Silver, Gold and other Shiny Metals

Many people ask the question about buying or investing in Silver and/or Gold. That main question is, “Should I?” The answer is different for everyone. Much of the answer boil down to finances. How much money do you have to spend? The other question you need to ask is, “Why do I want to buy precious metals?” This answer is different for each person as well. Let’s take a look at the precious shiny metals and see what makes sense for you. Yes, I did say precious like Gollum obsessing over his ring.

First, it is unlikely you will get rich investing in precious metals. Unless you happen to buy a massive amount and the market spikes overnight and you sell it all, it is highly unlikely. So if you are looking for a quick way to make some cash, this is not it. Second, there are pros and cons for each type of metal. How much they go up or down in value over a period of time. For instance, Gold tends to be more stable while Silver can be more volatile. Palladium is cool because I like to say Palladium. Also, it is easier to trade Silver than Gold because of its value and most people don’t know what the heck Palladium is so they aren’t likely to accept it in trade and finding a Palladium dealer locally may be tough. Finally, you can collect for the value of the metal itself or the “melt value” or collect neat coins that hold intrinsic value or what its worth because it is old or rare or super neat-o.

Buying metal starts at the melt value which means what it is worth melted down. The saying, “  Worth its weight in Gold” is a good way to describe this. So if you melted down a Silver coin and weighed it, you would have the melt value. This is weighed in ounces, so the price per one ounce of the metal is its true value. This is the price you will see on the stock market as it goes up and down. Some people like to buy coins as a collector and this is called the intrinsic value of a coin. The melt value of the coin plus how awesome it is. Factors effecting the cool-ness range from the design on the coin and the age as well as mistakes that make it unique. Collectors are called numismatists.

There are also different types of these metals. Bullion is a generic term and typically refers to the metal by weight and comes in anything from coins to ingots or even fake bullets and hearts. The collector or intrinsic value is not just associated with coins, it also goes along with all the different types of bullion and how they look or the designs on them.

Silver is known to experience highs and lows more than other metals. I prefer silver because it is fairly cheap most of the time and most coins made before 1964 are made of 90% Silver. This makes it recognizable and easy to trade. You can buy an ounce of Silver at the time of this writing for around $20 an ounce. This is an affordable way to begin your collection. The ability to buy different coins and bars or even cubes and skulls makes it fun. I tend to stick to Silver Eagles or “junk silver” which are quarters, dimes and half dollars made before in 1964 or earlier. The reason I stay with these are two major reasons. One is that they are the most recognizable here in the U.S. The second reason is that they are less likely to be faked than other types.

Gold has been more reliable as far as the market value. This is not to say that it hasn’t had its own spikes but they are far less often and not as dramatic. Gold is expensive. As of this writing you can buy one ounce of Gold for $1292. Remember that you can buy 1/10 of an ounce coins in any metal if you want to buy it but cannot afford a whole ounce. Gold is counterfeited more often and it is fragile. The intrinsic value is harder to keep because Gold is a very soft metal and the coins or other types of bullion can be scratched and dented easily. I will say that when the price goes up you can make a whole lot of money if you are holding a nice amount of Gold.

An important thing to remember is that you want to buy bullion that is one troy ounce. The troy ounce is used for precious metals and weighs 10% more than the standard ounce. You are losing money if you aren’t buying your precious metals in troy ounces. Another very important issue is where you buy your precious metals. There are some good sites such as APMEX and Money Metals Exchange that are not only reputable and fair but will buy your precious metals back at a fair price.

Just like prepping, this is a long game. You won’t be able to buy supplies with Silver as soon as the SHTF. You may never be able to do that. So don’t think this is some full proof way to survive the apocalypse. I buy Silver to protect myself and family against the joke that is the Federal Reserve Note that is posing as a dollar. Silver and Gold will always be worth something. Always have, always will. There is a limited supply and it isn’t easy to get to. Do your research and decide what is best for you. Don’t believe all the drama but do think about how you can protect yourself and your money.

2 Comments

  1. Keep in mind that depending on WHO you but it from could effect the value as well. Its best to research before buying. Me personally I’ve never bought gold aside from my wife’s jewelry but every tiny piece that isn’t being used is now part of my stockpile as well as old broken computer processors. I use an aqua Regia method to extract it from said processors. In short if you can’t but stockpile another way!!!

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