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Thread: Buy 1 oz. (or larger) silver bars for physical possession

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    Silver melts at 1763F. Good luck doing that over a standard camp fire! Mythology is amazing.


    But you can alloy silver into a melt at much lower temps if you know how to do it. Just like antimony.

    Bangerjim
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  2. #42
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    Soooo....FISH4BUGS, are you still there? I thought, that since you're seeking advice, I'd revisit this thread and cover two more things.

    The first is in response to one member who claimed that coins are just as easy to counterfeit as bars/ingots. Not true at all, not even remotely true.
    Making a bogus ingot just requires a mold to pour the metal into, coating the ingot with the precious metal, and putting convincing markings on the top. These will even pass an acid test where a drop of acid is placed on the surface and fails to discolor the metal, because the surface to which the acid is being applied is the genuine stuff. But, what's underneath? Lead? The only sure way to find out is to cut it open and/or melt it and pour a new ingot.

    Coins, on the other hand, have certain features that make counterfeiting much more difficult. The details of the pictures on the coins when examined under magnification must be exactly like other coins known to be genuine. Additionally, the lines around the outside edge of the coin must all be the same depth and regular in width and spacing. Actually, coins of only a couple of centuries ago didn't have the edge markings, and they were specifically added as an anti-counterfeiting measure. Further, a coin counterfeiter must possess a powerful stamping machine and the dies to strike the coins.

    One learns strange things in life, and just a couple of years ago I was watching "Pawn Stars". Rick Harrison was offered an American $20 gold coin. He examined it very closely under magnification and pronounced it genuine and ended up buying it. The customer was a bit taken aback, thinking that there could be no doubt about it's authenticity. Rick explained that the Chinese had actually counterfeited some of these coins, and it was an odd thing, because the counterfeit coins actually contained an ounce of gold; so the profit they were seeking to make was the difference between the gold value of the coin and a numismatic coin.

    That word "numismatic" brings us to the second thing I wanted to tell you about. Numismatic coins are collector coins, made before the U.S. Government discontinued minting them and basically outlawed the private ownership of gold. This law was, of course, rescinded when we went off the gold standard and began backing our currency with the "good faith and credit of the United States Government." However, the public was permitted to keep coins of collector value. So you'll run across the sales pitch from precious metals brokers that should this happen again, if you invest in numismatic coins you'll be allowed to keep them and thereby retain your nest egg. Why? "Because that's what happened before, that's why." Personally, I have never bought the argument because just because it worked that way last time doesn't mean that it will be that way next time. Then they'll tell you that if the government demands surrender of all non-numismatic coins and you keep and try to use your bullion coins, "why, you'll be a criminal!" Therefore, according to the coin salesmen, buying numismatic coins is the only really safe way to protect your investment.

    Well, as long as things perk along like they've been doing for the last about 100 years that is just fine -- buy your numismatic coins. As an example, you'll pay a premium for a $20 gold coin minted in 1898, but get the same amount of gold (and this applies to silver coins as well) as one newly minted in 2018. Then, if you find it necessary to sell some of your hoard back to a broker, you'll likely get a little less than you paid (proportionate to the economy at the time) but you'll have no trouble selling it. As for the bullion coin, you'll get the going rate for that amount of metal, as the bullion coins seldom have any value above that. But, now let's suppose the bottom falls out of the economy and your paper money isn't worth anything anymore, and the government finds it necessary to issue new money that is actually backed by precious metal the way it used to be, so that people will once again accept paper money. So the government repeats the historical precedent it did before and outlaws private ownership of gold. If they once again permit retention of numismatic coins you'll be o.k., but if not you'll lose your investment just as those holding bullion coins, because the coins surrendered to the government will be worth only the weight of the metal, and collector value be hanged. But if you're allowed to keep numismatic coins and not bullion coins then you'll have to make the decision about whether or not to be a black marketer. Personally, if I bought and own something I consider it to be mine, just like firearms, and the only way the government will get it is to find it and confiscate it. To my view, gold and silver will always be worth something, which is the weight of the metal. Numismatic value is an artificial plus value set by collectors and dealers and is subject to fluctuation and even complete loss. So, if you buy coins as an investment, you'll pay less for the bullion coins to start with, pay only for the value of the metal plus the broker's commission, hold onto them and watch the price and value increase over time, and you'll be able to buy more of the metal to begin with because you're not paying the artificial numismatic value.

    So, there's some additional thoughts on the subject.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    Soooo....FISH4BUGS, are you still there?
    Oh I can assure you that I am. I have taken all this in. I am starting to do research on companies and what to buy. I think the point of buying American Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs makes sense to me. You may pay a bit more up front but they are a known quantity. Bars could be anything....except maybe Englehard bars. But even those could be faked.
    I used to collect coins when I was a kid. Buffalo nickels, Indian head pennies, standing liberty quarters, mercury dimes.......when I was in junior high and high school (graduated in 1966) a few of those were still in circulation.
    I'm not looking to get rich here. I just want to put some money away that will ALWAYS have value.....unlike paper money. Take a look at Venezuela today. Or Germany in the 30's. Can't happen here? Don't count on it.
    My humble thanks to all for your advice and willingness to share your experience.
    Last edited by FISH4BUGS; 07-10-2018 at 04:58 PM.
    Collector and shooter of guns with selector switches and threaded barrels. Collector of suppressors, SBR's, AOW's and SBS's. Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  4. #44
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    There are a number of bars with advanced security built in, the problem with them is that relatively few individuals will have enough experience with them to make good use of them, so you’re back to not being sure if you can sell. In silver I have mostly Engelhard prospectors and large bars, and it is possible that there is a fake or two in the mix, but I highly doubt it as I’m pretty careful. Wish that I could buy them at 75% of spot, although I guess if someone was willing to sell at that price the risk of them being fake is much higher.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    Can you share with us some of your experiences finding counterfeit 1oz bars or rounds?
    I could go on ebay right now and buy 1,000 of them for $1 each and people do just that then they try to sell as real silver

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    There are a number of bars with advanced security built in, the problem with them is that relatively few individuals will have enough experience with them to make good use of them, so you’re back to not being sure if you can sell. In silver I have mostly Engelhard prospectors and large bars, and it is possible that there is a fake or two in the mix, but I highly doubt it as I’m pretty careful. Wish that I could buy them at 75% of spot, although I guess if someone was willing to sell at that price the risk of them being fake is much higher.

    There are a LOT of fake Prospector rounds out there!

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryB View Post
    There are a LOT of fake Prospector rounds out there!
    Yeah, I wouldn’t buy them from eBay. Most of the fakes are not especially good, they don’t need to be. I bought mine back when there were a lot fewer of these games being played, especially with rounds, but I will admit that I have a 100oz Engelhard bar that I think has been drilled.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    So how much are my 1oz coins of .999 fine troy silver worth?

  9. #49
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    The ridges and raised edge on coins are to prevent metal shaving. In the past an unscrupulous person could shave the edge of a coin back a little bit for the precious metal. Do a bunch of coins and you would have a fair pile of silver or gold shavings and most wouldn't notice the slightly smaller coin.

    I assume that is what is being done with a drilled ingot? A core of precious metal is drilled out and the cavity is filled with base metal while the hole is plugged with "real" metal so testing the surface yields "real" but the thief has taken several oz. out of the core. Sneaky eh? Only way to detect would probably be water displacement and weight to find if mass matches silver and weight matches stamped weight.

    Me I would rather have a pantry full of coffee and canned food than a sack of silver coins. I know I can get a can of soup if I have a can of soup. If stores have no soup it doesn't matter what I have for currency. Recall the Jews in the ghettoes by the end were bartering gems for a handful of potatoes or some bread. Pretty sure our black market would be no different. Having potatoes or flour or other useful items insulates you from the market.

    Precious metals are not generally a profit maker as much as they are a hedge against inflation. More profit in stocks but stocks are not going to protect assets from inflation.
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    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
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  10. #50
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    So how much are my 1oz coins of .999 fine troy silver worth?
    Google is your friend. Do a search for “spot price of silver”.

    Last time I looked today it was $16.07/troy ounce.

    Your coins shoud be worth spot + anything above that you can get. If they are assayed and sealed in certified marked plastic containers, that would bring a premimum price......with a metals dealer.

    Bangerjim

  11. #51
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    Buy 1 oz. (or larger) silver bars for physical possession

    Quote Originally Posted by BrassMagnet View Post
    Consider junk silver.
    This is what I typically buy. Yes, it’s not 100% pure silver. But it has the lowest premium over spot. You’re typically paying the spot price which you won’t be able to do w/ any other forms. APMEX usually has all types of junk silver for sale.

    If you want to buy .999 pure then stick to US Silver Eagles and Canadian Silver Maple Leafs. These are known quality and available for bulk purchase. Stick w/ the bullion coins for this. You can buy proofs but unless they’re graded you’re paying extra for no reason.

    Numismatic coins are another investment. But you have to know what you’re looking at. All the silver eagles I buy are numismatic. You pay a premium up front. But I can walk into any coin shop and they have a known value. For low mintage coins they’re an investment. A lot of people are turned off because at the end of the day it’s still just an ounce of silver. But even a graded standard mintage silver eagle gains value year over year. Search eBay for “silver eagle PF70” and start looking. Like I said, you have to know what you’re looking at but numismatic coins have additional value. But like anything. The person buying has to be willing to pay.

    One last thing and I haven’t had time to read every post so someone else may have said it. Bars can be easily shaved. Coins can’t be. I don’t buy bars, even from known sources, because of this. I will buy silver eagle bullion coins. They’re a guaranteed one Troy ounce of .999 fine silver.

  12. #52
    [QUOTE=GOPHER SLAYER;4407511]The Lone Ranger didn't seem to have any trouble and he cast over a small

    He didn't have any trouble outdrawing people who went for their hardware first, either.

    Gold is mined in gold mines, but silver tends not to come from silver mines. If the price is good, they mine gold in worse places or work harder, produce more, and the price eases up. If the price is low, the more difficult or less remunerative mines cut back, and the price rises. There isn't really such a thing as a glut of gold, or a serious shortage. Prices are governed only by feelings of instability (inflation and/or political), or a boom in other commerce which inflates the demand for jewellery.

    Silver is a byproduct, mostly of the lead which is used for batteries, roof flashing, bullets etc. So production is governed by the demand for lead. A glut or shortage of silver can happen, with the result that the price is more volatile.

    This seems to suggest that gold is the right investment if you might have to sell at some definite but unpredictable point in time, probably of crisis. Silver is the one to get a big return by buying cheap and waiting for an advantageous time to sell for profit.

    A disadvantage of silver is that it is easier to fake. No matter how you dilute gold or electrodeposit it on an ingot of base metal, it is going to have a reduced specific gravity, that of pure gold being greater than almost anything but mercury or uranium, both of which have their disadvantages for fakery. The traditional goldbrick-man's plated lead shouldn't fool anybody. Weigh your ingot dry and then suspended in water, and the dry weight divided by the difference between them is the specific gravity. Silver, however, can be mixed with or deposited as a layer on base metal with a convincing specific gravity.

  13. #53
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Why I NEVER buy silver bars!!

  14. #54
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    I make rings from old silver coins. The process requires me to punch out the center of the coins. I end up with quite a few coin "dots" that are 90% silver.

    I have started refining this "scrap" to a level of purity approaching 99.9%. I have poured several 1 oz bars with the thought of investment but after reading this, no one would trust that my refined silver was silver.

    Guess that is probably true. I will most likely dilute my "pure" silver to 92.5% and make sterling silver jewelry from it. Hope people believe it's really sterling.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recaster View Post
    I make rings from old silver coins. The process requires me to punch out the center of the coins. I end up with quite a few coin "dots" that are 90% silver.

    I have started refining this "scrap" to a level of purity approaching 99.9%. I have poured several 1 oz bars with the thought of investment but after reading this, no one would trust that my refined silver was silver.

    Guess that is probably true. I will most likely dilute my "pure" silver to 92.5% and make sterling silver jewelry from it. Hope people believe it's really sterling.
    Apmex Kitco buy scrap. They will test it after you send it in and pay spot minus whatever impurities minus a fee...

    Or pour a fancy bar with a logo and sell on ebay as hand poured 1oz bars... they will sell at spot...

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recaster View Post
    I make rings from old silver coins. The process requires me to punch out the center of the coins. I end up with quite a few coin "dots" that are 90% silver.

    I have started refining this "scrap" to a level of purity approaching 99.9%. I have poured several 1 oz bars with the thought of investment but after reading this, no one would trust that my refined silver was silver.

    Guess that is probably true. I will most likely dilute my "pure" silver to 92.5% and make sterling silver jewelry from it. Hope people believe it's really sterling.
    You definitely have some nice paperweights there. That is about all they are worth unless they are assayed by a legitmate dealer/metals house and legitimately stamped/marked. And that processing will come right off the spot price which (in my educated opinion) is a little above pocket change value.

    I do not mess with silver anything any more. I only stick with old $20 gold coins (St Gaudens). Beautiful coins!!

    If anyone plans on investing in gold, be sure you get the real stuff IN YOUR HANDS, not some paper certificate some company somewhere sends you saying it is “in their vault’. If you can’t touch, hold, handle the gold, you don’t really own it. And why pay some bozo clown company storage fees for YOUR gold.

    There are many various ways to invest in precious metals. Some are far superior to others!!!!! Do your research.........WELL.

    Good luck in your investing plans in the precious metals markets.

    Bangerjim

  17. #57
    Boolit Mold
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    Well I sell the rings for a fair profit, the dots are just something I'm messing with.

    I have made rings from 1/2 oz and 1/4 oz gold coins. Beautiful. I still have the dots unaltered. They are 22 karat and probably worth their weight in gold

  18. #58
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    This is the place I have used for years. Their prices and selection are good. I have never had a problem.

    https://www.jmbullion.com/

    There are too many options to go into great detail. I have some 1 ounce bars, some silver coins, silver rounds and partial silver U.S. Currency coins. Go the site I linked and see what past years' silver Liberty coins go for. There is both the silver content and the rarity factor whereas you won't get that with just your bars or rounds.

    When/if I buy again I would go coins. Here is a link to the coins - note the Liberty American Silver Liberty. I have some from other places as well including Great Britain and Canada among others. Look around on the site and see what older Liberty coins go for.

    Whatever you do, if you buy silver, buy from a reputable place. JM is very good as other others - I have used Provident and AMPEX but much less than JM. When it is time to buy I open the sites to all of them and start finding the deals. JM nearly always comes out on top unless there is something a bit unusual.

    Hope this helps

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post

    Precious metals are not generally a profit maker as much as they are a hedge against inflation.
    There you have it folks. Look at the price of about any commodity in the late 1800's. Compare quantity you could buy for an ounce of gold against what you can get for the same ounce of gold today. Having said that, I purchase precious metals from time to time. Not necessarily as an investment but as a hedge against inflation. I have silver I purchased in the 80's, that factoring in inflation I'm coming up a bit short. If I had stuck that same money under the mattress, my 1980's $500 would be worth less than half that today.

  20. #60
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    I always chuckle at guys that hoard gold or sliver for **** situations. If things really to that bad there not going to be worth squat. What is really going to be valuable is food, water, guns, knives and ammo and TOILET PAPER! What good is gold if theres no where to spend it? Lead? well it would be worth something to me because I could cast bullets but truth be told I probably couldn't shoot up all the bullets I have casted already on the shelf and surely wouldn't be out target practicing or plinking anymore. the average guy has no use for lead what so ever. If they did you sure would look funny trying to escape civilization with a 1000 lbs of lead in your back pack! To make money maybe Gold but you had better hope the economy stays stable. If I had foresight I could have made a killing selling 22lr shells over the last 5 years. Could have bought bricks for 9.99 and saw them sell for as much as a 100 bucks. Ar15s? Same thing. I saw prices double overnight but you would have had to know when to dump them too because today that 600 dollar ar you bought 10 years ago and could have sold for a grand when he scares came is can be built for 375 bucks. If I had to predict the future and really wanted to invest I something that might make big gains and surely wont go any lower it would be cheap ar15s. An ounce of gold would buy you 3 of them. You could stick them under the bed, use them to defend your family or hunt with and if **** they probably would be worth the weight in Gold. Even if **** doesn't happen your sure not going to loose money. Selling them is as easy as going to the nearest gun shop and bottom line is you cant have fun with a chunk of gold.
    Last edited by Lloyd Smale; 07-14-2018 at 06:18 AM.
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