Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Fabulous Four Silver Bullion Coins

'twas the month of December
and all through the land
precious metals were stirring
again starting to look grand

I see promising signs in the price of metals and this time it looks more encouraging. Traffic is up on my silver web sites plus I have a new one to tell you about... but more on that later.

I have included pictures of the fabulous four silver bullion coins, reportedly the best selling silver bullion coins in the world. They are:  the American silver eagle of which 42,675,000 were sold last year and that number has already been overtaken with just a few days of production left to go in 2014; the Canadian silver maple leaf of which 28,200,000 were sold last year with that number already have been overtaken for 2014; the Austrian silver Philharmonic  of which 14,536,400 were sold last year (current year estimates unknown) and the Chinese silver panda of which a reported 8,000,000 were sold last year with 2014 numbers unknown.

Yes there other government issued silver bullion coins and numerous silver rounds, some more popular (and more attractive ) than others. But these are the top dogs and if you can get your hands on any of them at reasonable premiums, you will be in good shape for the coming explosion in silver prices. 

Here are the totals for American Eagles thus far in 2014...

Platinum Eagles=16,900 one-ounce coins thus far
(don't look for more of these in 2014 or 2015 due to low demand)

Gold Eagles = 414,500 one-ounce coins
                        46,000 half-ounce coins
                      118,000 quarter-ounce coins
                      560,000 tenth-ounce coins
total ounces of Eagles gold = 523,000
2015 Gold Eagles will be available 1/5/2015

Silver Eagles = 43,051,000 one-ounce coins
top three months of production
   October = 5,790,000
   march = - 5,354,000
   January = 4,775,000
2015 Silver Eagles will be available 1/12/2015

and here is the total for the...

American Buffalo (thus far in 2014) = 175,500 one-ounce 24k gold coins
2015 Buffaloes will be available 1/5/2015

As mentioned above, I have a new silver web site dedicated to a very unique silver coin - the Maria Theresa Thaler. This silver coin has a rich history (several decades old) and, in terms of popularity and acceptability, is almost unmatched. You can read more about this thaler (or taler) at M.T. Thaler.

If you have the time, also stop by my other silver web sites at SilverInvestingSimplified and SilverGuide to see what's new.

Thanks for reading and keep the faith. 



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cavorting At A Local Coin Show

Well maybe not cavorting in the true sense of the word but I had a great time at a small, local coin show recently. And small it was with less than 10 dealers present. But most had impressive inventories to display (it wasn't just a bunch of Morgan dollars, Mercury dimes and Silver American Eagles). It just goes to show that even small coin shows can have value for coin collectors and investors.

I took time to examine some old silver coins, most notably a Capped Bust 1827 silver half dollar in About Uncirculated condition. It is a great coin for serious collectors but for the asking price of this coin, I could purchase just shy of 15 Silver Eagles or Silver Maple Leafs which is more to my liking (confirming my casual investor status). This 1827 coin will have to be someone else's treasure to have and hold.

I am less of a fan of silver rounds and tend to favor government-issued silver bullion coins. But I do make exceptions for silver rounds at a good price BUT they must have good eye appeal. As luck would have it, I found some nice rounds at a good price (in the low $20's with the spot price at just over $20.00) at this show...

This first silver round is modeled after the U.S. Indian Head Quarter Eagle and Half Eagle minted from 1908 through 1929 (none were struck from 1917-1924).  These gold coins set a U.S. precedent in that the figures (a.k.a. devices)  and lettering were sunk below the coins' surface (incused) as opposed to other U.S. coins in which the "devices" were and are raised from the surface of the coin.  The silver round's obverse closely matches the gold coins' obverse but the reverse of the silver coin differs from the gold coins as it identifies a private mint plus the weight and silver fineness of .999.

I was not familiar with the issuer of this round, the Golden State Mint, so I visited their web site at GS Mint. They have a number of interesting silver and gold rounds and bars (of various sizes) with a $500 minimum purchase. To their credit, they have survived the many lean years, having been founded in 1974. Next I did a quick Internet search for "Golden State Mint Reviews" and "Golden State Mint Complaints" with nothing alarming showing up. They look like a good company to do business with but please be aware: 1) I have absolutely no affiliation with this company and receive no compensation for any purchases by anyone; and 2) I am not recommending that you do business with Golden State Mint without doing your own due diligence. You are responsible for your own decisions regarding the purchase of precious metals.

Another silver round I picked up at the show is also modeled after a U.S. gold coin - the 24-karat (.9999 fineness) American Buffalo which began production in 2006 (and this gold coin was modeled after the historic buffalo nickel minted from 1913-1938). The silver round's obverse closely matches the gold buffalo's obverse (just missing a date) but the reverse of the silver coin differs from the gold coin as it specifies the weight (one troy ounce) and silver fineness (.999) among other lettering differences. The Silver Buffalo was also purchased at a good price in the low $20's.

To my way of thinking, silver rounds that are modeled after well-recognized
and popular designs (24k Gold Buffalos, Morgan dollars, gold Krugerrands, $20 Saint Gaudens, etc.) stand a better chance of being favored over lesser known (and less attractive) designs when it comes time to sell. In addition to the purchased silver rounds, I was able to pick up some nice Barber and Standing Liberty quarters, a 2014 Australian Saltwater Crocodile 1 ounce silver coin and my first Maria Theresa thaler (a historic but not so rare Austrian coin containing .7520 troy ounces of silver) but that is the subject of a future post.

Changing gears, are you familiar with the IRS reporting requirements when buying and selling precious metals? The good people at JM Bullion have put together a helpful Infographic if you are unfamiliar with these requirements or need a refresher. You can find it at JMInfographic Its purpose is educational and shouldn't be considered financial advice. Of course you are responsible for any capital gains tax on profits from sales even if your transaction(s) don't require dealer reporting.  

At the time of this post, spot silver is at $19.45, Silver Eagles month-to-date are at 1,510,000 and the year-to-date total is 27,613,500.

One last note, I have published my ebook "The Last Canadian 80 Percent Silver Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide " on Smashwords so it is now available on Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Oyster as well as Kindle and a few more. You can see the Smashwords listing at  Canadian Silver Coins . My other ebooks, "The Last 90 Percent Silver United States Coins - A Buying and Selling Guide" and "A Guide to Buying and Selling Peace & Morgan Silver Dollars" are still available on Amazon only.

Thanks for reading, keep the faith. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pausing A Vacation To Shop For Silver

After surviving most of the brutal winter of the upper midwest, I was more than ready for the warmer weather of AZ and NV. Las Vegas was our first destination for some gaming and relaxation. I made a special trip downtown to check out the GOLD To Go machine at the Golden Nugget. If you are unfamiliar with this gold dispensing ATM, you can see more details plus a picture here. The gold choices for purchase were 1 gram, 2 1/2 gram, 5 gram and 10 gram gold bars ranging in price from $87 to $517 (spot gold at the time was approximately $1330.00). Also available were a 1 oz. gold bar priced at $1525 and a 1 oz. gold eagle at $1555 (nearly a 17% premium). The last coin available for purchase was a silver eagle for the princely sum of $49. That was a bit of a shocker as spot silver was under (but flirting with) $22. If the silver eagle offered were a proof coin, the $49 would be closer to the going price but I didn't see that advertised. I decided against making any purchase.

The next vacation stop was Laughlin, NV. Whenever I am in Laughlin, I always make sure to stop in (usually more than once) at the coin shop across from the Golden Nugget Laughlin (Laughlin Jewelry and Collectibles) to discuss prices and trends. Their price for silver eagles were much better at just $26 each with silver maple leafs even less. One of my purchases was a 2014 silver panda. This is a beautiful coin and I didn't mind the $30 price. But at that price, I won't be stacking silver pandas as the silver eagles and maple leafs are cheaper and more popular in my world. Of course silver rounds can be purchased for even less than those two popular bullion coins but I tend to favor government issued, government backed coins. And unless I fall into a really good deal on silver rounds with an attractive design, I'll usually pass on these.

Here are the Silver American Eagle totals so far for March, 2014 from the U. S. Mint: 2,921,000 one-ounce silver coins which, added to January's number of 4,775,00 and February's 3,750,00, brings the number for 2014 to 11,446,000 silver eagles.

Sales of my 3 ebooks on U.S. and Canadian silver coins have been steady. It appears people like what they are reading but are not inclined to giving reviews. If you want to see short descriptions of each, you can do so at a special web site I have set up for them at Silver Investing Guru.

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

American Silver Eagles - They're Back!!!

After an extended vacation, American Silver Eagles are back in production (Kitco discusses it here). As you may recall, the U.S. Mint suspended production of 2013 silver eagles back on December 9th in order to make way for the 2014 silver eagles. It's a good thing this four weeks plus halt coincided perfectly with a time of low demand/low interest for these bullion coins - NOT! What it did do is raise already healthy premiums even higher because investors really like and want these coins (this was the subject of a recent article on the Bloomberg site which you can see here ). So the buying continued during the weeks the U.S. Mint meticulously changed the dies from a "3" to a"4". Hopefully they were also able to stock up on blanks (planchets) during this time so investors can enjoy several months of uninterrupted production and sales. Here are the 2013 silver eagle totals in case you haven't seen them before. 

U S MINT  Silver Eagle Sales  2013

January        7,498,000; February      3,368,500;
March          3,356,500; April            4,087,000;
May             3,458,500; June             3,275,000;
July              4,406,500; August         3,625,000;
September   3,013,000; October      3,087,000;
November   2,300,000; December   1,200,000

Total        42,675,000

The Canadian counterpart to the American Silver Eagle, the Silver Maple Leaf, has a new look for 2014. The addition of radial lines from the center of the coin outward plus a micro-engraved security mark on the reverse of the coin make for a stunning silver bullion coin. More info and detailed pictures of this coin appeared on the Coinupdate web site and can be found here. Counterfeiters will be hard-pressed to master these new security features. It reminds me of the battle between the safe manufacturers and safe crackers in years gone by. No matter what the manufacturers did, the safecrackers always found a way to break in. Finally, at least one manufacturer came up with what they felt was the ultimate solution. They incorporated a vial of  nitroglycerine inside the safe so that anyone trying to punch their way in would have their ticket punched permanently in a very explosive way. No report on how many lost their life this way.

Thanks for reading and keep the faith.