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Need help with buying Precious Metals

I'm finally ready to buy some metals, mostly silver for now. I'm not too worried about the short term investment, I just don't like my money sitting in a savings account. My first purchase will be of decent size (in my mind anyway), but I would also like to make frequent smaller purchases every month.

Since I'm brand new and always weary of scams and frauds, I was hoping the DP community can help me a few things...

Is it better to buy online or in person?

Which sites are best?

If I buy online, how are they shipped? I'm worried about a passer-by stealing my package.

Any other advice is appreciated as well.


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JM Bullion

I recommend http://www.jmbullion.com/

They have the best prices I found anywhere, online or local.

I ordered a large amount at 1:30pm and it was at my door at 9:30am the next morning. The shipping was free.

I second this

I haven't used these guys yet, but my next purchase will be from them. If you check out their site they have tips and pointers of what to look for.

I buy silver coins

Pre 1965 coins are easy to purchase and you do not really need to worry about being ripped off, at least I have not been. You can negotiate with the seller usually on shipping. I just have mine mailed to me, and have had no problems. I have found most of my coins on ebay, but it is getting more competitive there.

I like this site to judge the value of the coins:


I buy US and Canadian 90% and sometimes 40% silver coins, mostly the 90%.

Actually, the best value right now is the 1909 through 1982 Lincoln copper penny. Today $1 of those pennies is worth $2.47. but so far we have all been too lazy to separate pennies.

Welcome to the world of silver

You can buy at either online shops or at a local coin shop. Below are some good online shops that I or my friends have done business with.




I'd highly recommend keeping the size of denominations to 10 oz and under. The smaller it is, the harder it is to fake. I foresee silver going to such a high price per oz that you'll want the smallest sizes to make change. Really, at this point, I'd stick mostly to 1 oz coins and smaller.

Silver Eagles are great, but the premium's a bit higher.

I would buy a great deal of pre 1965' Constitutional silver.

Stick to quarters and dimes mostly. Remember, the smaller the denomination, the longer you can make your silver last if you have to use it to pay bills in an extreme emergency. Good luck! Let us know later what you bought.


Find a good local dealer . Mails a BIG worry!
Stick to minted coins.;-))

It doesn't matter whether

It doesn't matter whether your trade is in online or direct, just make sure that the company that you choose to buy gold should be a good one. Don't just look at their years of service. Look at their history and past dealings to avoid scams and frauds.

my Two cents.

Local shop or Providentmetals.com - gotta love the sweet selections. At this point I would get Fine Silver troy ounces because of the amazing premium and the future collapse of the dollar. the only thing thats going to be measured is its purity and weight so diversify your coins if you want.

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

I've bought from

Apmex, Northwest Territory Mint and Ebay of all places.

As a matter of fact Ebay can be a good place to buy if you work it right. I have made my best deals off of Ebay from people who are wanting to sell quick what they purchased back when silver was five, ten or fifteen bucks. And Ebay and Paypal have buyer protection.

Apmex is easiest but watch out how and what you buy. If you buy generic silver then never buy in large quantities because they will send you big obnoxious coins and bars.

Northwest Territory Mint has better prices if you are going to make an initial purchase of 50 ounces or more but the wait can be aggravating. But they have free shipping and that coupled with the per ounce savings makes a big difference.

Compare here. http://bullion.nwtmint.com/silver_nwtmintbullion.php and here http://www.apmex.com/Category/1197/APMEX_Silver_Rounds.aspx

Buy a silver testing kit also especially if you are buying from Ebay.

Also remember the reasons for buying. First is to carry your wealth through a collapse in which case any silver, whether fine or junk, is suitable to trade for what ever currency becomes dominant afterwards. Second is for during a collapse where you will want old silver coins and/or eagles, maples or phils to barter or use as currency when no other currency is valid. Third is for investment in which case again any silver is suitable.

buying Silver

I have bought from APMEX, but I really prefer the small local shops. You may be surprised to find that some local sellers will go slightly below spot when you pay in cash. With APMEX, you always pay a premium above spot and very high shipping costs. Also, the government is aware of what you are doing when you buy via any online retailer. Remember, when you buy silver (90%) coins that they really are 88% for practical purposes. .925 sterling is 90% or maybe even 89% silver. Make sure you are aware of the current spot price before you enter the store. Make sure the seller knows you are paying in cash. Bring a calculator, weigh the goods (if you can or at least be aware of the average weight of the item), pay cash and don't be afraid to bargain. Know the name of local competitors and say "well thanks for letting me look, I'm gonna head over to _________ store and see what they can offer me. This is how ya do it!PS I don't get involved in premium coins (i.e uncirculated, proof, and so on) The premiums on these are very high and I don't know enough to get into speculating. Also, you can find some really great buys at yard sales and thrift shops. I got a pair of sterling candle sticks at a Goodwill store one time. Find the right store (with the dumb employees he-he) and check back in from time to time. Most Thrift shop owners (boutique types) are too savvy to make that mistake but Goodwill and Salvation Army may yield some decent finds on occasion.

.925 Sterling...

".925 sterling is 90% or maybe even 89% silver."???

.925 Sterling Is....
Wait for it....

92.5% Silver! ;-)

Thanks for all the advice

Can always count on the DP community to have many different opinions. I'm excited to have something of real value.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety
-Benjamin Franklin

Buy local if you can.

Personally, I'm not a fan of buying online for two reasons (though for some people, the convenience is a godsend)

1) I like to see *exactly* what I'm buying
2) cash and carry is the safest way to go for PM (and most other) transactions, IMO.

I specify buying locally because it may be wise to meet other PM 'bugs' in your area, which I often use as an icebreaker to discuss monetary policy.

Edit: Check estate sales if you have the opportunity. Oftentimes people will be selling PMs and not even realize what they have.

A signature used to be here!

I'd get started with Apmex.

I'd get started with Apmex. Get the pre 1965 generic bags of dimes, quarters or halves. A $100 face value bag should be around $2500.

If you have money to burn...the $1000 bag should be under $25K. You can also get a big monster box of 500 silver eagles for under 19K....or you can buy them in tubes of 20 for under $800.

These are my 2 favorite buys right here.

Per your questions...shipments are insured, as long as you don't give the delivery co. permission to drop off or have a neighbor sign. Then it's your baby once delivered.

I don't like buying in person...sales taxes can add another 10% to the order in some states.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul


I tried a few different companies a few years ago, but settled on Apmex. Have not had one single problem whatsoever with them. Every buy and sell transaction has been perfect. I pay by a check which saves some money over a credit card purchase, takes a bit longer, but is a savings.

Wish I could afford gold, but I am happy with my cache of silver.

If you have a trustworth coin shop nearby, you could also compare the over spot prices they have vs Ampex, can save on shipping that way as well.

Provident Metals is better

Provident Metals is better than Apmex IMO. Their prices are lower, their shipping is lower, and plus, they make Ron Paul Gold, Silver, and copper rounds.

Ron Paul on my money??

He is my president, so he might as well be on my money!

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety
-Benjamin Franklin

American Precious Metals Exchange is very good...

The shipping charge is fixed at $25 per order and I often noticed that the actual charge is greater.

They ship via US Postal Registered Mail so your order comes in a most safe mode which you pick up at the post office after you are notified by the Post Office by a note. You might want a trusted family member to help you carry stuff to your car or to watch the part you can't carry while you carry one box.

The www.APMEX.com website lets you see each coin. They sell numismatic coins as well as bullion coins and the premium is spelled out. The markup for numismatic coins in general is considered by many not to be worth it but it is debatable whether bullion coins or numismatic coins will keep up better when the price of AG goes up.

Explore the www.APMEX.com site They pack the coins very impressively in a box within a box so they are not damaged in transit. You will be impressed how heavy a small box of coins will be.


No Man's need constitutes an obligation on the part of another man to fulfill that need.

I also buy from APMEX. Yeah

I also buy from APMEX. Yeah they charge a little extra on premium but they have good customer service. If you are not home, the USPS holds onto it and you pick it up at the post office. The good thing about APMEX is they will buy your stuff back and lock in your price for silver at any time during the day (highs/lows etc).

I'm saving to buy gold from a local dealer soon because he only charges 3% spot but I doubt I could get him to buy as easy as APMEX.

Southern Agrarian

APMEX, simply the best, can't

APMEX, simply the best, can't go wrong with them, great costumer service.


Been buying here for over a decade. They take your order over the phone.

You can avoid sales tax that way. On the other hand, if you are not buying much you can go to your local coin shop.

from their site:
"Your order will be shipped via fully insured United States Postal Service Insured Mail or Registered mail. Shipments will be held at your local post office if you are not at home or work to receive your package.... "

I've gotten lucky at a couple auctions

But this wasn't buying coins, it was buying sterling.

Try auctionzip.com - search for auctions that have sterling silver or coins in the description. Obviously, know the difference between silver plate and sterling (it should be marked).

Oh - don't search for silver in sw PA, that is where I live! Haha.

One auction I went to had some sterling and some coins. I wanted both. I was (and am) a newb concerning silver, so I made a little cheat-sheet about which coins have how much silver - and how much I was willing to bid on them.

Anyway, at the auction there is a group of scrap-metal guys. These guys were buying up all the metal items - "Is that brass?", "What is that made out of, is it heavy?", it was obvious. Anyway, the coins came up and they bought most of them for a bit over 'retail'... not to mention, they payed 'silver' prices for 'silver' dollars that were not silver!

Anyway, some sterling came up... these scrap metal guys weren't interested?! I paid 35$ for a silver creamer/sugar bowl. Sold them the next day for ? I don't remember... 400-600$ Sold because we had a house-payment due - how depressing is that? :(

Since then, I haven't been so lucky! I went to an auction recently that had lots of sterling silverware (over 200 pieces). Anyway, I took a kitchen scale so I could get a rough idea of some of the weights. When I went into the room to look at their silver - there were literally 5 guys in there with high-precision scales weighing all the silver. I never did put a bid in :(

Depends on Sales Tax and Size of Purchase

If you are buying small amounts - you can afford to buy locally. If you are buying large amounts $5,000 or more - you cannot afford to buy locally.... if you have a state sales tax.

Say you buy $100 in silver. An 8% sales tax makes your bill $108.
Say you buy $10,000 in gold, you just blew $800 on the sales tax alone (which would have bought you an extra 1/2 ounce of gold).

You can check out gold and silver seller reviews at: http://inflation.us/reviews/
Kitco is the place used by jewelers when they buy gold - a local friend and jeweler told me he always has used Kitco see http://www.kitco.com/.
Gainesville coin is also reputable: http://www.gainesvillecoins.com/

If you order anything online, when it comes in, take a sample to the local coin dealer. He can tell you if you got scammed or not immediately.


The Constitutional Return to Sound Money - Today!

go to your local coin shop.

go to your local coin shop. Pay in cash. buy as many pre 65 silver dimes, quarters, and halves as possible. buy as many canadian maple leaks as possible buy as many american silver eagles as possible.

Milk Spots

I would stay away from the Canadian Maples. I bought some of those in the past and while they are gorgeous when you buy them a lot of mine have developed what are called milk spots. They don't harm the value but they are unsightly. They have been in a tube the whole time too. It's just something that happens to coins from the Royal Canadian Mint.

RE: Milk Spots

Hmmmmmm.... interesting, I've yet to see any milk spots on my Maples.

Where to buy...

I agree with rpcongress, coin shops and reputable bullion dealers would be the best way to go. Just do your due deligence make sure they are in fact reputable.

Buying online, adds to your investment costs for shipping and insurance. Not to mention what can happen on route.

Some people

say it's better to avoid buying online which can leave a paper trail...

You should be able to buy at local coin shops, which I think is a great alternative.

If you do buy online, apmex.com is a popular site among others. Asking how to buy PMs has come up a lot on the DP so you might also look here: