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  1. Yeah you'll be fine re: fakes if you buy from major dealers. But you're losing money buying from those particular dealers, especially APMEX. It's important to pay the lowest price. Silver.com and SD Bullion almost always have the lowest prices. It's also worth looking at Gainesville Coins and BOLD Precious Metals.
  2. The US Postal Service publishes its commercial pricing, and this year they merged their two classes of commercial pricing (Base and Plus). I think negotiated rates are only available to extremely large scale shippers. I know Amazon negotiated their rates with the USPS, but I'm not sure what the volume threshold is for that. I'll find out. There might be discounts available through certain shipping software providers.
  3. I forgot to mention that you can also prevent tarnish with 3M anti-tarnish strips and tabs. They absorb the ambient sulfur that causes tarnish, and they work. They're cheap. This example costs less than 8 cents per tab: https://www.amazon.com/3M-XTL-VKIT-00-Square-Anti-Tarnish-Paper/dp/B00CH92AHI/ Amazon has lots of different 3M tabs, and coin supply outfits carry them too. The way you use them is to just put the tabs inside whatever bag or container your coin is in. Some people throw them in the mint tubes. They're used similarly to desiccants, but specifically for sulfur, not moisture. There's also the Intercept Shield family of products. Wizard Coin Supply carries them, as do others. They're bags, coin holders, and albums, all with a material designed to soak up the sulfur in the air that causes tarnish. This is like having the 3M tabs built into various containers.
  4. No, never, ever use brasso or dips on bullion. Silver tarnish is easy to clean with the aluminum foil and baking soda method (and a bit of salt). I detailed my refinements to the method in another thread. It works very well, so there's no need to use brasso or dips. That stuff is better suited for silverware and miscellaneous silver household objects, not bullion.
  5. Silver tarnishes easily. I kept my Maples in a sock drawer and they tarnished after about four months. I was stunned, and disappointed. Now I keep them all in sealed Ziploc bags, the snack size ones.
  6. Hi all – I'm curious to know the cost of shipping monster boxes of silver, both within the US and between the US and UK. Have any of you done it, or gotten a quote? I could price out a similar shipment on the websites of various carriers, but I'm not sure how large precious metals shipments are normally handled. Do dealers use the likes of FedEx, UPS, and DHL for such shipments? I wasn't sure if more specialized high-value shippers were used (Brinks?), or if it's just a matter of tacking some third-party shipping insurance onto a regular carrier shipment. If any of you have some insight into how dealer to dealer or wholesale shipments work, I'd be glad to know all about it. I'm curious because I'm thinking of getting into the business but the silver bullion prices I'm seeing in the US don't make any sense to me, not if shipping is factored in. Example 1: Silver.com is selling Silver Eagles for $17.86 in small quantities, and the price only gets lower as quantities increase. The US Mint sells Silver Eagles to its distributors for a flat $2.00 over spot. Assuming a spot price of $15.00, that's a combined markup of 86 cents (!) A little more if we assume silver spot was a bit lower than $15.00 when the distributor bought them. Still, that combined markup by both the distributor and Silver.com (who is not a US Mint distributor – they had to buy them from one) is absurdly low even ignoring shipping. I assume the shipping from the US Mint to the distributor isn't cheap. The minimum order is 25,000 ounces, so 50 monster boxes. If there's also gold in the order, there might be more than a million dollars worth of metal, and I assume specialized high-value shippers are used. (There's probably no shipping between the distributor and Silver.com because the distributor in this case handles fulfillment for Silver.com.) Example 2: Silver.com sells Britannias for $17.26 (again in small quantities – the price only goes down from there). This is $2.65 cheaper than the BullionByPost price in the UK (before VAT!), which makes no sense at all. Silver.com is not an official distributor of the Royal Mint, so they have to buy Brits from such a distributor. Britannias have to be shipped across the pond to the US, which I assumed was very expensive. Silver is heavy and bulky, and somewhat valuable. I don't know what the Royal Mint charges for Brits, but I assume it's at least a dollar over spot, maybe a pound over spot. Maybe more. $17.26 doesn't make any sense given that it had to be shipped from the UK to the US, then shipped again from the US distributor to Silver.com, and profit margins need to be added. Is shipping silver in bulk a lot cheaper than I assumed? Cheap enough to come in under 30 or 40 cents a coin? Thanks for your thoughts.
  7. Thanks. I'm the person who put some of that information on the Wikipedia page yesterday. I don't know what sizes are produced currently though.
  8. Hi all — I thought the Silver Pandas came in various sizes, but all I'm finding is the 30 gram size. I thought there were half ounce, five ounce, and kilogram sizes, and more. Are those still produced? Also, regarding the 30 gram size, it appears that it was introduced in 2016, replacing the 1 troy ounce size. (A troy ounce is 31.1034768 grams exactly, due to the International Yard and Pound Agreement.)
  9. Good idea! Also, like that other person said, Eagles tend to hold their value, their premium, so even though they cost more than Maples and Britannias they sell for more too. (And lots of people think they're gorgeous.)
  10. You're talking about the free shipping thresholds? Silver.com will still be cheaper much of the time – you just have to do the quick math. I think they only charge five bucks or less for shipping. It's also worth checking BOLD Precious Metals and JM Bullion. I forgot to mention those. JMB owns Silver.com and has free shipping on orders over $99.
  11. If you're trying to maximize value why are you buying graded, slabbed coins? It must have cost many dollars over spot. TheUS Mint charges its distributors a fixed $2.00 per ASE over spot. This sets the floor for their price. Whatever you do, whatever you buy, it's critical that you don't overpay. If you overpay, you kill your margins and you might as well light your money on fire. The key to not overpaying is to buy from the lowest price dealers, like Silver.com, SD Bullion, and occasionally Gainesville Coins or BGASC. Provident will very rarely have the lowest prices, and APMEX never does unless there's a big sale or something. Lots of people overpay. If you can avoid overpaying you've got a shot at preserving value and even making a profit.
  12. Hi all – Queen Elizabeth's reign began long before any of the modern bullion coins existed (she ascended in 1952). I was curious to know what to expect when the Queen passes, since we've never experienced such a change and she's 93 years old. Will the various Royal Mints (Britain, Canada, Australia) switch to King Charles' profile the very next calendar year? Will there be years of Queen commemoratives instead? I suppose whatever they do would apply to all coinage, not just bullion issues.
  13. Here I am. I hate one person one vote because most people have no business voting or having political power. And I don't fall into any of your silly categories. Philosopher Jason Brennan's new book "Against Democracy" is worth reading. Communism and socialism definitely do not look good on paper. I despise the popular notion that they "work in theory" or that they somehow represent noble ideals. Communism and socialism are the most evil ideologies I know of.
  14. I don't know. I don't even know if it's true, or what counts as hoarding. Central banks have always had some amount of gold. My point was that most people don't care about gold and silver. I mean, hardly anyone buys bullion. And I think the market is shrinking as older folks die off. My impression is that young people, Millennials or whatever, are much less likely to think about or buy bullion. Maybe a great Super Bowl commercial would change things, but the major online dealers don't seem to be trying very hard to grow the size of their market with that kind of marketing. The people who are really making money and getting rich are focusing on creating value in new ways, and most of them don't seem to care about gold either. Well maybe they add it to diversify once they're rich, something like 5 percent of a portfolio is what I hear.
  15. You're likely to get the best prices from online dealers, especially those that offer free shipping. Local coin shops tend to be more expensive, and their selection is usually quite poor. The lowest priced dealers are Silver.com and SD Bullion. 99% of the time one of those two will have the lowest price for any given product. I did some price comparisons in this article. The relative standing of the dealers tends to be stable, so the article is still fruitful. Other dealers to check out are BOLD Precious Metals and Gainesville Coins. Forget about APMEX if you want good prices.