economist, 1920, Keynesian economics

    • Greg

      Rome Burns,
      I think this will all come down to a crisis in the U.S. Dollar. You can call it inflation, hyper-inflation or a all out systemic crisis. It will be bad especially for the unprepared.
      Greg

  12. John

    I have purchsed gold and silver from Don Stott at Colorado Gold coloradogold.com. You can send them a personal check and when it clears they ship. Very convenient. Also there is also a lot of silver and gold coins sold on ebay. Sometimes easier than finding a coin shop expecially in remote areas.

  13. Rob

    Hi! Good article! One thing you should change, though – it’s in this sentence: “Junk” silver is any U.S. dime, quarter or half-dollar minted before 1964.” That’s a misleading statement as many people will think 1964-dated coins are NOT silver, as it implies only 1963 and earlier-dated coins are silver. I would change that to “minted before 1965.” And of course that also leaves out the issue of the 40% silver halves made from ’65 – ’69.

    • Greg

      Rob,
      I did some work on the post to make that point clearer. I do not recommend 40% silver because it is very bulky. Why invest in 40% silver when you can get 90% silver! Thank you for adding to this post.
      Greg

  14. Johnny See

    When Galt’s Gulch reopens after its long renovation, I am sure that the local bank will be flooded with metallic deposits and that the valley will have super low inflation! Greg is right.. stay with the known and widely circulated high quality coins. I keep those for quick exchange, and as I am not ‘rich’, I keep bars of silver, not gold. I have several 100 ounce, for buying cars, tractors, and donkeys, etc, and a few 1000 ounce for hard-to-carry-and-therefore-hard-to-steal deep deposits to purchase land, a barn, and water rights…. or maybe a stake in the local bullion bank. Good luck, all. Glad you could make it. I have been studying this subject as a hobby and accumulating as I could since gold at $378 and silver at $4.15… dont worry, we have a long way to go yet. When they call him “Turbo Ben” for what he has done to the printing press, it may be wise to work the charts for a sell plan prior to the end game, which will be orchestrated by the usual suspects. Again, good luck, and NEVER CHASE PRICE!!!! Learn patience and buy on the inevitable dips!!!!

    • Johnny See

      By the way, just for you who dont know, a 1000 ounce bar of silver comes in at approximately 70 POUNDS! Not at all convenient for international travel unless you also own the means of conveyance! lol

    • Greg

      Johnny See,
      For the experienced investor large bars are just fine. It sounds like you really know and understand the precious metal market, but beginners should stick with sure fire winners until they do much research and homework on assessing their wealth protection needs. Thank you for your comments and insights.
      Greg

    • Joebuddy

      But how do you know when the “dip” is over?

      • LibertyChick

        Just remember if buying before, during or after a dip, what you buy still has value – more value than the greenbacks you used to buy it with.

  15. Jan

    Greg,
    This is very helpful to those of us who are new to purchasing precious metals. I bought one ounce bars, but have made a bit on them and will sell them and buy coins.

    • Greg

      Jan,
      I think that is a good idea and here’s why. Let’s say the silver market really takes off in the next few years and we see $100, $200, $300 or even (as some are predicting) $500 per ounce silver. You will not want to be trading or selling stamped bars!!! You will be wishing you paid a little more in commission on the front side and bought quality U.S. or coins minted by other well known GOVERNMENT sources. Please make the trade out as soon as possible so you get the desired product you want. Those bars are still valuable but not as valuable or liquid as government minted coins. Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

      • chris nicholl

        Why is it better to have the coins if the bars are more pure. I started investing in silver and buy the 1oz sunshine mint silver bars. If the price does go up why is it less lucrative. Mind you I paid around 13% premium over a 17.71 spot

        • Greg Hunter

          Chris,
          Re read the post–COINS my friend, coins.

          Greg

  16. Bosko Kacarevic

    Hi Greg,

    Great article, I agree with everything you say and my business is focused on the bullion side. Hope you don’t mind I posted a link to your article on my website. For your readers who travel to Canada keep in mind that Gold Bullion coins LESS than 99.5% pure (the US Eagle & Krugerrand)are taxable at 15% in Canada. US Buffalo’s, Austrian Phil’s and of course the Canadaian Maple are not taxable. With Silver it’s 99.9% pure, so the Silver Eagle qualifies for tax exemption.

    Keep up the great work,

    Bosko Kacarevic
    Gold Coins Canada

    • Greg

      Bosko,
      Thank you for pointing this out. I love U.S. Gold Buffalo coins and if you can get them for about what you would pay for Gold Eagles then do it! I also love the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf. If I lived in Canada it would be my number#1 “must have” coin. Canadian gold and silver coins are “world class!!!!!”
      Greg

      • Dave

        Just be careful with these when you sell.

        Since they are 24k coins, they scratch more easily and a lot of place require an inspection before they will buy them wheras they will typically buy the 22k Eagles sight-unseen.

        • Greg

          Dave,
          You are correct, Gold Buffalo’s are 24k and softer than the Gold Eagle. It is good advice to be careful with the Gold Buffalo, thank you.
          Greg

  17. M SMITH

    Greg, great info again. As a follower of Jim Sinclair web site also, he had a link to your great article. Another reader left a link to a free down load to a book called “The Dumbing Down of America” it’s a great book & it should be read by all & I hope folks will spread the word to all teachers, because our teachers need to wake up! http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/MomsPDFs/DDDoA.sml.pdf. I talked my nephew (a teacher of 21 years) to start putting away 90% US junk silver 3 years ago & he has read the book & was not surprised, but many of his fellow younger teachers were the ones calling him to ask questions. It seems they want to hold a meeting to confront the school board,wow.

    Greg, it’s funny how things work out when you share the Truth to those that grew up being Dumb Down by the very ones you are supposed to trust to teach your children, thanks again for the hard work you do, it’s working!

    • Greg

      M Smith,
      Gold coins and silver coins are a MUST have part of any portfolio. Both will go up much higher in price,especially silver!!! Thank you for your comment and kind words.
      Greg

  18. Tim

    Greg,
    Actually you could take gold and silver eagles to the grocery store and spend them. They are legal tender. The gold eagle has a $50 face value for example. But you would be STUPID to do so because you would be out about $1350 today! Another point is that the US gold eagles contains one troy ounce of pure gold but actually weigh more than that because they are alloyed with other metals to make the coin stronger. US Gold buffaloes are 99.999% pure, are much softer without the alloying metals, and are not suitable to be used as coinage. So, you have to be careful with them to make sure the gold doesn’t get scraped away.

    • Greg

      Tim,
      Good points but I still love the U.S. Gold Buffalo coin. It is a great coin and may have more numismatic value in the future. Thank you for your comment and perspective!
      Greg

    • Geofizz

      Yes, legal tender is important. If one happens to be traveling between countries with precious metals, then isn’t it the case with coins, as legal tender, one can declare them at their face value rather than the spot metal value? Important when it comes to customs and corresponding restrictions on conveyance of assets over borders.

  19. Mariano

    I agree that coins (silver and gold) are the best choice; but my grandfather taught me “not to put all the eggs in the same basket”. I personally think that “silver junior miners” like SILVERMEX RESOURCES INC. (GGCRF) and REVETT MINERALS INC. (RVMID)are great companies, with good management and vast reserves of silver. I bought stocks of both miners 2 months ago to diversified my investment in precious metals and I’m having a great return. This is my humble opinion, have a nice day.

    Sincerely,

    Mariano.

    • Greg

      Mariano,
      If you do your homework, yes miners are good but most beginners are not as knowledgeable as people like you. One also have to have a good broker with a big cash balance sheet and NO OTC Derivative exposure. 2 of the best brokers out there that fit that description are Scottrade and Edward Jones. I get paid nothing from either of these companies, they are simply 2 of the best out there.
      Greg

  20. stephen

    Greg, You said 1964 american silver coins contained 90% silver. I was told silver coins minted after 1987 (or 1986) contained 100% silver. Was I told wrong?

    • Greg

      Stephen,
      Yes, 1964 was the last year of 90% silver dimes quarters and Half-dollars. After that up until 1970 there were 40% silver in those denominations. Thank you for your question. In 1986 the U.S. Mint started producing 0ne ounce Silver Eagles but that is not 90% silver but .999 pure silver.
      Greg

      • goldeneconomizer

        Greg –

        After 1964, there was never any silver content in dimes or quarters, only in the Kennedy halves up until 1970. You gave good advice to avoid these 40% silver halves as investment coins. Why waste the space in your safe?

        The Golden Economizer

        • Greg

          Goldeneconomizer,
          You are correct. If you can get nothing else then by all means get 40% silver. It will be much better than nothing.
          Greg

    • jpre

      Greg, perhaps you could answer stephen’s question in light of 1986 being the first year the Silver Eagle was minted, so that’s probably what someone was talking to him about. If so I believe the answer is yes, Silver Eagles are .999 pure silver.

      • Greg

        jpre,
        Yes, you are correct. 1986 was the first year of the U.S. Silver Eagle. I thought Stephen was talking about “Junk” silver. Thank you for making that point. Sorry I missed that.
        Greg

  21. kurmud

    Thanks for a good & timely article. One factor that Canuks face is sales tax (HST) on coins – an extra 13% – but not on bars (perhaps not applicable to US visitors?). Given that strong inducement toward bars, can you foresee a time, perhaps turbulent, that that folks will have to have their stamped bars assayed (ie if the Hong Kong counterfeit jewelry methods hits the bar market) ? Is assaying costly? Is gold and silver different in this regard? What would you recommend? Sorry for all the questions!

    • Greg

      Kurmud,
      If gold goes to $5,000 per ounce (or higher) then assays will probably be a lot more common. If you hold the real stuff there will be no problem but bars will add some extra hassle, cost and waiting time to sell.
      Greg

  22. Robert V.

    Greg,

    I’m a little surprised that you stated a safety deposit box as a good place to store your precious metals. I was specifically told by my bank not to put metals, money, or jewelry into a deposit box as those items are not covered by the banks insurance. Also, if there is a ‘bank holiday’ as has happened in the past, your bank may not let you in to your deposit box when you might need it most. Most ATM’s are made unavailable during these times.

    • Greg

      Robert,
      This post was for the beginner. When you start talking safes then that is another entirely different question. If you do your home work and have a secure place for a safe then by all means get a safe. I see nothing wrong with that at all. You do make some very good points in your comment and I thank you for that.
      Greg

  23. aron

    Greg,

    I don’t understand why a silver bar or a privately minted silver round is worth less than a government issued coin such as the eagle. Both are .999 silver and both are stamped by the manufacturer. Are we to assume a silver bar or round has more of a chance of being fake or diluted as opposed to the government eagle? I understand “name recognition” but to me that’s ridiculous–both contain the same purity and weight. It’s all one ounce of silver plain and simple, right? Or are we saying here in fact it is “name brand recognition?” To me silver is silver is silver…

    • Greg

      Aron,
      Say silver hits $200 an ounce. Which do think will be more liquid, your one ounce bar or my Silver Eagle? I made that point perfectly clear in the post. Yes, your one ounce bar is valuable but not as liquid as a minted coin.
      Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

      • S&G Guy

        Sorry, I don’t feel you backed up that point well enough. I understand that it is your opinion that coins will be more liquid than bars, but don’t follow the logic. Au contraire, perhaps bars will be more liquid as they are more easily melted down (if not alloyed like gold eagles).

  24. Jim

    Greg,

    Thanks for this post and numerous others. I searched several websites about a year and a half ago when I was researching the best way to buy gold. After hours of searching and reading, I came up with my own plan that is strikingly similar to yours. This post is a simple, easy to understand and informative way to start to buy gold. I appreciate you taking the time to explain the various way to buy precious metals and I wish you would have posted this a year and a half ago (for my benefit). Keep up the good work!

    • Greg

      Jim,
      Thank you for your endorsement of the post. I just get so many questions on how to buy gold and silver I thought it was necessary so folks will not get ripped off.
      Greg

  25. josef zack

    You left out a very reputable bullion & bullion coin vendor. I had difficulties with Monex. WHen you buy bullion form them, their numismatic division. Kitco is the #2 vendor I’ve dealt with. BUt #1 for me, and just for me, is, IMHO, Apmex, out in Oklahoma. I have simply never had any sort of an issue with them ever. I got on the gold-silver train about 1998. And yes I have a good numismatic collection, those coin being not the best for the beginner to just start buying. I buy my my numismatic from a very trusted coin dealer.

    There is lots of treachery in the numismatic market and you can get easily burned if you are not 100% sure about your goals and what exactly what you want. I rate this article, its single shortcoming nonwithstanding, a solid five stars. This article is not only for the beginner but also good for experienced bullion-bullion coin buyers. Especially nowadays.

    thank you

    JZ

    • Greg

      JZ,
      Thank you for the feedback from an experienced gold and silver buyer. This post is for beginners so I just wanted to give folks the basics.
      Greg

  26. ManAboutDallas

    Yes, it’s “amazing” to contemplate that the Alan Greenspan of the incandescent 1966 homage to gold is the same Alan Greenspan who blew what, in retrospect, will be seen as The Biggest Bubbles Of All Time.

    “Amazing”, in quotes, until one stops and realises what Alan was really up to.

    He was just playing John Galt! For real!

    Let me repeat that while you let it sink in a little further:

    Alan Greenspan was playing a REAL LIFE “John Galt”, the protagonist of Rand’s novel; only unlike Galt, who undertook his mission in behind-the-scenes clandestine secrecy, Greenspan did it all RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN, ALL IN PLAIN SIGHT, FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE.

    The easiest things to get away with are the things you do in BROAD DAYLIGHT where NO ONE CAN BELIEVE you’re doing what you’re doing; because they don’t WANT to believe.

    But he pretty much accomplished the same thing, didn’t he ? Just as Galt, Greenspan’s actions set the stage for “.. stopping the motor of the world.” And now we’re not far from that grinding, sputtering halt.

    Are we ?

    Stand back, let it collapse; NO, HELP it collapse, because the faster it collapses and the “… motor of the world” comes to a stop, the sooner we can all come back from “Galt’s Gulch” and start rebuilding.

    • Greg

      ManAboutDallas,
      I belive in gold and silver coins and good people like you! Thank you for the comment.
      Greg

  27. ManAboutDallas

    One more thought: notice that Greenspan has NEVER repudiated his 1966 homage to gold, or his personal belief in it ( gold or his treatise. ) That should have been everyone’s “Things that make you go ‘Hmmmmmmm…. hey, wait a minute!’ moment” about what he was really up to.

  28. slopetester

    Hello Greg, I have surfed your blog a number of times this past year, its nice to read an honest broker. I am a long-time subscriber to LeMetropole Cafe’ and have helped numerous friends take positions in physical gold and silver metal. I noticed a comment on your blog about “useable” gold and silver and would concur with this readers concern. Have you heard (yet) of a German based company called KB Edermetall?

    KB Edermetall (or KB Gold) is a 17 year old German company that refines and retails Gold & Silver and recently started offering gold-backed savings accounts. Unlike other e-gold platforms like Goldmoney, KB Gold has a vision to become the world’s leading gold-backed currency – KB will deliver to their customers gold in small denominations that can easily be used on the street. KB Gold kinebars are tiny gold wafers (as small as ½ gram) embedded in a plastic card with a unique serial number and a hologram to verify authenticity. Kinebars are quite common in Europe and are dealt by Suisse Gold, UBS and others at a substantial premium to spot, upwards of 30%.

    KB Gold’s story has gotten much better of late with the acquisition 2 ½ years ago of a producing gold mine in Turkey. With KB Gold now controlling a refinery and a mine, and realizing more than $2000 for every ounce of gold, there is considerable room to reward a referral-based sales force. That’s right, KB Gold ‘associates’ get paid for helping their friends, family and clients activate and maintain a KB Gold savings accounts that is 100% backed by Gold! And soon, KB Gold ‘bugs’ like myself all over North America will be encouraging vendors to accept the KB kinebar, developing more reach for this form of money, which will in turn generate more commissions, more Gold, and maybe, ultimately, a little more freedom!

    I would encourage you to have a quick look at the merits of this company, as it is soon to launch in North America. There is some good info here mykbgold.us.

    Steve Merrill
    steve@trade-up.ca
    Kelowna BC
    KB Gold Associate

    • Greg

      Steve,
      I don’t know anything about this company so I cannot comment positively or negatively. I would suggest that anyone investing in gold or silver to first obtain a core position of physical coins that will protect their wealth. After that, if someone wants to invest in a gold company or it’s new exotic products then do lots of homework before committing their hard earned money. Thank you for the info and link.
      Greg

  29. Gary

    Greg, Thanks for your insight, and I agree with the security of holding the physical gold. With all of my retirement assets in an IRA, What about the Gold IRA and remote storage of the gold, to avoid the large tax hit by receiving the gold in addition to our annual living expenses?

    • Greg

      Gary,
      I am not a fan of anyone holding your gold. There are companies that do this but I do not know anything about them. You just do not know what will happen under a systemic failure type situation. Please remember, we are off the charts when it comes to what is happening in the economy. I mean outer space with no view of earth to be seen for light years. What is happening now is enormous and has never happened before in human history. There is $600 trillion to more than $1,000 trillion in unregulated derivatives. That could blow up again at any time. Systemic collapse, according to economist John Williams is a distinct possibility. You may be fine letting someone else hold your gold, then again you can always just pay the taxes and penalty and be done with the IRA scam. Yes, I think the IRA is a scam for most people, especially young people. Why in the heck do I have to pay a 10% penalty to get my money early? But that is just my opinion.
      Greg

  30. Oldtimerwithbullion

    If people buy off the web they must take shipping & sales tax into account. different states tax bullion below certain amounts on sale.
    often 1000-1500 usd. sometimes its ok just to drive to a coin dealer or pawnshop but know your values in advance.
    For big hitters Tulving.com is often The best price for most bullion.
    Im too small for him. but you can see market prices both ways. and he ships asap.
    For small timers who want a 2way market they can buy 10 face junk silver (7.15 T oz content) at Bullion directs “Nucleo” site , their shipping and handling is reasonable and you can accumulate before you Draw (CAsh/check of wire only). the catalog is more expensive but it takes credit cards. also their shipping can be very slow, often 2-3weeks when metals are hot instead of about 3 days.
    Also try apmex, NWT and CNI if your local source is out of a certain Form of bullion.
    Everyone with means should own at least 1 of the gold coins mentioned
    and anyone can start with junk silver and Eagles.
    their is no reason to be as irresponsible as our government.
    get 1 oz gold and a couple thousand worth of silver and remember that precious metals are not climbing, Paper Dollars are falling!
    read up and learn, youve been swindled by your government and its not stopping.

    • Greg

      Oldtimerwithbullion,
      You speak with wisdom about buying gold coins and silver coins. People can start small and build. We are nowhere near a bubble as mainstream media suggests. Just remember gold and silver coins are the nemesis of most stocks and securities. Thank you for your insight and perspective.
      Greg

    • Dave

      If you are buying in large quantities (obviously not beginner level), I have found CMI to consistently have the best prices (cmi-gold-silver.com).

      For beginners and small quantities that fall under most sites minimum order requirements I recommend Apmex.

      NWTM can be good if buying in bulk, but in the past they have had complaints of long delays in shipping the product when things were scarce. The other guys did not. They are still top drawer as a company with good prices, but I personally didn’t like that much $ hanging out there for months with no product in hand.

  31. Dave

    Greg:

    Re: Will Gold and Silver Be Confiscated?

    Since after reneging on Bretton Woods, the USD has lost all intrinsic value (just like the stock certificate of a defunct company), it has been seeking its natural level (i.e. zero) since then.

    For example, in 1970, a gallon of gas was around $0.25, a typical car was around $3,500 and a middle-class house in Florida was around $30,000. Today each of them cost about 10 times more in nominal dollars which means that it is the dollar which has lost 90% of its purchasing power over the last 40 years and the trend remains unbroken.

    Which also implies that we may be witnessing the end of the great fraud called fiat currency and the resulting crisis will force us to go back to a currency representing gold and silver kept in reserve. At that time the shortage of those commodities may force the government to confiscate them once again from private individuals except that this time it will be in order to return to a gold standard.

    Just one man’s opinion.

    Dave

    • Greg

      Dave,
      Who knows, anything can happen. If the government tries to confiscate gold and silver coins then I predict it will touch off the biggest black market in U.S. history. I don’t think the government will confiscate gold because too many rich people own it personally, but that is just “one mans opinion.” Thank you for your comment and perspective.
      Greg

    • LibertyChick

      there are gold and silver storage locations in the US, Canada and Europe. If the gov’t confiscates our metal, could they only do that from what is held in a US holding company? Could they confiscate from our holdings in another country?

  32. boris

    If you sell an ounce or more of gold, say, online, why in the Sam Hill would you tell the government so they can tax you? Sell it and then go about your business.

    • Greg

      Boris,
      If you sell Gold coins and Silver coins online you will be required to pay tax on the gains. That is why I tell everybody to keep track of your receipts for the Gold coins and silver coins you buy. You will only have to pay tax on the actual gains and your receipts will prove what you paid for your coins. Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

      • boris

        Goodness me. I’ll need to contact my IRS agent immediately. I owe them a lot of money!
        Boris

        • Greg

          Boris,
          I am not going to to tell people to avoid paying income taxes. If you get caught don’t expect to get the same treatment as Tim Geithner. Good luck my friend.
          Greg

      • LibertyChick

        My understanding is that is so on bars, but not on coins. That there should be no tax on buying or selling a coin as it is just an exchange of legal tender. I’m new to this and trying to figure out how to buy, store and potentially sell or use as tender later, without it being stolen, confiscated or taxed. And I don’t feel as though I’m cheating on taxes if I don’t pay taxes on that gain as it is against the Constitution to tax our income anyway. There shouldn’t be a financial punishment on being financially responsible.

  33. Frank

    How Do I Buy Gold and Silver?

    You can also buy antique and not-so-antique siver ware at auctions, including on-line auction sites. Choose sterling silver hallmarked items in good condition from sellers with a good reputation. (There is plenty of information online about hallmarks) Often there are attractive usable items for sale at a price comparable to bulk coins or even at a discount to the current price of silver.

    A silver tea set or cutlery might be more difficult to store than coins or bars but, while the price of silver might fall, your antique will always grow older. It can serve as a conversation piece or simply an object of beauty and value for you to use and admire.

    • Greg

      Frank,
      That is a good idea for someone with experience buying and selling precious metals. I am sure you do quite well, however I would not recommend it for the beginner. Thank you for your input.
      Greg

  34. Jane--silverbill

    Great articles Great answers ! I no longer purchase PM. I did all of that in the late 90s.And early 2000. For 10 years now I’ve been purchasing mineing stocks , being an investor I just cant resist.

    As for some of your answers Greg, I feel as your wrong, If things get out of hand, like the experts are claiming? In my world I would need 1000 oz bars, thats why I purchased so many of them,as for junk silver,Greg heres the way it goes.
    Junk silver–Bread and milk…Ham on the bone!
    100 oz bars..new Items for home use.
    Silver coins.Investments, money maker [profits]
    1000 oz bars. very large purchases, land-cars-rental property-etc.

    All silver coins are great [999.9] even 40% silver.
    A half of loaf of bread is better than none.Just read the history of Germany, You will soon learn?

    When I started back in the 60s there were very few experts on board
    today we have them all over the net. Are they really experts?
    I do believe that Gove. will Confiscate GOLD. They will have no choice, [the privilege will be theres!] Even Numismatic coins,
    Remember this GOVE. can do anything they want, change the rules anytime they want. Make any new [LAWS THEY WANT] Never trust GOVE.

    Thank You.. Jane…silverbill

    • Greg

      Jane,
      You are way ahead of the curve. You probably have some real muscles lifting those 1,000 ounce bars of silver. Thank you for your perspective on this post.
      Greg

  35. Chris

    Greg,

    When I started buying gold and silver about 2 1/2 years ago I spent time researching and trying to learn the best way to begin investing in precious metals. When I started this research I was basically looking for this article.
    I had initially made the decision to get into PM’s when I awakened to the true nature of the Fed, fiat currency and fractional reserve banking(none of this was explained when I majored in Finance at business school). I could see that a collapse of the current monetary system was inevitable and I needed to protect myself by cashing out IRA/401k and investing in gold and silver.
    In doing my research I repeatedly found people making the case for numismatic coins and the protection they offered (supposedly) against government confiscation. I never found an explanation like the one you offered (except for the recent article by Peter Schiff explaining why he did not reccommend numismatic) which makes a clear case for bullion, so I was a bit unsure which way to go. Naively I let the broker who I bought from convince me that I needed to protect myself against confiscation by purchasing pre-1933 coins. He even sent me some research materials explaining the importance of the important protection these coins offered. I became concerned that gold would not be the safe haven I envisioned if there was any chance of confiscation. Unfortunately at the time this seemed to make sense and it seemed wise to pay a premium for this protection and the potential appreciation of these coins in the event of confiscation.
    I ended up buying St Gaudens and $10 Liberty’s. I purchased the Gaudens for about $1400 when gold was $800. When I realized that I had made an error in purchasing these I figured the price has risen so I could possibly sell these and earn a nice 50% profit (gold was in $1,200’s) and trade it all in for bullion. So when the broker who had sold me the St. Gauden’s, 2 years earlier and before a 50% spike in spot gold, offered me $1,350 for the coins purchased at $1,400 the fact I had been misled became apparent and I felt very stupid.

    So, I’m on the right track now after learning the hard way, but I am still unsure whether it is wiser at this point to hold onto the numismatics or swap into bullion? I would be very interested in your opinion.

    • Greg

      Chris,
      I don’t know your financial situation, the MS grade or how many coins we are talking about, but to me the mistake has been made and at this point I would keep them. Funny thing about numismatic coins, as precious metal prices go up in price the premium goes down on the numismatic gold or silver coin. By the way, your mistake is not that bad. I mean you didn’t buy Lehman at $60 a share and were completely wiped out! You still have valuable gold. Chalk it up as one of life’s lessons.
      Greg

      • Chris

        Greg,

        Thanks for your reply and I appreciate your insight. When you mentioned the MS grade it reminded me of another question you may be able to help with. I recieved my gold numi coins from the broker rated EF and VF. In researching numismatic vs. bullion I came across an article that suggested the importance of getting numismatic coins rated by PCGS or NGC. Seems to make sense they would be easier to sell once rated, but the brokers dont seem impeded by selling without these types of certifications and simply rating EF and VF. Do you have any input?

        • Greg

          Chris,
          I am not an expert in numismatic gold and silver coins but by what you have told me I would never do business with that dealer again. EF (Extra Fine) and VF (very Fine) are 3 and 4 levels down from the top grade of MS (Mint State) Mint State is a coin with absolutely NO wear. The highest grade possible is MS70 and that is for a most commonly for a proof coin. A good MS is 60 to 62. Your questions demonstrate just how difficult it is for beginners to buy numismatic coins at a fair price. I am not trying to make light of your situation or give you a hard time. A grade from PCGS or NGS are the gold standard of coin grading. I would get your coins appraised by an independent broker so you know exactly what you have really got. In the mean time here is a link on coin grading. You can’t grade the coins yourself but this will answer some questions for you. Here is the link: http://www.acoin.com/grading.htm I hope this helps you.
          Greg

    • Tony

      This is a classic bait and switch employed by Goldline. I would avoid them like the plague. I’m sorry that this happened to you, by the way. They are notorious for selling these St. Gauden’s, which are not numismatic coins (just old) and marking them way up. I would complain to the Better Business Bureau, too (others have, and I believe there is a lawsuit pending against Goldline for their deceptive practices). They tried the same thing with me when I first started looking at purchasing bullion, but my BS detector was finely tuned that day. I left and never went back again. FInd a dealer that sells gold at 2-5% above current spot and you will know you are getting treated well.

  36. doug

    Greg,

    Thanks for the interesting, enjoyable, and helpful article. Could you please talk about the value of older silver dollars (morgans, etc.). I have purchased several of those at a higher premium per dollar face value than junk coins. Why do they command a higher price? Is it more silver content or numismatic value? Also, please tell us how one will spend these coins in a time of high inflation. I can’t imagine offering a silver eagle dollar with a silver content value of $100.00 to the gas attendant at an Exxon gas station for $100.00 worth of gas. How will that play out?

    Doug

    • Greg

      Doug,
      You have numismatic coins. That is the reason you paid more per ounce over “Junk” silver. You should always know why something commands a higher price before you buy it. I do not know exactly how things will play out. I suspect we will probably have a new currency someday, but that is just a guess. I do know silver and gold coins will rise in price dramatically in the next few years and you will need them to protect your wealth. Thank you for the comment and question.
      Greg

  37. Dennis Johnson

    Excellent article!

    There is one correction that you need to make: There are 12 Troy ounces in a Troy pound, but a Troy pound does not equal an ordinary pound. There are 100 Troy pounds in 82.2857 ordinary pounds. A troy ounce is larger than an ordinary ounce, but a Troy pound is less than an ordinary pound.

    Thank you.

  38. zippythepinhead

    Hi Greg-

    Good article for the newbies out there, your choice of Mike Maloney is great he is very adept at making the complex simple. I’ve been buying PM’s for almost 10 yrs and have dealt with all the dealers listed above and would list them pros and cons as following.

    1. Colorado Gold Pros: Great service, family owned, 1% markup on orders over 25k, shipping included, great buyback program, accepts checks or wires Cons: Decent not huge selection, only open during Comex hours, minimums required, call in only

    2. APMEX Pros: Great website, excellent selection, open 24 hrs, professional service (send me xmas gifts every yr)good buyback program, accepts checks or wires Cons: JP Morgan is their clearing house, shipping charges, sold out of a lot of popular items, ie Kruggerands, Maple Leafs etc

    3. CNI Pros: Great prices, good service, decent website, good buyback program, shipping included, accepts checks or wires Cons: Limited selection, only open during pacific time zone hours

    4. Tulving Pros: Great prices, great selection, great service, good buyback program, open 24 hrs, $15 credit on wires, shipping included Cons: big time buyer outfit, website is chaotic, minimums required, call in orders only, accepts weekend emails

    5. Kitco Pros: Great website, great selection, good prices, extensive gold commentary, accepts checks or wires Cons: Slow ship rates, constantly out of stock on popular items, shipping charges, Jon Nadler (nuff said)

    If I had to pick one out of the bunch I would have to say APMEX. Not only can one sit in their underwear while buying PM’s, the dizzying array of product is really second to none. My biggest problem with them is their use of JP Morgan as a clearing house. As most are aware they are the offspring of Satan and right now we are trying to take down the house of Dimon.

    Hope this helps. Consider you one of the good guys out there. The best work we can do is inform our fellow man to be prepared and help the blind to see. Merry Christmas!

    • Greg

      Zippy,
      Thank you for providing some very good feedback and information. You would not believe how many comments I have trashed that are outright commercials from schils. This is good first hand information and once again I thank you for it!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours.
      Greg

  39. Tony Dow

    Greg, when buying silver shouldn’t shipping charges be considered? Shipping charges are based on weight. The more something weighs the more it cost to ship. You pay the shipping cost for the 40% silver. Fine. The remaining 60% is not silver and is of very little value. Paying for the shipping of 60% of something of very little value, seems to me, a waste of money. Would the lower cost of a bag of 40% coins compensate for the extra shipping cost of the remaining, near worthless, 60%?

    • Greg

      Tony,
      As I said in the post I am not a fan of 40% silver because it is too bulky. If you can buy nothing else, then by all means get 40% silver. But why do that when you can still get silver that is 90% pure or higher? Thank you for your questions.
      Greg

  40. Tim

    Thanks for the article, Greg.

    On one of your responses here you implied that dimes, quarters, and halves from ’65 to ’70 are 40% silver. Only half dollars are 40% from ’65 through ’70.

    Tim

    • Greg

      Tim,
      You are correct sir. I don’t know that much about 40% silver coins because I don’t recommend them, but that is no excuse for getting it wrong. Thank you for catching that mistake.
      Greg

      • pier

        whatever you want to do with the 90% coins, the 40% coins are simply valued about half of the 90% coins. You would need 2 Kennedy 40% (1965-1969) half-dollars to buy an item priced at 1 Kennedy 90% (1964) coin. It’s very good for many people who can’t afford gold right now and it certainly beats buying copper coins.

  41. pier

    This article appears to me as anti-gold and anti-silver in disguise. it’s trying to direct the newbies away from the private mints and towards the government mints. gold & silver bars from private mints still have as much gold and silver in them as those by the government mint, ounce-for-ounce.
    Dealers agree that when prices go really up, they’re not going to care much about the design on the coin or bar but primarily the weight of the item.
    One silver eagle has one ounce of fine .999 silver in it as does one ounce of Engelhard bar.
    the article attempts to curb the private mint productions from being easily traded on line.
    Silver eagle no longer worth “one dollar” as it’s stamped on it but rather current spot price plus several dollars premium which is exactly as one ounce of fine silver bar from the mint.
    If a person wishes to pay me for my labor valued at $150 today, a %-ounce bar from northwest territorial mint would be as good as (5) one ounce silver eagles except the payer probably paid more to get the eagle than the 5-ounce bar. It’s the metal content from a fairly a reliable source that counts.
    people keep precious metal for times that governments are crippled or absent all together. For times when the government is not there to back its gold and silver coins. The new government may start playing a different tune but the metal content remains precious.
    Buy as much as you can as cheap as you can.
    Even if the precious metal are declared illegal which is a very big If, then so are the drugs yet easily traded. It’ll probably take ballot measure to legalize the precious metals and criminalize the marijuana instead and put the gay marriage on notice.

    • Greg

      Pier,
      You are absolutely wrong this article is “anti-gold and ant-silver.” Please READ the article again. As I always say, “Good men can disagree.” Thank you for your comments and perspective.
      Greg

  42. Sam

    Dear Greg,

    As a coin collector since age 12, I have to disagree with you on several points.

    First, gold coins were still used as money AFTER 1933. My Mother’s Godmother, who had no faith in fiat, used gold coins for her transactions throughout the 1930’s, and even gave $5 gold coins as gifts to relatives (Mom got a $5 gold piece for her First Communion, her mother spent it for her!).

    Second, you are correct in stating that $1.50 in silver dimes equals one troy ounce of silver, but fail to state why. This is because of the ALLOY in the coin, to strengthen it so it can be used. The same is true with most gold coins prior to 1933 (90% gold, although these were measured in grams, never ounces), as well as gold coins today. The only exception is the “24K” Buffalo, both the gold and silver ones. These are PURE, .9999.

    As to gold and silver BARS, these have to be ASSAYED for purity. And even then, the only people who will buy these are JEWELERS (I used to use these when, for a short time, one of my hobbies was investment casting {lost wax casting, used for making jewelry}).

    Regarding jewelry: Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre, an Argentinian who saw the worst of the Argentinian economic meltdown, claims that he buys broken 18K necklaces on eBay. He says that he chops off a few links at a time and uses these for trade on the black market (Aguirre, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre publisher, 2009).

    As to gold and silver coins themselves: try to have more silver than gold. Remember, gold is really wealth STORAGE, silver is for trade. But, in the coming collapse, what is for trade is a wildcard here. Writers like the late Harry Browne claimed that “junk” silver would be used, others claimed that canned goods would be used for barter. Other writers, such as John Wesley, Rawles, and William Forstchen state that the new currency will be .22 ammunition (both claim that most people have a .22 rifle in their closet, as well as fifty shells in a box).

    Many thanks again for a great column. Dang, you’re addictive!

    • Greg

      Sam,
      Thank you for adding information about gold coins and silver coins.
      Greg

  43. Ken

    Thanks Greg. That was very informative and useful for a “gold noob” like myself.

    Ken

    • Greg

      ken,
      Thank you for the comment and support on the post.
      Greg

  44. Vess

    Well, you CAN pay with gold coins for your groceries – only you would be very foolish to do so. The US gold eagles are legal tender in the USA and any business has to accept them – but only at their face value. Needless to say, paying for a $20 purchase with a coin that is worth $1400 on the free market is not a very smart move. :)

    The government can do anything – including confiscate your bullion AND numismatic coins (although FDR didn’t touch the latter). Trust me, I know. During the nationalization of assets conducted by the communist regime of my country (Bulgaria), my grandfather was forced to open his safe and they took everything – money, jewelry, bonds… Nothing is safe from a government running wild. However, as you say, direct confiscation is unlikely. The government can achieve the same effect by imposing a 100% capital gains tax on gold bullion. After all, only “the rich” and “the crazy gold bugs” and “the speculators” have gold, right? So, “the people won’t be affected”, wink, wink.

    Also, some things in the article are presented either too simplified, or are too US-centric.

    For instance, buying bullion coins in my country is a losing proposition. They are sold by two or three banks – but these banks don’t buy them back, so there is no market for them. The goldsmiths don’t like them, because the gold in them is too pure (not the 14-carat purity used for jewelry). In addition, the banks sell them at 30-50% premium over spot!

    Some countries still make it illegal to own and trade in bullion gold – for instance, Iceland, where I’ve lived for about 10 years (left just a couple of years before the collapse). While there, I once went to my bank and asked them if they were selling bullion gold coins and, if not, where I could buy some. They looked at me in a rather bizarre way and told me that they don’t, because it’s illegal. :)

    In a country without established bullion market, bullion coins are a lousy investment, too. Just ask the Argentinians. During the economic collapse there, very few people had them, there was no real market, and the goldsmiths would buy them only at the price of jewelry-quality gold (because they weren’t used to trading in pure gold) – which is at about 33% discount. During those times, the simplest kind of gold jewelry (e.g., wedding rings) turned out to be the safest investment (if you intended to sell some of it, in order to meet your everyday needs).

    In general, in an economic collapse many things happen “not as they should”. It sounds like a truism, but most people aren’t prepared for it when the reality comes and keep getting surprised. (Again, I know what I am talking about. I’ve experienced hyper-inflation and economic collapse first-hand in Bulgaria in the 90s.)

    And I don’t even want to get into the “have them in your possession” part. In my country, gypsies are stealing the phone cables, to sell the copper for scrap. A friend of mine who lives in Ireland, told me that gangs there are entering the kitchens of the houses in the small villages, to steal the cooking pots for their metal value. If an armed gang enters your home and starts torturing your wife and kids – are you sure that your gold coins will be very safe “in your possession”? At least if you keep them in a bank (preferably – in another country), the highest risk you’re running is somebody robbing that bank or the government stealing them from there…

    • Greg

      Vess,
      Thank you for giving our readers your unique view Your comment is very thought provoking, interesting and offers a more global perspective. You make some valid points but offer no alternative for protecting someones assets. Gold coins and silver coins can do that and have nearly a 5,000 year track record of positive performance. One other point I would like to make– in my country, gun ownership is legal and possession of fire arms by honest citizens is widespread. Thank you for your insightful comment.
      Greg

    • Tom H

      The difference between Bulgaria and the USA is our second ammendment right to bear arms. If some burglar comes into my kitchen to steal my pots and pans, he won’t be leaving my kitchen on foot. The only way for a country to get out of a sovereign debt crisis is default.

      Because the currency is born out of debt, it is mathematically impossible to ever repay the debt because printing more money just creates more debt. Ergo, there is always more money owed to the banksters than there is money. When the gov’t ultimately defaults, there will be violence because the entitlement checks will stop.

      If you think what is happening in Greece and Ireland will not happen here you are probably stuck in a normalcy delusion. To protect your precious metals (and your pots and pans) you should probably invest in the other prescious metal: guns and ammo.

      I own silver, but I also have guns and ammo to protect my family, my food, and my silver. In most cases throughout history, before the gov’t completely takes over, they disarm the public. This, so far, has not been the case in America. IMHO, it makes no sense whatsoever to take physical possession of PM without exercising your right to defend yourself from the violence that is sure to come. It is my belief that in a hyperinflationary event, a gun will be worth it’s weight in gold. I also believe in stockpiling extra guns and lots of extra ammo for barter, as well as seeds, antibiotics, food, gasoline, water.

      If you are wondering what you should stockpile, ask yourself how you and your family would survive for 3 mos. to a year without currency. It is my belief that guns and ammo will be worth their weight in gold.

  45. like the silver

    Hi, I just have a question, I have been collecting silver/gold for a few years now, and I was thinking of using the silver/gold (when it goes up really high) to buy a piece of tillable land (farm land) I don’t have the cash right now, and my credit is bad, so I was wanting to buy the land outright with the silver. Correct me if I am wrong, but the way I see it is, the silver will keep going up maybe to 500.00 + per oz and land still has a good bit of falling in price to accomplish, with the extremely huge glut of foreclosures, builders inventory, banks stricter lending standards, and more people with bad credit having a harder time to buy, baby boomers selling their homes, and of course the whole jobless thing in this economy, anyways I was hoping to be able to capitalize on buying a piece of land when it goes down and silver is up. I was wondering what you think of that? Is it feasible? Will it work? Do you think that the land price will be down while silver price is up? And how would inflation/hyper inflation factor in to that? Do you think that inflation/hyper inflation will run the prices of land up really fast and keep up with the silver price or not? Any help/insight would be appreciated thank you, and thank you for such a great article!!

    • Greg

      like the silver,
      There are going to be some real deals in the future on real estate. In general terms you are thinking is correct but there is always risk in speculation. Keep in mind, when you buy land you have to have a way to pay taxes and upkeep. If you have silver, you already have the battle half won. From here on out, it will come down to timing an execution of you plan.
      Greg

    • LibertyChick

      My understanding is that is so on bars, but not on coins. That there should be no tax on buying or selling a coin as it is just an exchange of legal tender. I’m new to this and trying to figure out how to buy, store and potentially sell or use as tender later, without it being stolen, confiscated or taxed. And I don’t feel as though I’m cheating on taxes if I don’t pay taxes on that gain as it is against the Constitution to tax our income anyway. There shouldn’t be a financial punishment on being financially responsible.

  46. Tom H

    Hey Greg, any thoughts on copper bullion?

    • Greg

      Tom H,
      Sorry I don’t but commodities in general will rise in the inflation that is here and getting much worse. Thank you for all your comments.
      Greg

  47. anonymous

    Any gov may take what you have any time it wants. The golden hord will like take
    whatever food, or metal you have, if found. Gold coins and silver may fill up
    the salt mines as in German NAZI. To save wealth your friends must be wealthy.
    I buy lead and brass so that i too may take what silver or gold can be found.
    When the time is required that you need SILVER or GOLD, only round coins are value.
    Guess what gove will charge you to live or get out of the country to survive,
    everything that gove knows about or finds. The 45 acp round survives all, but
    only food, water, and shelter will allow family to survive.
    Survival of value, wealth, and live depends on cunning, gull, and the mighty 22lr.
    One man/women may pay the black booted thug to live another day, But the round
    coin of today will surely make any caliber need shoot. Simple economics means
    any thing of value will be taken no matter what, when , or where it is needed.
    One Man, no gun no ammo . Native American not a citizen .

  48. Mike

    Do you think right now is it still a good time to buy gold and silver (before 2011)? I think waiting until the new 2011 silver eagles comes out is better…at the beginning of the year. What do you think?

    • Greg

      Mike,
      If it were me, I would not wait. Things are so dicey that you cannot tell when things will get completely out of control. You may run into a supply problem on 2011. I hope this helps you.
      Greg

  49. Mike

    I am not sure if my last comment went through yesterday as it still isn’t posted, but I also wanted to follow up with the news on Gold ATM’s in Florida? What do you think about them? The article said that it will “permit customers to purchase gold coins and bars” and “the Gold ATM machine is equipped to be recalculated via the internet, to sell gold bullion based on real time market prices”. What’s your opinion?

    • Greg

      Mike,
      Sorry your other comment was not posted. I do not know what happened. I think there are better ways to buy gold and silver. I suggest you turn to the post I wrote about Gold Coins and Silver Coins for the best value. What these machines sell are tiny bars of gold. The gold is valuable but I fear people will be paying too much for the gold. Thank you for your comment and question.
      Greg

      • Mike

        Hi Greg. I agree with you, but I did think it was also good to get mainstream America into the groove of thinking outside of dollars (even with Gold ATM’s) and into thinking about something that has real value. I also want to thank you again for all of your replies. I love your blog, insight and the fact that you address real news! I am hooked on your site. It’s also so refreshing compared to the garbage that is on the networks every night! Keep up the great work. How often do you post, so that I know how often to check your blog?

        • Greg

          Thank you Mike,
          I usually post Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am on the site every day updating comments and news stories in the “Top Story” section on the right side of the page. Thank you for your questions, support and all your comments.
          Greg

  50. Mike

    Promise this is my last comment for the day, just thought I would link to the Gold ATM Machines article from CNN (in case your readers wanted to view it): http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/17/news/companies/gold_atm_boca/

  51. JImmy

    Do you personally think 2011 will be the year that the economy ‘really’ start to fall apart? And by really, I mean to the point that the government can’t stop it or do you think it can be stretched out for years to come? I ask because I got into buying gold and silver coins quite late and don’t yet have enough and fear the prices will start getting so out of hand that I won’t be able to catch up. On the flip side, I am also concerned that I should buy a firearm, really good safe and non—perishable foods too. This is just me, but I think a total plan is important.

    • Greg

      Jimmy,
      I really do not know when it all falls out of bed, but I do know it will happen fast. Do what you think you should do now and do not wait.
      Greg

  52. Sandy

    I only have an IRA, so I guess I can only trade with it by an ETF (GLD). Since I can’t buy the gold coins, is it really all that unsafe having gold in ETF’s. I am over 65 so I guess I could cash in my IRA and buy gold. BUt the I would have to pay a lot in taxes. Obviously, I am not finance savvy, I am just scared. Especially after listening to Meredith Whitney tonight on 60 min.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
    Sandy

    • Greg

      Sandy,
      You don’t have to cash it all out just some. Sometimes its ok to pay taxes to take direct control of your wealth. I am not a fan of ETF’s (at all.) All the best.
      Greg

  53. Jimmy

    Greg. Are you saying that it is advisable to cash out my IRA, take the tax hit and then only buy physical US Gold Eagle coins? Your advice is much Appreciated!!!!!!!!!

    • Greg

      Jimmy,
      If you do this you must be in a position to hold your Gold and Silver coins in the event of a downturn in the market. If you do leave some money in a brokerage, 2 of the best capitalized with fractional counter-party risk are Scottrade or Edward Jones. (I do not get paid to plug these brokerages.) I hope this helps. I hope this helps you.
      Greg

  54. Mike

    Greg –

    Do you know the 2011 silver eagle release date? I can’t seem to find the release date for 2011 US silver eagle coins anywhere. I personally think silver is the way to go for the average investor that can’t afford gold – as it will go up in value nicely. Downside is that it isn’t gold and it weighs way more if you need to pack and go quickly. Thanks.

    Mike

    • Greg

      Mike,
      I do not know the release date. It is usually during the first 2 weeks of January but that has been subject to vary during the last few years. You are correct that silver offers the best value but you should try to hold both gold and silver coins. Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

  55. Mike

    Greg –

    I actually found this from last December regarding the release of 2010 silver eagles: “The US Mint announced [mid December 2009] that they would begin taking orders for the 2010 Silver Eagles on January 19, 2010″. Could it be that the US Mint isn’t releasing 2011 silver eagles? I am getting worried. What do you think?

    Mike

    • Greg

      Mike,
      I think they will be released but I would not wait long to order after they come out.
      Greg

  56. goldeneconomizer

    Greg –

    Excellent article for novices to precious metal investing. My take:

    Agree: silver is poised for larger short and mid term gains than gold

    Agree: avoid silver and gold ETF’s, jewelry, silverware, futures, options, mining shares, and any other form of paper gold. These are not for the novice investor.

    Agree: take possession of your metal investment. Any form of storage including safe deposit boxes adds layers of unnecessary counterparty risk.

    Agree: investment coins (called “rounds” or “medallions”) are the best form to buy. Bars are less liquid, easier to counterfeit, or drill and fill with lead. There may be additional time and expense required to have them assayed when the time comes to sell.

    Disagree: buy only government issued one ounce silver rounds?

    One ounce silver investment medallions are a special case not well covered by your article. What makes them a special case is that they are privately minted investment coins which are generally preferred to and more acceptable than silver bars.

    They are the proper size, shape, and weight, but without the large premium put on coins like the Canadian one ounce silver maple leaf and the US one ounce silver eagle. In September 2009, the US Mint raised the premium to $2.49 an ounce for silver eagles bought directly by primary dealers in minimum quantities of $1 million or more. This, of course, is passed on to consumers.

    Apparently, your reasoning is that it is worth paying this extra 8% for the ability to easily recognize these coins.

    My take is that once the dollar collapses, and these coins start circulating as a defacto currency, there will be many more precious metal dealers than there are today. There will certainly be street dealers, as there are for any black market product. Just like in foreign countries where street dealers hang around public areas trying to buy your dollars for local currency, they will be hanging around trying to buy your silver for devalued federal reserve notes.

    Once the monetary demand for silver is clearly established, there will be legitimate dealers springing up everywhere. And stores, from Costco down to little mom and pop convenience stores, will all have their in house silver expert making exchanges to fiat at that day’s current rate. This will be out of necessity, the mother of invention.

    At that point in time, the excess premium paid for an eagle or a maple will vanish. Coins will be valued based on bullion content alone. But the 8% premium wasted today on purchasing eagles over generic silver rounds would reduce the size of your stockpile by 8% unnecessarily.

    Silver medallions are not easily counterfeited due to the many unique properties of silver. A solid silver one ounce medallion can be verified by the ringing sound it makes when struck or dropped, unlike a silver plated slug. And if a counterfeiter was going to go to the trouble to counterfeit a one ounce round, the one that they would copy would certainly be the eagle or the maple, so it could be passed off to suckers by sight only. No one would bother counterfeiting a generic round which is less widely recognized.

    I have seen dozens of different types of one ounce silver investment coins, but never the Austrian Philharmonic which has only been issued since 2008. I would not recommend anyone to seek these out specifically, and certainly not to pay any premium for them. At the current time, the Englehard Prospector one ounce rounds are commanding a premium, but I don’t recommend paying this either, given a choice of other rounds. These are not numismatic, they are bullion, pure and simple.

    The generic one ounce silver rounds are simply the best value in the investor silver market today for small investors (If you are a millionaire, you might find a need to purchase some large bars), as evidenced by the current severe shortage. None of the major distributors in the US have any inventory of generic rounds for current delivery. You can put in an order with a wait time of weeks or months for delivery. What if the silver price goes up by a few dollars during that time? You will be billed based on the new higher spot price. And eagles are not just being sold for 8% over current spot. That is what primary dealers pay buying directly from the mint. Eagles are being sold for spot + seller premium + 8% on top of that. Why pay it if they won’t be worth any more in the future than generic rounds? They are not numismatics.

    The premiums on gold are a bit different. The cost of a gold eagle above, say, a kruggerand or an Australian Kangaroo or a Chinese Panda is generally less than 1%, but the excess premium for a a gold buffalo may add an additional 4% to 6% or more over an eagle. These are beautiful coins and somewhat rare compared to eagles, giving them some temporary numismatic premium currently, but when the federal reserve note finishes collapsing, they will be worth no more for exchange than a kruggerand or maple or eagle. Bullion content will be king.

    The Golden Economizer

    • Greg

      Goldeneconomizer,
      I think if you want cheap silver buy “Junk.” Commissions are low and you get a universally recognized coin. Your silver rounds will be valuable but not as easy to trade as “Junk.” You make some very good points here and this is really just a small disagreement. Now matter what you buy, you are better off any any silver when the U.S. Dollar falls on its head. Thank you for the well thought out comment.
      Greg

      • goldeneconomizer

        Greg –

        Agreed that buying silver is by far the safest place to put your savings as the dollar continues to melt down.

        But my position is that you should have both 1 oz generic rounds and 90% US silver coins (junk bags), (and bars as well if you have large amounts to invest (protect).

        Our minor point of disagreement is on the negotiablility of non government rounds after the meltdown. My point is that after the meltdown, there will be a lot more silver experts around than there are now, and that generic rounds will be easy to exchange.

        They are already highly negotiable at any precious metals dealer.

        If you look at tulving.com’s website, they have a buy price quoted for generic rounds, and for every other form of investment silver. And they have sell prices and inventory posted for every form of investment silver EXCEPT for generic rounds. They have zero inventory, and when they do manage to buy some, it sells immediately without ever having to list a sell price. What does that tell you?

        90% “Junk” silver coins may command a slight premium in the future because of their usefulness for small purchases, and since they are easily recognized by non experts.

        • Greg

          Goldeneconomizer,
          You are correct, we do have only a minor point of disagreement. Thank you for your help in making the “How do I Buy Gold and Silver?” post better! You gave me some really good suggestions on improving it. Thank you for your comments that add to the discussion and information of this post!!!
          Sincerely,
          Greg

  57. ewb

    I just found your site and am very much enjoying it.
    It has the ring of truth about it.
    Your post on metals raised a couple of questions for me and I hope you will be able to answer them.

    1. Is it possible that the same “insiders” who would hope to pump and dump the stock market are doing, or could do the same with precious metals?

    2. You didn’t say anything about “asset allocation/diversification.” How much of one’s wealth would you recommend putting into metals at this time?

    Thanks very much and good luck to you

    • Greg

      EWB,
      Yes, all markets can be manipulated, but in this case you should be holding physical possession of gold and silver coins. It is hard to steal all your wealth when it is out of the control of the Fed and big Wall Street banks. As far as “How much gold and silver should you have?” Gold and silver are insurance, how much insurance do you need if we have systemic collapse? You and you alone will have to answer that question. Thank you for your questions and comment.
      Greg

  58. Gregory K. Soderberg

    How come the gold and silver sellers willingly take checkbook money or Federal Reserve Notes in payment? Why do the sellers take as much of this ‘bad money’ as they can get and give the the buyers the good gold and silver for it?

    • Greg

      Gregory,
      Dollars are the medium of exchange we are using here in the U.S., and that is just the way business is getting done. I do understand your point, and so far holding gold and silver has out performed holding dollars. Thank you for your comment.
      Greg

      • Gregory K. Soderberg

        Those who truly care about America will stop building their own bunkers and do what it takes to preserve our nation. That simply requires that we speak the truth about our debt-money system to each other, stop trying to outsmart the other guy and pass legislation that will create and put all new money into circulation debt-free. This is what the principle behind Free coinage in the 1792 Coinage Act. People first labored to extract a raw resource from the earth. The mint weighed it, assayed it and coined it into money free of charge for the producer(monetized the peoples’ production)debt and interest free. The producer then ‘spent’ the money (an evidence of production)into circulation for other production. The money supply grew with production increases and no debt to anyone. Our money problems are an easy fix.

        • Galaxy 500

          The mint took $0.60 of gold ($20/troy oz) out when it minted $20 double eagles, which made it one of the ways the government financed itself.

  59. Trula Grzebien

    You got very interesting debate started on your site and its worth a lot of feedback. Very less people are able to talk so well about this topic. A big thumbs up from me.

    • Greg

      Thanks Trula.
      Greg

  60. Silver, a precious metal with inherent value, is real money since over time it maintains its value, safeguards your savings and can provide you with a valuable method of exchange.

    At present, because of its versatile industrial, ornamental and medical usages, purchasing silver bullion bars is expected to be greatly profitable.

  61. Tim S.

    Should I take physical control of the gold and silver and can I purchase it with a 401K rollover?

    • Greg

      Tim S,
      You bet, ASAP! You will have to pay tax and a 10% penalty but you will have no one between you and your money.
      Greg

  62. us gold exchange rate

    What?s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & aid different customers like its aided me. Good job.

  63. Chuck

    Maybe I missed something. How do you sell your gold and silver? From what I understand you buy retail and sell wholesale, but to whom?
    Thanks Greg for the great info.

  64. Tim S.

    The dealer I am considering is pushing me to buy bullion and Numismatic and semi-numismatic, but I am not sure I want these collectible coins in an IRA or a physical purchase. Should I keep it simple and stick with bullion only? I am about to make a purchase, so I need some help!!! Thank you

    • Greg

      Tim S.
      Please read my “How do I buy Gold and Silver?” post. It is on the home page of the site right under my picture. or get it here: http://usawatchdog.com/how-to-buy-gold-and-silver/ . I would buy bullion coins only especially if you are a beginner.

      • Tim S.

        Thanks Greg…I read that but some of these guys can be pretty persuasive! I really want whats best for me and my family, so I am going with pure bullion. I am transferring over 75K from my 401k to an IRA. Would a 70/30 split between gold and silver be a nice split? I am also going to buy 10K worth of gold and silver and have it delivered to me. Should I go with all gold or split that as well? Thanks for all your help

        • Greg

          Tim S.
          I would have some silver. You need both kinds of coins. Don’t overlook “junk” silver if you want to avoid commissions on Silver Eagles but I also like Silver Eagles.
          Greg

  65. Nercy

    Hi Greg, Thanks for the article.

    I bought some MS61 $20 Liberty coins back in 2004 for $686 each and now I want to at least recuperate the money I invested, so do you recommend selling part of the coins to get the money I invested back and keeping the rest in gold, or turning the rest in silver, and if silver which coins, or turning some into silver and keeping some of the gold. Also I do not have immediate urgency in getting the investment money back, but I would like to get it within a year or maybe a bit more. So I also would like to know if you would recommend selling half of the coins now or waiting more time. Your opinion is much appreciated. Thank you again for the article!

    P.S: I bought that gold, but had no knowledge of it. I just bought what was recommended by the dealer because I had a feeling gold will probably be a good investment. It is now because I want to sell that I have been looking for information on the types of coins and what is better etc. So if you can be very detailed, as I can say I have zero experience in this. Once again Thank you.

    • Greg

      Nercy,
      Do not sell if you do not have to. That is my best advice because it will go much higher in price and that is your insurance.
      Greg

  66. Jo Smith

    Hello,
    I have a question, but maybe it sounds a bit “stupid”. After one buys a lot of silver or gold as “insurance” or “hedge” for fiat monies, eventually one cannot take it to its grave, and sooner or later all that silver or gold has to be turned in again for fiat monies. So, say the dollar collapses, what do I do with all the silver and/or gold coins and for what do I eventually trade it for?

    • Greg

      Jo Smith,
      If the dollar collapses then you will be mighty happy you have silver and gold (coins not ETF’s) and will have no problem converting then into any fiat currency you like. Hang in there and do not sell unless you really need some money. Gold and silver will be an extremely good long term investment. Thank you for your comment and questions.
      Greg

  67. Bob Marshall

    If i purchased gold or silver i would be using most of my 401k. I read where the government can take our 401k in the future. Any advice and is this true?

    • Greg

      Bob Marshall,
      Who knows how desperate the government will get, but if you have no exposure to precious metals (gold and silver coins and NOT ETFs) you need some. By the way, there have been several folks who have commented here that sold out of their IRA, paid the tax and penalty and bought PMs. I have not heard from one who was sorry they did that.
      Greg

    • Pragati

      There are a lot of questions about the gold and Silber held for GLD and SLV, and one thought is that the metal has been leased out to sell on the open market to depress the precious metals prices. A better investment is the Central Fund of Canada (CEF) which holds audited, segregated metal to back up it’s shares. It has been around since 1962 and is still being run by the original family of founders, who also own shares for themselves.

  68. Eric Wood

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks so much for all this great information… I’m learning so much from you and your readers.

    Question: You never mentioned anything about “Generic Silver .999+ Fine – As low as $0.79 per oz over spot”

    Companies sell random mixes of silver pieces, some coins, little bars.. rounds… some tokens, etc., all sorts of “pieces.” Right now as of this writing at $41.95/ounce.

    Although a bag of 71.5 ounces of 90% junk silver coins is cheaper–just over $40/ounce… shipping on that heavy bag is $25.

    What do you think?

    Thank you so much!
    Eric

    • Greg

      Eric,
      I wrote about this in my “How do I buy gold and silver” post. http://usawatchdog.com/how-to-buy-gold-and-silver/ I wrote this for the small beginning investor. I really like junk 90% silver coins and that is one of the cheapest ways to buy silver. I also like Silver Eagles, but I am not a fan about the other silver you are talking about. The reason is if silver goes up as high as I think it will, you are going to want the quality and uniformity of government minted coins. Sure the tokens and rounds and bars are valuable, but not as instantly liquid as junk or eagles (especially eagles.) If silver goes to $200 or $300 and ounce will you care what the commissions are? Will you want your silver to be instantly liquid? In short, buy quality unless you cannot get it. I hope this helps you.
      Greg

  69. lance Davlin

    Greg, Is there an advantage of one coin type over another with regards to the “big 4″ you mentioned?? The online purchase sites show different prices—-but all for 1 oz coins. Why for instance, should you pay a little more for an Eagle 1 oz when he Maple leaf 1 oz is cheaper—–same for the Krugeran??? Lance

    • Greg

      Lance,
      I like all the coins you mentioned. There is no great advantage between them. What you are looking for is universal acceptance and all those coins fit the bill perfectly. On a personal level, my favorite coins are Gold Eagles and Buffaloes. The reason why is I live in America and I feel there is nothing more liquid in the U.S. than those coins. At one time, you could get Eagles and Buffaloes with very little or no difference in premiums. Again that is a personal call. Maple Leafs and Krugerrands are excellent value and quality.

  70. MasterLuke

    Gold is the anti-thesis to market bubbles. Society has been tricked far too many times that a lot of people will not wake up and smell the coffee. Therefore, I feel a lot of people will have their wealth confiscated because they will keep their money in the form of liquid cash. Gold is actually not in a bubble state but is a transformation of the collapse of the U.S. Fiat currency.

    Therefore, this is the true demise of the US middle class. No jobs and an added transfer of wealth kills a economic class. I imagine some rich will be hit hard with this but most have a stake in gold. The constant TV entertainment and small everyday drama will keep a large majority from seeing the big picture. Luckily there are a lot of websites that are trying to wake people up, including USAWATCHDOG. Unfortunetly some of those websites give this segment a bad rap (Infowars) with their uncited news.

    I feel like this will be a major accelerated event.

  71. Gold Price

    Thanks for the great article. I first started buying about 3 years ago and made the mistake of listening to people selling graded coins. But I didn’t buy many and still ended up making money on them. I have since traded them in for bullion coins.

    Thanks again for the great article.

  72. Jo Smith

    Lately platinum prices are far below the gold price. At times more than $ 100.00 per ounce. Does this mean that gold is overvalued? Should I buy platinum instead and finally do you see a gold bubble and your outlook for silver prices (if that is possible)
    Thanks

    • Greg

      Jo Smith,
      I do not give trading advice. I will say only gold and silver has been and still is money and a store of value. Anybody else?
      Greg

      • Epicname

        Greg,

        Just finished watching your video on youtube for your weekly update. If things between the US and Iran get sticky prices for gold will surely go up. Is there any other way you would recommend in buying gold. How long do you think I should hold on to gold and silver coins if I do purchase.

        Thanks,
        Epic

        • Greg

          Epicname,

          Gold and silver coins are a core holding. Think of it as an insurance policy that never expires. Trade and position everything else but never trad your insurance.
          Greg

  73. Trudy Beerman

    Amen! I agree with converting cash to gold and silver as a strategy for debt free wealth building. Good info here.

  74. KMac

    Hopefully I didn’t gloss over the answers to the following questions that I know have after doing some investigating locally:

    *)Is there any benefit to requesting 2011 (or current year) eagles -vs- prior years?

    *)What are the benefits of “uncirculated” -vs- “culled”?
    I would image wear of the coin as the obvious answer.

    *) Any benefits to buy ‘sealed” 20 coin tubes that come with a serial number -vs- unsealed or mixtures of vintage?

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge!!

    • Greg

      KMac,
      I would get only U.S. bullion coins any date. Anyone else?
      Greg

  75. Epicname

    Thinking about investing 30k in gold. What do you think are my best options?

    • Greg

      Epicname,
      I am no investment advisor but I like a mix of gold and silver Eagles.
      Greg

  76. Samantha Stillman

    This is good thanks, I’m looking into physical Gold/Silver now and not just having all my eggs in one basket with virtual gold online, so thanks for the helpful info!! :)

  77. realitytoday

    Greg,

    Thanks for all of the reliable information.

    A knowlegeable friend guided me in buying junk silver & gold coins in 2003. He also recommended various Jr gold/silver mining stocks & I have done well.

    I have 2 questions only mentioned in the blogs, but not answered:
    Is it legal to take gold/silver coins out of the US?
    If so, must they be declared as currency, provided the face value (or market value) is less than $10,000?

    Thanks.
    realitytoday

    • Greg

      realitytoday
      ,
      I do not know the answer, anybody?
      Greg

  78. Windows

    great piece keep it up.

  79. Cindy

    For a beginner with a small savings and a minimal amount of money which coins would be best for me to buy? I am assuming the silver eagles would be the most affordable for me? Would it be wise to take my savings and purchase gold?

    • Greg

      Cindy,
      I can’t give advise based on the extremely limited information you are giving me. Precious metals are insurance. Two questions you must ask are How much do I need and how much can I afford. You can’t stretch yourself so thin that you are forced to cash out at a loss. Gold and Silver Eagles are a core asset not for making trades. I am not an investment advisor but everyone should have some for insurance and protection and a long term hold.
      Greg

  80. Cindy

    Greg, I guess what I wanted to ask was with the bleak economic outlook it seems that you were saying it would be wise to obtain pm in case we have an economic collapse. What I would like to know is what coins would be best to have during this time for trade and in general for survival? I was thinking maybe start with a 1 oz. Piece of gold and as much silver as I can afford. I have about 5 grand in savings.

    • Greg

      Cindy,
      Look below my picture on the upper right hand side of the site and click on the How to buy gold and silver. I do not sell coins or anything else so this is what I would tell my friends and family. Be careful about putting all your money into gold and silver coins. This should be a core asset and not something you should cash out of in 6 months. Before you buy, make sure your car and home situation is up to par. If you need new tires or any kind of a tune-up get that done before you buy anything. This is my best advise. But yes we could have a collapse and you will want some gold and silver coins but do not bet the farm.
      Greg

  81. Tom K.

    I have read that when you sell your coins that you must claim it as a gain for taxes. What if I can pay for say, a used car, or a gun with coins based on their metals value? Seems that would be a barter, and not a sale…What’s your thoughts? I believe that soon that we will be doing business like that more and more..

    • Greg

      Tom K.
      I am a firm believer in folks paying their taxes. I am sure there are and will be people bartering gold and silver in the future though.
      Greg

  82. Anne Harmon

    I’m wondering how to store bags of coins. A safety deposit box wouldn’t be big enough. And living in China for the time being isn’t an option for having it sent here and stored in a safe. Any other suggestions on how to store it? Thanks.

    • Greg

      Anne Harmon
      You are going to have to trust a family member stateside. Anybody else?
      Greg

  83. Anne Harmon

    No one but me. That’s why I asked you. I saw a website that said secure storage, but I want my own access to it. Anybody have any ideas??? Thanks.

    • Greg

      Anne Harmon,
      You being in China and your stuff being in the U.S. is the biggest problem. I simply do not have an answer. A Swiss vault maybe?
      Greg

    • LibertyChick

      There are several companies that store gold and silver. There is a monthly fee, some charge money for the fee and some charge gold/silver to cover the fee. They are insured. You can have your purchases shipped directly there. And if you wish for them to be shipped to you they do so via UPS I believe, also insured. I’m trying to figure out my best options, and also, am feeling like I’d like to have some stored in the US and some overseas/another country, so if the US confiscates what I own in a storage facility in Delaware, I can drive up the Canada to get access to the metal the US doesn’t have access to. In theory, although I don’t know if my theory is flawed…

  84. Anne Harmon

    Thanks for your direct and honest answer. I’ll just try and think of what I can do. I just watched Part 1 of the Fall of the Republic about America’s pending downfall. It was really scary. I’m thinking about leaving China, but I don’t know that I want to come back home to live. You might want to watch for yourself.

  85. gary

    In 2008 i opened my eyes and realized the economy was going off a cliff and politically things were not going to change, and would only get much worse for probably decades to come. not just here, but globally. i also realized i needed to protect myself and family. rotating food supplies, emergency water access/ water filtration and converting extra fiat dollars to acquire metals. a little gold, a larger amount of silver and some steel-jacketed lead thrown in for good measure. i dont feel like a survivalist “freak”, just a more prepared person. i guess the army taught me these things. the average american seems to live for the day, sometimes more worried about not missing that next reality tv show episode and keeping up with the jones, next door. as things deteriorate further, i will kinda feel sorry for them, wondering the streets, trying to trade a gucci handbag for a can of soup. dont think of me as a fatalist either, as i deeply hope things dont get this bad.i think american born citizens need to wake up and realize they never had a god-given right to be born with a silver spoon hanging out of their mouths, and having many things given to them while giving little to nothing in return. and yes, i am an american born caucasian person.
    if you are reading this, than obviously these statements most likely dont apply to you, as you are here because you are likely looking to protect your hard-earned wealth with “real money” and are aware of other things going on around you. the preceding is just my two cents
    on a side note: after silver and gold collapesed in late 2008 and i started buying silver at around $8.00 an ounce, i read an article stating that the profits attained from the selling of 40% silver kennedy half-dollars was not taxable and not required to be reported on a tax return. i believe this exemption was approved by congress. does anyone have any info on this?
    p.s. i just read that if every american bought just 2 ounces of silver each, it would either require the entire new mining supply for one years worth of production or it would take all of the above ground silver available worldwide. just cant remember which one it is. also read, at this time there is 4 times as much above ground gold in the world as there is silver, yet gold is 50 times more valuable per ounce than silver. talk about a undervalued commodity!!! the historic ratio of 15:1 gold to silver may go much lower in this up and coming bull market we are in. some analysts are calling for a silver to gold ratio instead!

    • Pam

      what is a steel jacketed lead? where do you get it

  86. bob

    hi,
    i have 2 questions for you. i heard that gold proofs are not needed to be reported to the irs. is that true? if so how about burnished coins? i love my gold. do you have an opinion on gtaded new bullios? what is your opinion on silver or junk silver. i am asking because the ratio is out of wack. silver was money back in christ’s time as judahs was paid in silver sheckles and it also has the disappearing resouce tagged to it.
    thanks,
    bob

    • Greg

      Bob,
      You don’t have to report holding any gold to the IRS as far as I know. If and when you sell you must report the capital gain. I like Junk Silver. If you want to get a official U.S. minted coins, that is a inexpensive way to buy it.
      Greg

  87. Chris

    I found a handy little guide that helped me understand the process! Not that hard to understand really. You can find some of the stuff online for free but, this one had more information that I couldn’t find

    http://www.amazon.com/tips-Buying-Selling-Silver-ebook/dp/B007ILCTP8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332169301&sr=8-1

    I thought hey .99 why not see about it.

  88. Jimmy Mac

    We are thinking about investing the kids college account in the gold market to protect the funds and maybe add a little increase. It will be almost 15 years before they will be going to a university. Do you think that ozsgold.com would be a good place to invest their funds? They said that the investment with them is guaranteed and would provide for their future. OZ says that he guarantees it.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,…….MarySue

    • Greg

      Jimmy Mac/MarySue
      I know nothing about OZgold.com. If you want to invest in gold buy the real thing in coin form and hold it yourself. Forget the guarantees from other people.
      Greg

  89. Joseph

    What is all this talk of an economic collapse in the US? What are the chances of it really happening? Would the rest of the world really want this to happen?

    • Dean Striker

      Our entire planet is running on fiat “money” and the dominoes for collapse are lining up for the Great Collapse. Governments will disappear, and then what?
      We’ve been making our choices. It’s your life at stake, so it’s your call.

  90. Mike Smith

    Hi there!, nice blog, enjoy the job you do, keep up the amzing job, will be looking at this site more frequently!

  91. Andrew

    I saw you mentioned purchasing gold in increments of 1/2, 1/4 and so on. Do you think buying silver in this same way would be a good idea? I found an article here that talks about it:

    http://cheapsilverbarsandrounds.com/purchase-silver-bars-rounds/

    Thank you for your help

    • Greg

      Andrew,
      I DO NOT recommend buying gold in fractional increments. If you do that, you usually spend way too much on coin commissions. That’s why I say you should buy one ounce coins. On a one ounce coin you pay one commission on the coin. On 10 i/10 ounce coins (which equals one total ounce) you pay 10 coin commissions. Here’s a post I wrote on How to buy gold and silver:http://usawatchdog.com/how-to-buy-gold-and-silver/ I do not sell gold or silver so I don’t care where you buy it. but I think everyone should hold bullion coins of both metals as a core position.

  92. Roberta Mongeau

    I see there are 2 versions of the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf:
    1 oz Gold Canadian Maple Leaf and Special .99999 1 oz Gold Canadian Maple Leaf, which costs a bit more (from your first site suggestion). Is there a preference in holding one over the other?

  93. Chris

    Thanks for the info. I am looking at investing in Gold for my retirement fund, so this is useful information to me.

  94. Mark

    Excellent Greg, covered several way to invest. Also agree with buying 1 oz coins, because cheaper in the long run.

    • Greg

      Thank you Mark. I am happy this helped you.
      Greg

  95. Daniel

    Hi, thanks for this information, can you please tell me where can i invest in gold or silver online? I hear alot about binaryoption trading platforms and im not sure about them, thanks in advance!

    • Greg

      Daniel,
      Before you do that, look around your area to see if you can buy it from someone local.
      Greg

  96. George

    Nice Article Greg.

    I’m one of the small guys very late in the game. I have a very small amount of funds available each month, only $50-$70. It stinks I know.
    With that $50-$70, each and every month for a little over 3 years now, I have acquired a few ounces, sometimes even just one ounce, every single month without missing a month.
    I now have 75 ounces of silver. American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, Engelhard Prospectors, (1) 1996 Silver American Eagle (only 3.6 million made -lowest minted year), and $30 total face of 90% Silver (halves/quarters/dimes).
    I mention the stash, because I want to help encourage any people out there, like me, who do not have much to put towards metals. Hard enough to keep groceries and bills paid. But, eliminating sodas, fast food lunches and eating at home, along with canceling cable, created a disposable fund of $50 – $70 a month now to put towards my financial security. No matter how small that may seem now, it will be gigantic if the paper world of illusion pops!
    Anyone can do it, if I can.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Greg

      George,
      That is what I’m talking about!!! Thank you for sharing your strategy and story with us here!!!
      Greg

  97. Judy

    Hi Greg,

    What do you suggest for a New Zealander, with a limited income, re gold or silver purchases?

    • Greg

      Judy,
      A little of both if you can.
      Greg

  98. We Buy Gold

    Thanks for your helpful blog and video on buying and selling gold. Thanks!

  99. Lynne

    Just wanted to give a “heads up” to those who are wondering which gold and silver coin-selling sites are trustworthy, honest, and will stand behind the product they sell. I’ve bought from several, and have had no problems previously with any of them, until last week. That’s when I received my first shipment from Gainesville Coins and was very disappointed to find that the (20 coin) roll of 2013 American Silver Eagle coins I received, advertised as “brilliant, uncirculated”, were NOT brilliant at all! Their finish was dull and stained a lighter color in the middle, appearing as if the finish didn’t even cover the middle of the coin! When I called to complain to the manager (Markham Acosta), he informed me that since they came that way from the mint, there was nothing he could do, and that I could NOT return them for credit or replacement!

    Needless to say, I was shocked, as these coins do NOT look like the 2013 Silver Eagles I ordered from any other sites, although all of the coins in question were bullion grade, advertised as “brilliant uncirculated”. Obviously, if you receive damaged coins from Gainesville Coins, it’s “tough luck” for the customer! I informed the manager that I will not be ordering from Gainesville Coins again, and would also let others know about what I consider their unfair business practices.

    Has anyone else had similar problems when dealing with Gainesville Coins?

  100. Newbee

    Hey there,

    thanks for the advice. I’m currently living in Brazil, but would still like to invest in gold and silver.

    I was wondering if third party vaulting could be an option. Because I move around the globe quite a lot and also because of delivery pricing etc.

    Is there any way i can still take advantage of this investment without having to physically handle the coins? I dont want to be transporting thousands of dollars of coins with me everytime i move house or country.

    cheers

    • Greg

      Newbee,
      Buy quality and you will not go wrong. I don’t sell anything so I don’t care where you buy your metal.
      Greg

  101. Nick

    What you say makes a lot of sense, and makes me wish I’d started doing this 20 years ago when I first started thinking about it. But here what always has confused me, and even more so now as I enter retirement age. Consider a person who has had low or modest income all their life, now retiring, has small savings acount and a few other assets. Say he takes those assets and changes them to gold coin. What can he then do with them (besides just sit on them). Say a tree falls on my house, or I need to go into the hospital for emergency care. How do I pay for such a situation, if all my assets are in gold? Or suppose the entire economy collapses (as it will, sooner or later)? Will the fact that my gold will be “worth” a million dollars an ounce do me any good, if people are using dollars for toilet paper?

    • Greg

      Nick,
      Gold and silver bullion has a 5,000 year track record of being both money and a store of wealth. That said some people shouldn’t buy gold and silver if they have little money they should buy new tires for their vehicle and food and make their homes energy efficient. You also may want to have some cash at home as well. Only invest what you can afford to hold long term.
      That’s my 2 cents.
      Greg

  102. Chris

    I know that gold hasn’t been one of the most stable investments lately, but it still has apperciated about 500% since 2001.

  103. Chris

    I still think that bullion will have a bounce back period where silver is back to trading around 40 dollars.

  104. Vince

    I”m not good on the investing end of things. I have under a $1,000 bucks in stocks, but unable to contribute anymore, and they just sit there and lose money. Looking at Silver. Read your article and junk silver seems the way to go for my size of investment and skill. Any other advice? Thanks.

  105. Kenneth Vilkin

    Thank you for the kind words. They are greatly appreciated! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  106. Stan

    A very informative article Greg but unfortunately, because it is so North American centric, it does not necessarily apply to the rest of the world.

    Here in Australia for instance, gold bars are just as easy to sell as coins and there are many dealers who will pay cash on the spot – some will even pay above spot price. I know this from personal experience.

    Also, there are many dealers who will pay 100% spot price for the gold content of jewellery by weight. Some of the premiums on bullion coins are ridiculous (Krugerands for instance) and the buy/sell spreads are worse than with bars.

    Many Australians will only buy coins if their local dealer has run out of one ounce bars. The Chinese and Indians here (and there are plenty of them) also seem to particularly like bars

    • Greg

      Stan,
      Thank you for adding your perspective and information from the Land Down Under!!
      Greg

  107. Patrick

    If you are at a store, buying gold, there is a big chance of the seller, trying to sell fake gold to you. The whole idea of selling gold jewelry in fake gold, is that they get the price for the real gold and also get to keep it. You have to be smart enough to find the difference between real gold and the fake polished version of it if you are making a gold investment. Here are some tips : Gold is heavy when it is held in the hand, thus, if the gold which you are purchasing doesn’t feel heavy be suspicious, There has to be a hallmark on real gold. It is very tiny and found most often on the clasp, hence you will need an eye glass to see it clearly, You can check if it shows magnetic properties by holding it up before a magnet. If the gold gets attracted to the magnet, then it is not real gold, as gold doesn’t have any magnetic effects.

  108. David Peterson

    I think gold and silver is a great investment. By far the best!!
    Silver maple bullion: 2 dollars over spot/ Silver eagles at $2.25 over spot
    I think silver greatly under value due to the price of gold and the history of precious metals.
    These are great prices I buy them for myself.

    David P

  109. Anonymous
  110. Richard

    Greg,

    There are companies out there like Karatbars, Ltd that sell 1 gram 2.5 grams and 5 grams of gold that are actually small bullion bars sealed on a laminated card with a certification LBMA. ( web site http://www.karatbars.com to see a picture). I know they have an MLM business opportunity with their company but they also just sell you the gold without getting involved with the MLM side. Is this a good deal to buy the pure gold in these small quantities sealed on a laminated card? It would seem that if gold did go to $4,000 an ounce, having these small tradable quantities would be an advantage. After all this is pure .999 gold and coins are only .90 gold are they not ?

    • Greg Hunter

      I would not buy gold this way. 90% is immaterial when it comes to Gold Eagles. You are buying ounces and Eagles are minted to exacting amounts. If you want small increments then buy silver Eagles of “junk” silver if you can find it. Here’s a post I wrote because so many people asked me how to buy gold and silver. I do not sell investments of any kind and that includes physical gold and silver. I do think everyone who can afford it to hold Au and Ag as a core asset. How much is up to you but look at it as insurance and not a trade. Here’s a link: http://usawatchdog.com/how-to-buy-gold-and-silver/

      Greg

  111. Bob Pfaffinger

    Greg, When I clicked on the link to where to buy gold and silver coins, the only source
    that came up was Kitco. You mentioned three sources?

    • Greg Hunter

      Bob,
      I only have one place and that is the link posted. I am going to have a new sponsor (the first actually) to this page. It is Discount Gold and Silver Trading Co. It took a long time to find someone who I thought was fair and honest to sponsor this page. Try them as well. Here’s their link: http://www.discountgoldandsilvertrading.net/ They will talk to you on the phone and will not try to upsell you. Let me know how they do.
      Greg

  112. Mike

    Thanks Greg, I’m just getting into precious metals. Your article was extremely helpful. Question though. If you are purchasing both Gold and silver coins, my choice is American Gold and Silver Eagles, what would your advise be as to what % should be Gold and what % should be silver. At the present time I am working in ounces. 1 ounce of Gold to every 16 ounces of silver. Total worth being 35 percent of my total retirement portfolio. I am working on a 10 year investment commitment in gold and silver before I retire at 70. Any suggestions would be helpful. Again a great article.

    • Greg Hunter

      Mike I like your “1 ounce of Gold to every 16 ounces of silver” plan. Some say that silver will vault much higher than gold. Some contend it have been suppressed more other’s say there is a lot less than people think because it has bee used up. (Gold cannot be used up or destroyed.) You might want to bring that down closer to 1Au to 10Ag if you want to jump into that camp. Still, What you are doing seems like you cannot miss.
      Greg

  113. Mike

    Hi Greg, Thanks for your advise. Tried talking to my retirement investor and all he says is buy numismatic. Your advise on that issue seems more on target. Bullion is the way to go. I don’t have time to get into coin collecting. I want to keep my investment straight forward and to the point. Another question though. What is you perspective on platinum. I have been looking into The 1oz American Platinum Eagle and contemplating adding it to my portfolio. Some advise would be appreciated. Again thanks for the advise. You have really been a help in getting me adjusted into this field.

    • Greg Hunter

      Numismatic is great if you know what you are doing and know what you are buying. If you don’t just go with bullion. You are making a “money” play here and platinum has never been money. This is pure speculation. I would not bet the farm on Platinum but you could hold a little. I think both the U.S. and the UK make a platinum one ounce coin.
      Greg

  114. Mike

    Thanks Greg. You have given me a lot of sound direction. I will stick with Gold & Silver for now and keep with my battle plan. I have also decided to go with your advice of 1 gold to 10 silver. It will help me to jump into the main stream and the added benefit of not storing a lot of silver will be helpful also. By the way I had an opportunity to look over the long list of Email correspondence attached to this article. All I can say is that you have the wisdom of King Solomon and the patience of a saint. Keep up the good work. I will keep you informed as to how my investment is going. Thanks again. Mike Pongracz.

    • Greg Hunter

      Mike,
      One last thing, take direct control and tell as few people as possible.
      Greg

  115. Mike

    Hi Greg, O, yes! I understand that concept very well. I have direct control over all my investments and am aware of what I have and where it is going. Again thanks for all your help. Mike P.

  116. Lisa researching buying jewelry on ebay

    This is a handy guide. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  117. Buying Gold

    Great post! Been reading a lot about buying gold. Thanks for the info here!

  118. Jennifer

    Hi Greg, I’m a beginner from the UK looking to invest in some precious metal, either gold or silver. Does your advice apply for the UK also and where would I go to learn more? I’m considering getting a kilo bar of silver.

    Thanks

    Jen

    • Jennifer

      Or a diamond or two, half a carat to a carat

    • Greg Hunter

      Jen,
      No on the kilo bar. Buy coins. I do not sell gold or silver but I have had so many questions I wrote a post on how to buy a few years back. Here’s the link:http://usawatchdog.com/how-to-buy-gold-and-silver/ You can also find this post under my picture on the site.
      Greg

      • Dave Murphy

        Jen / Greg,

        Firstly Greg, a million thank you’s for your brilliant website, which I and many others I know watch and read regularly. I appreciate the service you provide and effort and risk it takes. Please keep it up, I’ve no doubt you will continue to go from strength to strength.

        Secondly, and in relation to Jennifer’s question I hope its OK if I plug my website, which I believe is highly relevant to her question. We cover exactly what a UK precious metal investor should do. Please see here,

        http://preciousmetaltax.com/uk-tax-resident/

        the most common questions from our UK readers seem to be, Which coins are Capital Gains tax exempt? How to avoid VAT on silver coins? and also, How to go about legally change tax residency to avoid HMRC entirely?

        Cheers,

        Dave

  119. Rob

    Hi Greg
    I bought silver dime junk coins. Many of the dimes are in good condition but some are badly worn. If the time came where I wanted or needed to use them as money would the badly worn coins be of less value because they would contain less silver content. Would one possibly get into having to actually weighing each coin?
    Thanks much, Rob

    • Greg Hunter

      Rob,
      I do not think that will be the case. Junk silver is a multiple of face value. Maybe if the price was $1,000 per ounce, you might have to weight each coin but I still think it will be valued on a multiple of face value. That’s how it is has always been done.
      Greg

  120. Steve

    Hi Greg,

    I’ve bought gold proof coins directly from the U.S. Mint. Aren’t the proofs that I buy the same numismatic rating, as say, a MS65? If not, why?

    • Greg Hunter

      Steve,
      I don’t know that for sure as I am not a fan of proofs. The reason being is I think the premium is way too much relative to bullion. That said proofs are usually MS69 or MS70. I don’t know much about the proof or numismatic market. (Anyone else care to take a shot.)
      Greg

  121. Mary Harris

    I’ve seen that some coins are “certified” on ebay and that the certification can be by different places. There is also a grade given for some coins which I understand to be the quality of the coin. When buying coins should these be two things I should look for, or does it matter? I’m concerned about getting counterfeit coins, how can I be sure I’m getting authentic coins?

    • Greg Hunter

      Mary,
      So many people have written me to ask how to buy gold that I wrote a special post: http://usawatchdog.com/how-to-buy-gold-and-silver/ Do not buy anything until you read this. I hope you took the time to do it, and yes I know it is long. I DO NOT sell gold or silver of any kind. That said I do have a good sponsor located on the bottom of this page I think is fair and honest. The short answer to buying gold and silver is just buy bullion, meaning the metal. Forget about “certified” or “proofs” or anything else. Just buy the metal. It took me a few years before I would allow this page to be sponsored. Lot’s of crooks approached me, but I settled on the folks at the bottom of the page. I think they are fair and honest. That said, you can also do business with a local dealer in your area. Also the sponsor put out a really good post you can get for providing your email. I think it is titled “12 things you need to know before you buy from anyone.” or something link that. They will not spam you. I hope this helps you.
      Greg

  122. I HAVE JUST RETIRED FROM THE USMC AND I AM A COMPLETE NOVICE TO BUYING GOLD OR SILVER. I PREFER THE GOLD AND SILVER EAGLES THAT YOU MENTION. BUT WHAT IS THE THE ACTUAL COMMISSION THAT A BUYER MAKES WHEN YOU USE THEM TO BUY YOUR SILVER AND GOLD FROM A BIG PRECIOUS FIRMS LIKE LEAR CAPITAL OR ROSLAND CAPITAL? ARE THEY CONSIDERED A THIRD PARTY?
    OR SHOULD I BUY THE COINS MYSELF AND STORE THEM IN THE SAFE THAT I HAVE AT HOME?
    AND I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK-YOU FOR YOUR ARTICLE TO WAKE UP AN OLD FORMER MARINE.

  123. GREG I APOLOGIZE THAT IN MY LAST REPLY I FORGOT TO ASK YOU IF I SHOULD TURN MY IRA OVER TO A LARGE PRECIOUS METALS FIRM AND PAY THE TAXES ON THEM? OR SHOULD I TAKE THE IRA AND PUT THEM INTO MY BANK ACCOUNT AND BUY THESE COINS SEPARATELY MYSELF? I WOULD STILL PAY THE TAXES. BUT I WOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY ANY PENALTY BECAUSE I AM NOW 100% DISABLED.
    ONCE AGAIN GREG I WANT TO THANK-YOU FOR YOUR HONESTY IN YOUR ARTICLE’S BUT I SHOULD ALSO WARN YOU THAT A FORMER MARINE IS A REAL “PAIN IN THE ASS” JUST LIKE MY WIFE SAY’S” BUT SEMPER FI AND THANKS AGAIN.

    • Greg Hunter

      Jim,
      If you decide to do this I personally would put get direct control of my money. Please keep all receipts. You probably need some cash inside and outside the banking system too. Please don’t cut yourself short and be prepared to ride the market up and down. I am not a money manager. This is my opinion if you decide to sell your stocks.
      Greg

      Greg

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