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April 30, 2016

Gold or Silver? How to Choose the Right Bullion To Invest In

investments in gold & silverSo, you’ve done your research. You know a well-balanced investment portfolio should ideally include exposure to bullion. But do you go with gold or silver? Truth be told, there’s no one correct answer to that question – at least not one that’s applicable to every investor. Learn the key differences between gold and silver and base your decision on factors including how long you plan to hold onto your investment, how much you are able to invest and what sort of risk profile you want to adopt. Remember, both metals offer inflationary protection and carry no credit risk, whilst each has taken its turn in the limelight as far as past price performance goes. The canniest of investors are likely to go for a long play investment in both metals. Read on, and find out more.

The Case for gold

Gold’s volatility factor is up to 70 percent lower than silver’s. Gold also carries more prestige. This is largely due to its rarity. The yellow metal is 18 times rarer than silver. And new discoveries are on the wane. Production has likewise fallen considerably over the last decade. Meanwhile, central banks are still buying up large quantities of the stuff, which is encouraging. Over the longer term, gold’s price has performed exceedingly well. Also in its favour is gold’s unrivalled status as the accepted alternative to currencies. The yellow metal has been used to store wealth for more than 3,000 years. You simply cannot say this of silver.

The case for silver

Silver has much going for it as a savvy investment choice, though its volatility means it is more speculative than gold. Notably, silver is more widely used in industrial applications. Whatsmore, the industries it’s used in – like, solar power and electronics – are growing. Silver’s price may be currently weak, yet it is this very weakness forcing producers to scale back operations. These aforementioned factors, at some point, are likely to affect silver’s supply and demand ratio to the point where its price will be pushed up. In addition, analysts concur silver may well offer investors better value than gold, as the gold/silver price ratio is currently further apart than it theoretically should be. Finally, even though VAT must be paid on silver purchases, it remains, of course, much cheaper per ounce than gold to buy. This offers those with even only US$1000 in capital to invest in bullion, an ‘in’ into the market.

To conclude

Silver or gold? Each is likely a good investment choice over the longer term. Yet as you’ve just read, they have their differences. Which is precisely why many advisors would suggest owning both. If you choose a total exposure to bullion amounting to 10 percent of your portfolio for instance, go ahead and split that 10 percent between silver and gold. How you weigh the split largely depends on your views on the health of the stock market and worldwide industrial growth.

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February 12, 2016

Junk Silver Can Be the Start of Coin Collecting

coin collecting ideasCoin collecting is an interesting hobby pursued by many across the world. If you’re a lover of history or rare artifacts than coin collecting is for you and a good start could be with junk silver.

Coin collecting refers to collecting coins ranging over many eras and made of different materials. Each coin tells a story in itself. The imprints on the coin signify an important event or a phase of a ruler. Some people also collect coins mainly to systematically study the evolution of modern day currency. Such systematic coin collecting is referred to as numismatics.

While coin collection is informative and engaging, there’s also a good monetary value attached to it. Many coin collectors also have gold and silver coins. Coins in the past that were silver in color had a component of actual silver in them. For example, dimes produced pre-1965 have 90% @0.07 oz of silver. This silver in today’s market will sell for over $2! Such coins containing silver in them are referred to as junk silver coins since they do not have any real historic value attached to them but provide monetary benefit to the coin bearer. Similarly, there are gold coins as well.

HowTo Begin

Coin collecting is not as difficult as it might appear. There are many places where coins are traded and to begin with, you can just purchase a few of them. You can follow the following steps to kick start your own collection of coins.

Figure out what kind of collection you wish to make – historic? Time series? Artistic?
Based on your interest, start reading up on what kind of coins you want to collect. Not knowing enough can mean that you don’t know the value of the coin even if it’s in front of you.

Look for places that offer coins for sale. Visit coin stores around and look them up on the internet. It is advisable; however, to not buy a coin without seeing it first.
Read up well about the coin, its historic or artistic importance, the era of usage etc. This will help you better understand the value of the coin.

You can also begin with simple roll of dimes and create a collection of all dimes year over year. This is a simple way to begin teaching coin collection to children. It is also a good motivator for beginners.Once you have a few coins, you can begin trading them for a coin you might find more interesting to add to your collection.

There are few tips that can prove very helpful in the coin collection process:

• Have patience – Coin collecting requires looking through many coins to find the one you want
• Set goals – Setting goals keeps you motivated and focused
• Seek help – Don’t shy away from seeking help from a professional or an experienced collector for advice.


Coin collecting is both a hobby and an investment. The value of the coins grows over years and rare coins can be sold any day. Coin collecting can be practiced over very long periods of time and can even be passed on generation after generation – building bonds and creating memories.

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April 15, 2012

Putting A Value On Different Types Of Gold

There is a common misconception that when you sell an ounce of gold in any form, it is worth the spot price of gold. The spot price of an ounce of gold is the price that a buyer will pay or a seller will accept for the immediate delivery of the precious metal.

People are sometimes shocked to find that a store offering to pay for any old gold jewelry only offers them a fraction of the spot price for their gold chains and gold rings. The confusion is usually attributable to the fact that people do not understand that gold jewelry is not made of pure gold.

What is most gold jewelry made of?

Almost all gold jewelry contains a less-expensive alloy like silver, copper or nickel to increase the strength and durability of the jewelry. The vast majority of gold jewelry is made of 14 or 18 karat gold. Gold content is measured in terms of karats in the jewelry trade. Pure gold is considered 24 karat gold. An 18 karat piece of jewelry is 75% pure (18/24) and a 14 karat piece of gold jewelry is 58.3% (14/24) pure.

Scrap gold dealers will only pay you for the actual gold content. They also reduce the amount they pay for the cost of melting down the gold, delivery charges and a commission for their services.

Gold bullion, whether it is in the form of gold bars or coins, is considered pure gold. It is at least .999 fine and has a value very close to the spot price of the metal. Purity aside, you will pay slightly more for gold bullion coins because they are easier and more convenient to handle. Large 100 or even 1,000 ounce bars offer the lowest price per ounce for gold bullion. Commissions and dealer markup accounts for the higher price you will pay when you buy instead of sell bullion gold.

What makes gold jewelry expspensive?

When you are talking about expensive gold jewelry, the value is determined in part by the gold content, but also by the design and embellishment of the particular piece of jewelry. A similar premium is also placed on collectible gold coins. The condition and rarity of a particular coin can make its numismatic value worth much more than its gold content.

An educated consumer should understand the importance of knowing the gold content and any other extrinsic factors that affect the price of their gold items. By being aware of the type of gold they may be thinking about buying or selling, they are more likely to get a fair price when they make a transaction.

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January 12, 2012

Why precious metals like gold are popular for investors

Clearly you’ve heard about the current economic climate, with banks failing or losing their credit ratings, big countries on the verge of going bankrupt, masses of government debt, etc. You’ve definitely heard it all. As a result, investors have become incredibly worried about what the world economy will look like over the next 5 years.

Consequently, it’s no surprise that there’s been an big increase with investing in valuable metals, such as silver, gold, palladium, and platinum. But why are investors so interested in metals? What is it about these metals that attract so much interest?

If you think about it, 99.9% of all investments are based on some concept, rather than an actual object. e.g. company shares don’t actually exist (not even on paper these days), they’re just a culmination of the perception of that company and how well they are doing. So the intrinsic share value is not based on anything physical. It’s not to say that shares are worthless, quite the contrary, just that they’re not a physical object.

Therefore the point is that investors like to think of their investments as something tangible. Metals are physical objects, and actually exist in the real world. Property exists in the real world, but decreasing house prices mean that investors are not investing in property anymore. Additionally, property is not a liquid asset, simply meaning it takes a long time to sell a property. Comparatively, selling metal is very easy and can be done within minutes.

A combination of metal being a real-world object, and being very easy to sell, precious metals such as gold are very attractive investment assets. If you think about it, gold has always been a desirable and attractive possession throughout the ages. However, there’s another fact that completes the reasoning why gold in particular has become so popular in the last 12 months. Gold is a scarce resource, and it’s increasingly tough to find. Gold isn’t really being mined anymore, it’s being chemically extracted. Therefore the gold we have now is pretty much all that we will have. Gold has always been a finite resource.

So why is gold so popular right now? It’s easy to sell, it’s easy to buy, it’s generally held it’s value over the years. Gold is being seen as a currency-neutral form of investment where its value is not subject to the media-induced hype facing our economies at the moment. If you can keep your gold secure, it’s definitely a safe place for your money at the moment.

This is a guest article by Mike Stirling who researches the precious metal markets, particularly the currently-increasing scrap gold prices.

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