Latest Posts

Headlines Confirming Troubled Times Are Here

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

Some people see the Internet as an electronic world of wires and computers run at speeds measured in nanoseconds.  I tend to see the Internet as an electronic extension of human biology.  Sample enough of the Internet in the right places and you can get a snapshot of what people are generally feeling. One of my own readers, Alyce, commented recently, “It’s easy for people to become lulled into a false sense of security. (more…)

You Should Rent Instead of Own a Home

One of the headlines in yesterday’s USA Today read, “Foreclosures take biggest dive in years in November.” That would make you think things are getting better in the rent vs. buy arena. When you read the story, you realize things are just taking a breather and about ready to get worse.  Why does the mainstream media feel it has to spin stories to make the economy look better than reality?  I think this is a blatantly dishonest headline.  Why do I say that? (more…)

Everything is Under Control?

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

There are some big messages being put out by the government that appear to be for the sole purpose of reassuring the public that everything is under control.  Bernanke appeared on “60 Minutes” 10 days ago to tell the public that he is “100 percent” sure inflation is not going to be an issue, and that it’s a “myth” the Fed is “printing money.” I am not going to touch on the veracity of his statements.  (more…)

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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More on CBS, Bernanke and New Tax Law

Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

I want to share with you two videos that will surely enlighten and maybe even enrage you.  The first is from “The Daily Show.”  It seems a comedy show that repeatedly claims to do “fake news” was the only mainstream media outlet to call BS on Fed Chief Ben Bernanke’s BS.  Bernanke stated on “60 Minutes” last Sunday that the Fed was “not printing money.” (more…)

Greg Hunter On The Edge With Max Keiser

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

I was on French TV last week on a show called “On The Edge with Max Keiser.” Keiser is a former Wall Street broker with inside knowledge of  how fat cats claw out insane profits and rip off the public.  He had me on to talk about  the mortgage fraud and the securitized debt mess.  (more…)

CBS Allows Fed to Spread Disinformation Unchallenged

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

It appears the CBS TV show 60 Minutes is the Federal Reserve’s go-to place to get its message out to the country.  Fed Chief Ben Bernanke, basically, told America last night that the trillions he pumped out into the world economy, because of the 2008 financial meltdown, was necessary to save us all from a depression.  Ben also reassured America and the world Quantitative Easing (QE), or printing vast amount of dollars, will not have an inflationary downside.  He told 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelley he is “100%”sure inflation will remain under control and will not soar higher.  (more…)

Exposing the Fed’s Incompetence

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

The Federal Reserve made a stunning revelation this week.  It admitted to pumping $9 trillion into the economy because of the financial meltdown in 2008.  It provided overnight loans to big U.S. banks with most of the trillions of dollars deployed to keep the system from imploding.  Yes, the Fed is credited with saving the world from apocalypse, but how incompetent and corrupt does an institution have to be to let things get this far out of control?  This should not be considered as a grand victory but a magnificent failure. (more…)

Foreclosure Bombshell

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (revised)

With all the attention stories such as WikiLeaks and Irish bailout have gotten the last few days, a bombshell judgment against Bank of America in a New Jersey foreclosure case has been overlooked.  The judgment happened 2 weeks ago in a case involving the home of John T. Kemp.  His original mortgage company was Countrywide, but B of A bought Countrywide a few years back and, in turn, also acquired servicing rights to Kemp’s mortgage.    (more…)

Ireland Is Not Iceland

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

It is official.  Ireland was bailed out yesterday by the European Union with a financial package totaling more than a $112 billion.  This money bails out Irish banks but coincides with steep cuts in the Irish budget.   Marketwatch.com is reporting, “This program is absolutely essential for the country,” said Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen at a press conference in Dublin. “We have carefully considered all available policy options. (It’s) the best available deal for Ireland.” (more…)

What Is Really Behind QE2?

The article you are about to read is from Ellen Brown.  She writes a good post here, but I disagree with one of her main points.  She says Quantitative Easing (QE) will not cause inflation because of $15 trillion in write-downs in collateral and credit.”  To refute this, I quote Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman who said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.”  If a country could simply buy its own debt with zero downside, I say we should have been doing this all along. The rest of Brown’s article is very good and puts a clear focus on this round of QE.  She correctly points out it is being used to mainly finance the U.S. government over the next 8 months. (more…)

Is the TSA Out of Line?

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

When I Google the phrase “TSA outrage,” I find 2 million search results.  I can only view this as a black eye for the Transportation Security Administration.  I know these folks have a tough job trying to keep the country safe from terrorists, but who reins them in when they go too far?  What do I mean by too far? Some examples include being arrested by the TSA over applesauce, a bladder cancer survivor being left covered in urine after an aggressive pat-down at the airport and TSA child molestation – children being strip searched and fondled in public by agents.   If you do not submit to the radiation of full body TSA scanner images then you get the pat-down check from the TSA. (more…)

Banks Should Face Bankruptcy, Just Like GM

Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

General Motors started trading publicly last week in what is being called one of Wall Street’s most successful Initial Public Offerings (IPO) in years.  The automaker took in $20 billion selling newly minted shares of this iconic American company.  That is only part of the $50 billion price tag in the bailout, but letting GM go under would have been far worse. (more…)

As Banks Go, So Goes the Economy

Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair gave a speech to the securities industry in New York City this past Wednesday.  In her opening remarks, she said, “Now, as a tentative economic recovery continues to build, and as the earnings of banks and other financial companies begin to recover, we must resist the natural impulse to return to business as usual.    Instead, now is the time to carry through with our work to strengthen financial market practices and products and sharpen our approach to financial regulation.”  Apparently, the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) wants to do just that and return to fair market accounting. (more…)

What is America Thinking Coast to Coast?

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com  

I was on the nation-wide radio show, Coast to Coast AM, for 3 hours early Monday morning.  Ian Punnett filled in for the regular host, George Noory.  Punnett is a pro, and he guided me through many subjects I have been writing about for the past several weeks on USAWatchdog.com.  I write about the economy, politics and the mainstream media the most, and we covered them all in my interview.  The comments and emails in the last 24 hours have been massive and daunting.  (more…)