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About Pete

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    North of London
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    Stacker & Collector

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  1. Tarnish is primarily caused by sulphur compounds that form silver sulphide which if the layer becomes thick enough looks black. Very thin layers that appear gradually form interference layers for light, like oil on water, showing different colours and patterns according to the molecular thicknesses across the coin or bar. Some call this patina and some love it but I hate it personally as silver should be bright and shiny. Let's just call it "rust" to be blunt as it is a chemical compound like an oxide. Hydrogen sulphide, a gas, is in the air and unless you live in an extremely clean-air environment, industrial pollution, car exhausts, decaying food, smoke etc will create sulphur based gases and contaminants ( on your skin for example ) that will react over time with your pristine silver. Fine silver is less susceptible to tarnishing than sterling silver. Bonfire night is an example of creating a lot of atmospheric pollution, as are open fires, wood burning stoves and smoking cigarettes. Some industries pollute the air and the particulates ( do you smell anything industrial in your air ? ) carry for tens of miles. Silica gel will not prevent tarnishing but I place a small bag of this desiccant in a container just to keep out moisture. As for milk spots & stains this is a huge topic mentioned elsewhere and is like a disease of silver created in some mints more than others. If your coins are milk spotted then the only way of removing the stains is to use a polish and fine cloth to remove by buffing. This will introduce microscopic fine scratches or affect the metal surface so it will look different but bullion coins are just that and look awful when stained and spotted rather than bright and shiny.
  2. Probably not since the NSA will already know the full details ... only kidding !! I thought you folks in the USA got bottomless opportunities to buy and sell stuff without paying taxes, adding deductibles for cars, boats and aeroplanes against taxable income.
  3. Pete

    Lighthouse or Air-Tites?

    Airtites seem to have a more robust clear plastic and less prone to scratches. Lighthouse with rims don't look good but they are easy to open. The rimless Lighthouse look good so depending on price go either rimless or Airtite. Noted that you are storing Perth Mint coins in tubes without their original capsules. Not recommended as you may scuff your coins over time. I would keep them in their caps and buy a coin tube suited for the size of caps. Re- black rings inside caps. I am suspicious about there being some agent in the black ring that accelerates toning. Does anyone have any knowledge ? Just noting that in Britannia proof sets the smaller coins tone badly but not the larger coins. All are in black ring caps but the amount of 'toning agent' relative to the surface area of the coin means it would be more concentrated on the smallest coins. I am currently using black ringed caps for my Beasts and starting to become a little concerned as one seems to be loosing its brilliant shine turning slightly yellow/ gold.
  4. Pete

    atkinsons have you noticed

    Like many of us 'old timers' but as the price keeps falling so the pile seems to get even higher.
  5. Pete

    Three Fakes - from London Coin Show

    Can you share a bit more specific data about the alleged fake Kook. Overweight - what is the weight ? Are the dimensions right ? I imagine a good fake will have the correct diameter so if it is overweight then it must be too thick - right ? The magnet test to me isn't definitive so a specific gravity test would be interesting. Year and pictures ??
  6. This is a very good offer to those who need it and a credit to @BackyardBullion for providing this invaluable service to the forum.
  7. Pete

    Hello everyone from neilsmithcoins

    Hi Neil, I just found your website. Welcome to the forum and as such be prepared for direct questions, praise and / or criticism in future ( some forum members can be pretty brutal if things go wrong ) so let me start with a general question that I haven't asked anyone previously. I noticed you stock a wide selection of gold proof coins and coin sets. May I ask how a dealer like you decides your sales price - market research, opportunity, rarity, .. ?? Why I ask this is because we know our popular gold suppliers like HGM and Atkinsons operate on low margins buying & selling bullion coins ( in the door, out the door and don't touch the sides !! ). However when proofs come up, and now I include BullionbyPost, the margins can be eye-watering. After asking BbP to quote me for buying a special FDC proof gold coin, boxed and certificated with very low mintage, I was shocked to learn that they only paid bullion prices. I would like to believe that a dealer decides on a business margin, sets a target sales price and thereby is willing to pay a higher price for a proof or proof set. Is this the case ? Hopefully that would mean a dealer would consider paying a fair price for say a Britannia or Sovereign proof set rather than just 98% of spot, especially if intending to sell at up to twice spot. I realise that a dealer might end up having to stock proofs longer than they are comfortable with, especially with the fluctuations in metal price but if people could 'generally' buy proofs at say 15-20% over spot then maybe a dealer would buy at 5-10% over spot. Just a thought. I am curious for a dealer's views ( brave to join this forum - 😀 ) since I might at some stage wish to unload some proofs and proof sets.
  8. Pete

    HGM "young head"

    Funny how HGM and BullionbyPost once-upon-a-time pre the Forum didn't differentiate price according to era on sovereigns and half sovereigns. It was just pot luck what you received and these companies were bullion dealers setting buy & sell prices based on weight and not much more. I got the impression that HGM would just send unsold coins to the furnace for melting into ingots. You could pick up a shield for 2% over spot but not any more. Times have changed and these former scrap metal ( albeit precious metals ) dealers have turned into coin shops and added premiums accordingly. Gone are the days of picking up a flawless boxed proof set from HGM for 5% over spot.
  9. Pete

    Gold Import- Paying/ Claiming back the VAT

    Unfortunately the web link I used 3 years ago to successfully appeal incorrect VAT on coins doesn't work any more. You can start here though - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-clearance-hub-for-goods-entering-leaving-or-transiting-the-eu I found their service very good and quite quick. I dealt with Coventry International Hub Border Force importing coins sent from Australia
  10. Pete

    Gold Import- Paying/ Claiming back the VAT

    There should not have been any VAT charged and the rules for gold are pretty clear. You can appeal the invoice on-line and you will be refunded. However you may still be faced with a post office fixed clearance fee which they charge for pre-paying ( on a computer ) your VAT. This would not seem fair since no VAT is due and that is their error so you should argue that there is no fee chargeable. This all assumes of course that the sender filled out correctly the customs declaration and description.
  11. Pete

    Bargain Silver proof coins - the way forward?

    Most sterling silver proof coins and commemorative issues are great looking coins many with highly polished fields. Also because the alloy is much more resilient than fine silver, they tend to be free of scratches and scuffs. I started looking out for bargains in this area a few years ago and got a few terrific looking coin sets and 5 oz sterling silver coins in boxes only to find they are only worth what you paid ( if lucky ) and if reselling on eBay, after fees you will not see a gain especially with silver being so low at present. Sadly, most sterling silver coins do not fetch any premium suggesting they are not in demand so can be bought relatively cheaply. If you have a once ounce sterling coin weighing 31.1g it will contain 28.77g of silver. If spot is £0.37 that equates to £10.64 give or take a few pence. There are numerous nice looking silver plated Cu-Ni coins in circulation and be careful that the description doesn't state 0.925 plated, coated or film. If the coin has a certificate it should state the alloy.
  12. Pete

    US Dealer Directory

    That would upset us Brits even more seeing the silver prices ..haha
  13. Pete

    🎅 Christmas Prize Draw 🎅

    Can I check the guidelines please as I cannot find answers having read every post - 1. Are winners excluded from subsequent draws ? I assume not, so every entry can win multiple prizes if lucky ? 2. By offering to donate several decent prizes can a member be allocated more than one entry ? I assume not as some donations are already very generous.