Author Topic: Advice on buying silver  (Read 4227 times)

Offline ConcoursRider

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Advice on buying silver
« on: September 13, 2012, 10:59:41 AM »
I've been wanting to buy silver for awhile now, but I don't know the best method of doing it. I don't want to walk into a coin store and get robbed, so I'm asking for buying advice. What should I look for when buying coins? How do I know if I'm getting ripped off? What online sites do you recommend? Anything that you can tell me would be appreciated. If there is a book you recommend, I'd be interested in that. I feel that I'm behind the "8 ball" big time and I'm a bit anxious about not having anything yet.

Thanks

-Chris
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Offline ID_Joker

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 12:27:39 PM »
I've been pleased with Gainesville Coins.  Jack has mentioned ApMex, but I've never personally used them.  TSP also has JM Bullion as a sponsor, but I've never used them either.  If you use reputable online sites, you shouldn't get ripped off.

As far as what to buy -- different people have different opinions regarding:  gold vs silver, 90/40% silver coins vs silver bullion, etc.  I'd say it's best to do a blend.

Hope that helps.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 12:33:54 PM »
My method of choice is face to face at the local coin shop.

I prefer real coins over rounds. This is not a universally held opinion.  ;)

U.S. silver coins 1964 and earlier. This site is a quick reference of current value.

http://www.coinflation.com/silver_coin_values.html

Most dimes, quarters and half dollars that do not carry additional collector's value can be had pretty close to spot. U.S. silver dollars tend to carry a little bit more premium.

Also, I like American Silver Eagles. These do carry the highest premium, generally $3-5 over spot.

Canadian Maple Leafs and Austrian Philharmonics are also good.

As far as on-line purchasing: http://www.apmex.com/ or http://www.jmbullion.com/ are good choices.
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Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 02:02:16 PM »
Too bad you didnt ask this question last month when silver was at around 27 dollars an ounce. Its up over 34 dollars today as I type this. Im like Texdaddy. I like 90% silver coinage and silver eagles. Call around to your local coin and pawn shops. See who is selling at the best rate and begin buying from them "face to face". Once you build a relationship with the shop you have choosen eventually you will get better prices and first dibs on stuff that comes in.
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Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 03:29:44 PM »
So if I understand this, anything 90% or more I'm good and I should request silver eagles as well.

Please humor me with this last question, so I did a search for silver eagles at Apmex and came up with this--> Silver Eagle Link

If I buy these, then I'm good?

Thanks a lot for the help. This is something I've been wanting to do this for awhile but wasn't sure about how to do it right.

-Chris
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Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 03:47:36 PM »
..Please humor me with this last question, so I did a search for silver eagles at Apmex and came up with this--> Silver Eagle Link

If I buy these, then I'm good?..
IMO, yes. Plus shipping of course.

So if I understand this, anything 90% or more I'm good...
'Coin silver' is 90% silver. All U.S. dimes, quarters, halves and dollars 1964 and before are 90% silver.
"I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain."

...A quote from the book 'Mataroda' comes to mind:
'To do more than your best is impossible, to do less is unthinkable'
WWCD = What would Cedar do?

Offline Outdoorfury

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 04:45:23 PM »
So if I understand this, anything 90% or more I'm good and I should request silver eagles as well.

Please humor me with this last question, so I did a search for silver eagles at Apmex and came up with this--> Silver Eagle Link

If I buy these, then I'm good?

Thanks a lot for the help. This is something I've been wanting to do this for awhile but wasn't sure about how to do it right.

-Chris

depends on how many you buy ;D
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Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 04:54:27 PM »
With APMEX there is also a discount if you pay by check rather than credit card. It takes a little longer to get the goods, because the check has to clear before they ship.

Yes, as Outdoorfury alluded, there are price breaks at different quantity levels.
"I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain."

...A quote from the book 'Mataroda' comes to mind:
'To do more than your best is impossible, to do less is unthinkable'
WWCD = What would Cedar do?

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2012, 10:59:29 PM »
Buy a couple silver eagles online tonight and by the time they get shipped to your house you'll only need silver to hit $47 / oz to break even. Except for a short spike last year into the $40's, from 1985 to 2010 it stays under $20 - with a majority of that period being under $10.


Offline Cordovil

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 12:32:08 PM »
Buy a couple silver eagles online tonight and by the time they get shipped to your house you'll only need silver to hit $47 / oz to break even. Except for a short spike last year into the $40's, from 1985 to 2010 it stays under $20 - with a majority of that period being under $10.

Obviously, you're not keen on silver as an investment right now. 

What do you think of the Fed's recent announcement of the QE-to-infinity-and-beyond?  Has the Fed ever done anything like that on a similar scale at any time in the past (i.e. during the time that silver was on average around $20 per ounce)? 

I share your skepticism about the fact that there may be a precious metals bubble right now, but the OP seems to be in a position where he has no investments in precious metals at all.

And to the OP -- is this money, that you are considering investing in silver, something that you could afford to be underwater on, as an investment, for 10+ years or more?  In other words, are you buying now for long-term wealth preservation, or are you thinking you might need to sell and use this money in the next 10 years or so?
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Offline Outdoorfury

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 04:17:51 PM »
Dont look at it in how much is my silver worth. Ask yourself "how many ounces do i have" and you will not staying up worrying about money.
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! - I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! Patrick Henry

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Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 05:53:40 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I'm hoping to start building my silver reserves within the next few weeks.
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Offline BillyG60

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2012, 08:37:42 AM »
I have used http://www.providentmetals.com/ as well as APMEX.
Prices seem to be about the same. I really like the wishlist feature on Provident.Load up what I want, the head to the local coin shop to see what his prices are.He seems to have most of the silver and gold that I want, and at just a tad more than what I can get them for online (after shipping is calculated in..)

I also believe that if/when the time comes to sell, The local guy will buy at a fair price.

Offline scoob

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 08:55:11 AM »
As far as finding a reputable dealer, I just googled gold & silver dealers in my town, and many of the results had business reviews or ratings.  Fortunately, the best one was one I'd heard good word-of-mouth reviews about, and just happens to be blocks from my house.

Offline arikinthecity

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2012, 08:48:45 AM »
If you feel that you are "robbed" when you walk into a coin shop then just walk away.  Same goes for car dealers, jewelry, <insert your random commodity non-essential product here>  .  You have all the power in the transaction.   The more they say they are not making any money on this deal the less you should believe.   When they ask you to leave you know that you hit a low price below their cost and they realize they can't rip you off. 

As I write this,  Silver is 34.49 /troy oz    and on ebay I am bidding 20-30 per US Silver Eagle coin.   Completed items search shows people are paying up to $40 per coin which is a $6 margin on top of the current spot price however that includes shipping in most cases.   After listening to Jack, I believe it is best to buy these or pre-64 quarters.   The reason is that I want to be able to use this for purchasing needed supplies if  the SHTF.   Foreign coins, jewelry, and other silver has to be weighed, tested and then negotiated.  For the US coins, most people will quickly trust their value and will be willing to make fast transactions knowing these cannot be counterfeit and have a recognized weight and value.   

Just bought a silver chain at a garage sale for $1,   current value of silver $120.

Offline burbot

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2012, 11:11:33 PM »
Didn't see this mentioned, so I thought it might be helpful.  If you are going to buy pre-1965 coins go to coinflation.com to check the current melt value.  Story below if you are interested:

I checked coinflation before a recent purchase of a few half dollars my daughter wanted and the melt value was a hair over $12.  I went to a coin shop I had visited a few times in the past and had very good luck doing business with, but the last time I was in there another customer was looking to buy some generic silver rounds and they wanted to charge him extra to pick from the tub they had instead of the store randomly grabbing the rounds (it was a decent dollar amount, not just one or two).  They had let me pick through the tub in the past no problem (I picked out a couple in sealed packages, some hunting/fishing ones, and a few Christmas styles for future gifts).  Something told me they bought a lot at the last high spot near $40 and now were being  forced to sell them in the $27-$29 spot range and were looking to pick up extra money any way they could.

My daughter had given me $40 and I told her I could probably get her 3 Franklin halves as she's a big Ben Franklin fan/admirer.  I asked the shop for the three halves and he checked his computer and said they'll be $17.95 each.  I told him no, I didn't care about dates or graded condition.  He went and talked to the owner or guy in charge and came back and said yeah, they'll be $17.95 a piece.  I said "really? Thanks, but I'm not interested".

I immediately drove to another coin shop a little further away that I'd also been to before with positive experiences and told them what I wanted.  The guy pulled out a small bucket, placed it on the counter and said "there you go".  I picked out 3 nice ones, he pulled out a pad to write the receipt and said that'll be $39.25.  I paid a little over a buck melt value which included at least 6.5% sales tax (depending on any additional local taxes).  More importantly I saved about $5 each (with tax the other shop would have been over $18.50).  Needless to say they are my new local coin shop.

Regardless of where you buy, know the current metal value of the item you are buying.  Good luck, I don't see how you will regret it long term.

Offline Prepper Recon

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2012, 11:37:23 PM »
I have bought and sold with Apmex. takes a while for the check to clear than ship, but never had an issue. I think Silver eagles or maple leaves are the way to go. Seems like the 90% coins have a higher mark up per ounce of silver than the .999 pure. (.9999 pure in the case of maples.) Shipping is around $20 per $1000 then it goes up around $5 per extra $1000 so the more you buy, the less the cost of shipping per coin.
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Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2012, 08:05:12 AM »
I have bought and sold with Apmex. takes a while for the check to clear than ship, but never had an issue. I think Silver eagles or maple leaves are the way to go. Seems like the 90% coins have a higher mark up per ounce of silver than the .999 pure. (.9999 pure in the case of maples.) Shipping is around $20 per $1000 then it goes up around $5 per extra $1000 so the more you buy, the less the cost of shipping per coin.


Really? I don't shop Apmex but locally the Silver Eagles have a higher markup, generic rounds are next highest, and 'junk coins' the lowest markup.  Example from a recent coin show (with MANY dealers) Eagles were $37.50 each, rounds were $36- $36.50 or so, uncirculated common coins were 26x face, and circulated coins were 25-25.5x face depending on how much negotiating you did.

Offline Erigorn

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2012, 09:30:28 AM »
I have used http://www.providentmetals.com/ as well as APMEX.
Prices seem to be about the same. I really like the wishlist feature on Provident.

I have done 3 seperate purchased from Provident Metals. They have always delivered. I found them to be cheaper than APMEX. They sometimes have discounted shipping codes as well (though not all the time)

I have never used a local shop (except going to a coin show one time) but based on some comments here I might need to look into it.

I think most would agree a mix is a good thing. Some 90% coins, some Silver Coins (American silver eagles, Canadian Maples, etc) and even some bars if you are going to store a lot of it.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2012, 12:43:49 PM »
I came late to the precious metal party and still am a bit skeptical, but have been making an effort to purchase some, just in case. I have only used APMEX, so far, because my local coin shops kind of give me the creeps and I don't like the idea of walking around with that much cash and worrying about who might be tailing me home.

APMEX ships fast and discretely and I have no complaints. I pay via credit card, which costs an extra 3%, but the convenience and added security is worth it, to me. They often will email specials and I try to take advantage of those offers to offset the credit card premium. Getting the absolute lowest price is not worth the expense in time and aggravation of shopping around, for me at least, so I'll be sticking with APMEX for now.
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Offline Rand McNally

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2012, 05:35:12 PM »
So I have been picking up a couple silver Maples Leafs on payday for a while.  I plan on holding them as a long term investment. 

My question is how high would the spot price have to go before you would recommend not buying.  I don't want to ride a bubble all the way up and am trying to figure out to stop buying.

Thanks

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2012, 09:23:21 PM »
Well, I have just kept on going. The last time it went up I just kept on buying and when the price dropped I just kept on buying, and I just keep on going on.

So, I am not the one to ask.  ;)
"I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain."

...A quote from the book 'Mataroda' comes to mind:
'To do more than your best is impossible, to do less is unthinkable'
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Offline tamo42

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2012, 10:47:09 PM »
So I have been picking up a couple silver Maples Leafs on payday for a while.  I plan on holding them as a long term investment. 

My question is how high would the spot price have to go before you would recommend not buying.  I don't want to ride a bubble all the way up and am trying to figure out to stop buying.

Thanks

The answer is: never.

The fundamental mistake people make is thinking of gold or silver as investments. They are not. They are savings.

It's a big difference.

When you trade federal reserve notes for silver, you are just converting currency. Just as a multinational corporation does business in multiple currencies, so will you. Amongst your Prepper network, you will probably buy and sell in silver. Otherwise you will just add to your stack as time goes on.

In the end, we know the current incarnation of the US dollar is going away. There are many ways this could occur, but the key to all of them is that the purchasing power of your precious metals will be *relatively* constant. That's the whole idea. You are saving your purchasing power for that calamitous time.

So how many dollars it takes to trade for silver is irrelevant in the long run. The key is that you do so with some portion of your dollars.
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Offline Griz

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2012, 01:59:58 AM »
I have used APMEX several times with no problems.  Like them on facebook and at times they run deals on single items like eagles or maple leafs, rounds, etc, (for about 24 hours).  Myself, I have about 1/2 maple leafs and 1/2 eagles.  Looking to get pre 1964 coins next.

Offline BritinNC

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2012, 02:39:08 AM »
I've bought from APMEX.COM on a regular basis since early 2008.  ASE's, Canadian Maples and fractional rounds.

I've never had a problem with price fluctuations or deliveries between placing my order and receiving the 'physical' 9which they insure within their shipping/delivery charge. 

If they have your choice in stock (which they will indicate before you commit to your shopping cart), then they've committed to sell it to you at the indicated price.

I have a 100% trust in them to deliver.  Your mileage may vary (but I sincerely doubt that you'll be disappointed)

I hope this helps ...


Offline racer038

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2012, 07:50:46 AM »
I have bought from www.apmex.com and www.the-moneychanger.com.  I trust both completely.  Never a problem.  Regarding local shops, I have done this:  Go to www.apmex.com.  Click on Silver, Silver coins, 90% silver generic bags, then look at $1 face value.  The cash price is my highest amount per $1 face value I will pay at a shop.  Local shops get in silver dimes, quarters and halvesand some old dollars.  They can turn them over and make real good %profit quickly by selling to you, today, for cash. You can use the APMEX price as your MAX, probably pay less and save on the shipping.  Most shops have internet.  Ask the guy to look it up for you. (Be careful not to pay 90% price for 40% silver!  Know the difference).  And don't buy anything with a collector's value.  Just don't do it.  Same process works for American Eagles, Buffalos, etc.  Just buy some.

Offline BandEAtoZ

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2012, 01:45:14 PM »
Just had my third order from Jm Bullion arrive. These guys do a great job and their price is hard to beat. Not the largest selection but what they do have they can ship to you sometimes $2 a coin less than APMEX. With your TSP Membership discount applied you basically get ½ price shipping. While I have used APMEX and have been very happy with their selecting and price, when I want Eagles or Maples, JMB is now my go to guys.

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Offline cheryl1

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2012, 02:16:16 PM »
I'm new to the whole silver thing, but starting next month I have a budgeted amount set aside for coins. Can someone tell me if there is any consideration besides cost to buying from a dealer vs. buying online? I am more than a little confused as to why anyone would pay shipping when the base price of the coins is comparable between both options. Perhaps our local shop is an anomaly, but online would be more expensive for me because of shipping. Plus it is no longer an anonymous transaction.
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Offline Deerfield Prepper

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2012, 03:53:00 PM »
In my area the local dealers are buying not selling. That should tell you something. Lol

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Advice on buying silver
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2012, 09:04:30 PM »
I vote local shop. My guy is buying and selling. He works on a fairly tight margin, so he likes to keep it moving.
"I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain."

...A quote from the book 'Mataroda' comes to mind:
'To do more than your best is impossible, to do less is unthinkable'
WWCD = What would Cedar do?