Monday, November 4, 2013

Looking For Cheap Silver At Coin Shows

Before getting to the main topic of this post, a free promo for my newly revised A Guide to Buying and Selling Peace and Morgan Silver Dollars has been scheduled for November 7 and 8, 2013. If you have a Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows PC or Windows 8 tablet, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone and the free Kindle reading app for your device, you can download this eBook for $0.00 on these two days only. It is written for the casual investor of Peace and Morgan dollars as well as those persons who already may own some of these coins and don't have a clue as to their worth. I hope you are able to take advantage of this free 2-day promotion.

20 Crowns Turks and Caicos Commemorative Coin
One of the things I like to do when attending coin shows is to look for the one-off silver coins and bargain with the dealer for a good price. As you might guess, these are coins that are not well known which means the demand is low to non-existant and the dealer is willing to bargain so s/he can concentrate on the popular, higher-demand coins. One such coin I found recently is a 1993 20 Crowns silver coin from the Turks and Caicos Islands commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The obverse features the image of Queen Elizabeth II and the reverse has the image of an astronaut (Neil Armstrong) stepping on the moon from the Lunar Module. This is one of the more attractive silver coins I have seen and I could get it at the current spot silver price with no premium.

So far, so good. I found an attractive silver coin for a good price. But there is a potential problem with this coin without doing some homework. And that problem is that nowhere on this coin are markings to indicate the silver purity or troy weight. Without seeing a .999 (or .9999) purity marking plus some kind of weight designation, I could only assume it is a full one-ounce pure silver commemorative coin. So I asked the dealer to "prove" it was what I assumed it to be. And he was able to by showing me the coin details in a huge reference book he had on hand. So I bought the coin.

At the next coin show you attend, keep your eyes open for deals like this. The dealer I bought this from is a one-man show whom I know and trust. But I still wanted the assurance of knowing the coin was as I expected. If a small dealer like this can have the resources to identifying a wide range of coins, whoever you deal with should be able to also. If not, go elsewhere. Once I got home, I took out my handy Neva Pocket Scale and weighed it just to be sure. It weighed 480 grains (gr.) and 31.1 grams (g.) which is what I expected to see. On a more precise scale I would have seen 31.1034 grams. As you probably know, One troy ounce=480 grains=31.1034 grams=1.097 avoirdupois ounce.

The October sales of Silver American Eagles stands at 3,087,000. For the year so far the total is 39,175,000. Don't look for the premiums of these popular bullion coins to go down anytime soon. The US Mint has notified its Primary Dealers that all sales of Silver Eagles will be suspended for 4 weeks beginning the second week in December. Guess what that will do to the premiums. I hope you have yours.

Happy investing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ready To Board The Silver Investments Train? Be Sure You Watch Your Step!

More bad news on the counterfeiting of precious metals. This time it's the popular 10 ounce silver bars where a dealer in Michigan recently had a customer come in with two 10 ounce Engelhard silver bars which were obvious fakes - at least to the trained eye (the bar at left is legit - the real thing). Too bad as these are still quite affordable for many people that invest in or are ready to invest in silver - the poor man's/poor woman's gold. They now join the list of fake Silver Eagles and one ounce silver bars (silver or nickel plated with brass cores)  reported earlier this year. In the "old days" most counterfeiters were targeting the more profitable bars and coins where the huge profits were such as the tungsten filled gold bars(now including even 10 ounce and one ounce gold bars) and common Morgan dollars made "rare" by altering the date or mint mark. Now the prudent investor has to be suspicious of almost all silver and gold products unless they invest in safe ways. Whoever in the world is making these fakes (wink, wink) is doing a good enough job to fool the average investor and even some of the more sophisticated investors.

The best solution, of course, is to deal with only reputable dealers that not only know fakes from the real items but are actively on the lookout for all types of counterfeits that are known to exist (plus will make things right if there is a problem). If you like to frequent coin shows, you can invest in an inexpensive gram based scale to take with you to check potential purchases if you have doubts. Of course you will have to know the various weights of those purchases you want to make but that is not too difficult from online sources. As far as eBay and other online auctions selling precious metals - buyer beware.

As you can see from my last post on this blog, I have been ignoring it in favor of my Kindle eBooks. In addition to publishing another eBook, The Last Canadian 80 Percent Silver Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide, I have re-published The Last U.S. 90 Percent Silver Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide which is now almost twice the size of the original edition. And I am currently revising A Guide to Buying and Selling Peace and Morgan Silver Dollars to expand it as well. If you are interested in reviewing any of these eBooks for free in exchange for a review of the book(s) on Amazon and Goodreads, please contact me thru either the or web sites.

Happy (and safe) investing.  JA

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Silver Eagles Off to a Strong Start in 2013

At the time of this post in mid-January 2013, sales of Silver American Eagles stand at 5,132,000 with lots of month to go. This is on course to mimic 2011 and 2012 in which January was the most productive month for Silver Eagles at 6,422,000 and 6,107,000.

The mint ran out of 2012 Silver Eagles in mid-December so buyers had to wait until January 7, 2013 to get their hands on additional coins, those bearing the 2013 date. So that 5,132,000 was achieved in less than half a month.

Dealers are reporting great demand in not only silver Eagles but silver Maple Leafs, 10 and 100 ounce silver  bars and 90 percent silver coins. If you are running into a shortage of silver pieces to buy, you might have better luck shopping for silver rounds and one-ounce silver bars. Anything with a Engelhard or Johnson Matthey stamp or hallmark is a plus.

Other options are lesser known government issued silver coins such as the one-ounce silver Mexican Libertad. Upon first seeing this silver coin, I thought the obverse was the reverse and vice versa.  It is the reverse that features The Angel of Independence (a reproduction of the one that stands atop a victory column commemorating Mexico’s War of Independence) with two volcanoes (Popocat├ępetl and Iztaccihuatl) in the background. The obverse displays the current coat of arms of Mexico surrounded by the historical Mexican coats of arms.

 The Mexican Libertad comes in both gold and silver in various sizes beginning at 1/20 of an ounce but I like the one-ounce silver coin as it has the heft and feel of a "real" coin, not the clad coins we usually have to deal with day in and day out.

In my last post I mentioned my first eBook on Amazon titled "The Last U.S. 90 Percent Silver Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide" which can be found at Last 90 Percent coins

I have just published the next in the U.S. Silver Coin Series titled "Tips on Buying and Selling Peace and Morgan Silver Dollars". In this eBook I expand on the Peace and Morgan dollars to include more grading information, where wear marks first appear and even a bit on cleaning these coins (with warnings about doing so). Priced at just $.99 you can find out more at Buy/Sell Peace and Morgan Dollars

Thanks for reading.