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Kilo Silver Bar 'Brands' vs Coins. What is the difference?

Discussion in 'Purchasing Precious Metals' started by HorseNut, May 23, 2016.



  1. HorseNut

    HorseNut New Member

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    Hello, everyone!

    I am brand new to collecting silver. I already have quite a few 1 oz coins. Anything that I can get close to spot on. I have been reading, looking at eBay, Apmex, JmBullion, so many websites that I am not sure what to believe. One says one thing, another says another. Then, I found this forum and saw the incredible amount of knowledge of real people investing and collecting precious metals. I just had to join in. I am interested in buying 25, 50 oz and kilo bars at the moment. Then increasing the sizes, when I can. My question is about the differences in the bars. For lack of clarity let's discuss kilo bars. Why on earth are some 1-kilo bars going for a much higher price than others? Am I missing something? For example, right now JmBullion has 1 kilo bars as low as $557 and as high as $773.87 for Suisse Fortuna. To me .999 silver is silver, and the melt value is, all the same, depending on the price of the day. So, why would one want to spend more for let's say, Pamp, Valcambi, Johnson Matthey— now, I understand to be Asahi? Also, Scottsdale Mint, RMC, etc.
    Then, of course, there is the different types of bars, poured, matte, shiny, nugget, shapes. ... Does it honestly matter? Is it just for looks, like buying a pair of designer jeans, instead of a pair at the local Walmart?

    My second question is regarding kilo sized coins. I do realize that these probably take more time for the mint to make. Is that the reason for the higher price or is it the collectability potential? Such as the Australian year of the Tiger, Koala, Kookaburra, Elephants, Puzzle coins, etc.

    I am looking at a 14.6 oz .999 silver round, that I like. It is just cool looking to me. Yes, it is not a kilo, but...it's just over $300. Over $60, the spot price at the moment. They were originally sold on Apmex, but not sure how much or when. I have not looked that much at coins, that are way over spot, only because I don't know that much about it. I didn't want to post it because it could be a steal. LOL, It is not a minted coin, but a round. I'd be happy to share it privately.

    I understand that some coins are low mintage, which would make them more valuable. But does the coloring, artificial toning, exclusivity, like the 2015 Kangaroo 1oz coin that only eBay is selling which has a mintage of 300,000 or the ANDA coins sold only at the shows; make them more valuable in the long run? I see the Koala coins and people are going nuts over them. It is insane. I want to jump in and by some of the kilo coins or at least 10 oz or larger coins or rounds.
    I simply don't want to shoot myself in the foot.

    Can anyone give me an explanation? Thank you so much. I would be truly grateful. :-)
     
  2. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    whole mess of questions in there,

    first you need to decide what you want, is it lowest price over spot or?

    do you want something that appears cool?

    etc. Only you can make those choices.

    As for variances between manufacturers and mints, it depends on if perceived to be collectable and/or availability.

    For instance, if you want lowest over spot, you can see the lowest price on kilos fluctuate between brands, but primarily a few are lowest price and they swap position based on availability and stock. If the dealer has oodles of one particular brand, that will end up on sale to move some metal.

    Yes, you will see prices higher on certain brands, but it would pay for you to go deeper and keep studying the differences prior to pulling the trigger on those.

    Many people over the years have found the metal market, then dump a bunch of dough on it, only to watch a better price come later. Don't pretend to time the market, know better than the market, all the above. Create a plan as to what you want to do, then execute it. For many, accumulating over time is the best way to go. That also provides time to see what you like, what your preferences are, etc.

    Some here wouldn't buy anything over 10 oz bars due to the possibility of counterfeits. Counterfeiting is a huge issue, and it is VERY IMPORTANT not to play the ebay game unless you know full well the lay of the land. It is far far better to watch JMBullion for their sales, and take advantage of that as dough allows.

    There are many many horror stories in metals, and if you choose to stray from the golden path (ie reputable dealers, etc), it is guaranteed that you will end up with some misery at some future time. Not a if it will happen, a when it will happen.

    Everybody here has their preferences, whether gold of a certain type, silver of a certain type, lowest over spot, numi's, pucks, etc. There is something to fit anyone in these markets. You just need to start down the path to find out what your preferences are.

    Going to your local metal dealer would be a good start. Look stuff over, ask questions, and so on. That will at least get you and idea of what type of stuff is out there.
     
    Mujahideen likes this.
  3. the_shootist

    the_shootist I self identify as a black '69 Camaro Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Welcome to the forum. I'll let you know what my strategy where it relates to PM and let other weigh in as to their strategies (some are very different than mine)
    The first thing I asked my self before I bought any metals was "what are you buying them for?"

    I decided that I wanted as close to spot as possible. I wanted to move a percentage of my wealth to something other than digits on a computer screen and paper dollars. I avoid higher premiums as I'm not a collector as much as I'm a stacker. My goal for buying metals is not to increase my wealth, but to protect some of the wealth I have.

    I have paid a bit more for legal tender (pre-1933 gold coins and a number of sovereigns)

    If you want to collect be sure to do you homework and be prepared to manage higher premiums. If you like to stack buy the dips and keep stacking
     
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  4. glockngold

    glockngold Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    That's how I see it.
    Numismatic is first for fun, just like art.
    Some day the herd might not like what they used to, & perceived value could decline when you sell.
    Bullion stacking is simpler.
    And as always... silver is a cruel bitch that will steal your heart, then leave you sobbing. (or not)
     
  5. Chester-Copperpot

    Chester-Copperpot Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter Platinum Bling

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    Here's the thing with kilo coins and higher priced bullion bars. If your buying for investment purposes your stuck selling them on eBay to get your full premium back. A local coin shop will offer you spot and not much else for your nice stuff. I try and stick to the cheapest bullion I can find and stack accordingly. Yesterday I was tempted with JM Bullion's deal for Britannia's, but figured why waste the premium when most dealers will only give me spot.
     
  6. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    Welcome aboard!
    Buy the cheapest bulk silver you can get and keep it in a canvas bag so you can carry it to a coin show and get rid of it quickly. Silver is just barely a step up from fishing sinkers so don't get attached to it.

    .
     
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  7. ToBeSelfEvident

    ToBeSelfEvident Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    When I first started stacking, silver was much cheaper and I wanted to pay as close to spot as possible. I bought 100-oz bars from a large reputable dealer. Later going to coin shows I was enticed by some of the beautiful and interesting designs of various silver products. I started collecting smaller bars, old poured bars, 1-oz silver art bars, etc. At one show I traded a 100-oz bar for 95 ounces of various smaller bars and rounds. At another I traded 35 oz in various silver for a 1-kilo Kookaburra. Later I cashed in a paid up life insurance policy and converted it to collectable art bars. I've also converted some larger bars into 5-oz ATB pucks.

    My stack got a bit smaller but much more diverse, interesting and (I believe) valuable. The 100-oz bars were never going to sell for more than spot. But the smaller stuff is collectable enough to warrant a premium when sold. And it's more fun to look at than 100-oz doorstops.
     
  8. JayDubya

    JayDubya Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    As others have stated you need to decide what you, yourself, are looking for. If you end up deciding that you're strictly looking for cheapest overall price, here's a good source to use as a starting point.

    https://comparesilverprices.com/
     
    ^updated^ likes this.
  9. Mujahideen

    Mujahideen Black Member Midas Member

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    The bigger the bar, the harder the sell.

    Personally, I don't plan on selling, I only plan on stacking very long term so big bars makes sense for me.

    The downside is that if a big bar is fake, you got a whole lot of fake big bar silver.

    Personally, I would never buy bulk silver in any form from anyone except for apmex or jmbullion or something similar... And I ESPECIALLY would never ever buy a huge bar from anyone but them.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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  10. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    unless 'n of course you are fishing for goldbugs,

    works like a charm then, draws them like flies,

    they get all worked up, kicking dirt and carrying on................
     
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  11. latemetal

    latemetal Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    I sell sometimes, smaller bars and rounds are easier to get rid of at fleamarkets.
     
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  12. HorseNut

    HorseNut New Member

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    Thank you, everyone, for the information! I really appreciate it. I have learned so much from each of you. I apologize for the delay in reply; I have been under the weather.

    I never thought of kilos as being difficult to sell, until now. You are correct. @ToBeSelfEvident They are big, bulky and not as desirable as coins or smaller bars. Like @Mujahideen I am planning on keeping a lot of it long term. But some, I'd like to turn a profit, if I can. Then buy more gold or platinum. So, maybe purchase a few kilos or even 100-ounce bars as close to spot as I can get. Again, as long as it's a splendid deal. I am also going to continue researching the differences between the brands. Getting the opinions, of as may other bullion buyers, is and has been extremely helpful for me. I am also going to find out where some local coin/silver/gold dealers are around me and to see the goods up close. While internet shopping is super easy, I love it and never want to give it up. Being able to touch and hold whatever it is you are after, in your hand, can never be matched. Who knows, I may go there and change the kilo and 100 ounce idea completely. My husband was even discussing purchasing a smelter and buying pre-1964 scrap. He said, his grandfather had one many moons ago. He'd get paid for some small jobs in rolls of dollars, half dollars, etc Then melt them down into bars. He has long passed now, but started doing this back in the 1930s, if I am not mistaken. He always said, paper is fine, but he'd prefer silver. He'd even barter for gold jewelry, diamonds, gemstones, etc. He owned a construction company and was always trading for something.

    When I purchase on eBay, I only buy from the major bullion companies. Especially now, after I came across this while looking for a coin on Google images. It made me sick to my stomach; just nauseating.
    Take a look: http://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&SearchText=silver+coins and search gold and silver bars too. I saw a super cool looking coin on eBay; I had never seen one like it. Not even on eBay. So, I took to Google to search for another one and what the coin's prices were. I only found one, and this is the Lunar Monkey coin that led me to this page. Yep that is $2.21 each or $221 for 100 shipped.
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free...2564889852.html?spm=2114.40010508.4.66.MqAIRP
    Here is the exact same coin on eBay, they didn't even bother changing the photo.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2016-Niue-L...407105?hash=item25bc90f781:g:FPEAAOSweuxWSqtQ

    The seller of the coin on Aliexpress states it's a replica. But the one on eBay does not. I have not been able to find another Lunar Monkey coin in blue. Now, I believe that the mint didn't make any coins like this.
    I cannot imagine, how much money, people like that, would be able to make; until they are caught. It is so not right, and the Chinese think they can just make and sell anything. Even a patented product that a friend had invented, without any backlash. Just another reason why I won't buy anything made in China, if I can help it. It's hard not to when you purchase a car or a computer. Something's always marked made in China. I hate it.


    I also agree with @glockngold Numismatic is like those designer jeans. I am a sucker for animals, so I see an animal coin. I want it. But then realize how far away from spot it is and start looking to see if I can find it cheaper. Of course, nine times out of ten. I end up not pulling that trigger at the end. For now I am sticking as close to spot as possible. Then will add a few 'have to have that' coins as I go along. I am totally nuts over the New Zealand mint coins. I just made the mistake of visiting their website for the first time. Boy, am I in trouble now. The Kiwi is my favorite bird. Oh dear! The rectangle shaped coins.... Like a kind in a really expensive candy store, alone! lol
    I do have one question it is probably super obvious, but on the Kiwi gold coins and a number of others; the price says POA. See it here: http://www.nzmint.com/bullion/all-products/1-oz-kiwi-gold-gold-kiwi-1oz?nav=5717 The first thing that came to mind was 'pending order amount'?

    Again, thanks to each and every one of you. I am truly grateful for your knowledge. ;-)
     
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  13. AlwaysWrite

    AlwaysWrite New Member

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    That monkey coin is disturbing... unless the seller happened to just use the same photo but maybe has real coins? Maybe both sellers grabbed the photo from someplace else? Or it could be a scam -- I'm not buying it and taking the risk! (Even though the eBay seller is from California and has 100% feedback.)

    As to your question, everyone has their own reasons. Some prefer to buy as much metal for as cheap as possible, buying bars and rounds close to spot price. Others like to collect pretty coins. Others try to buy limited mintages and try to flip them later on eBay for a profit (it will be hard to recoup your premiums on these if sold at coin stores). Yet others enjoy numismatic coins.

    Personally, I generally prefer government-minted coins over rounds, but try to stick as close to spot as possible there. So I pick up Maples or Britannias or whatever JM Bullion has on sale. I went through a phase where I paid a bit more for a cool silver coin here and there -- a Panda, a Lunar Dragon, a Koala, etc. They're fun to look at, and I just buy 1 here and there... but the majority of the stash I want the most metal for the money.

    It's important to consider the buy and sell parts of the equation. Check around at coin stores/shows or APMEX or eBay (if you're willing to devote the time to sell there) and see what your round-trip cost is to buy then sell. I don't mind paying $1.50 over spot for a Maple that will probably sell for spot + $1, vs. a random round that costs spot + $0.50 but will sell for spot. But I wouldn't pay spot + $6 for a Kangaroo that I can only sell back for spot + $1, unless I really liked it to keep as a memento -- and then I would just buy one, not a whole stack.

    Anyway, you're off to a good start. Good luck.
     
  14. Dude

    Dude Midas Member Midas Member

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    I like the Apmex deals. Speaking of lunars, when silver was 32 in 2o12, I saw 1/2 ounce 2012 dragons for 17.50, 3 over, which I considered great as they were going for 20 on ebay. The tip on the sale came from goldismoney. Now they are going for 25 on ebay with silver at 16. Instead of losing 50% on bullion, I could sell the 100 coins and make a reasonable profit on the 5o ounces, even after ebay fees. I also like to buy us mint limited editions with potential, selling a few of the quantity purchased and keeping a few, nearly free of charge. The next ones will be the standing lib gold and the Reagan coin and chronicles.

    At the end of the year, many sellers dump their current year eagles and gear up to buy next years from the mint. $2.39 over spot is my price point. Wish I would have bought more for 16.55 each last December. The mint charges resellers 2 bucks so their margin is small and so LCS almost always pays above spot if you sell back.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  15. HorseNut

    HorseNut New Member

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    THANK YOU!! I LOVE THAT SITE. I keep it open in the background now. Just watching for what to grab next.

    @AlwaysWrite I contacted the New Zealand Mint and they stated they did not make a Lunar Monkey coin in blue like that. So it's definitely a fake. It is very disturbing that so much fake is out there. People are ruthless. Thank you for the information. I agree, I keep looking at those neat looking animal coins and then that price. Not yet, I keep telling myself lol.

    I did purchase 10 of the Sunshine Morgan silver rounds today from JM Bullion at 79 cents over spot. I am going to hang on to those for a while. Such a nice coin. I wanted the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park 5 oz coin, but it was just too much over spot. Once I find some deals on the Maples and Ferns from the NZ mint I am going for those too.
     
  16. JayDubya

    JayDubya Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
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  17. ToBeSelfEvident

    ToBeSelfEvident Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I usually just try to get 1 of a design I like. The 5-oz ATB coins are one of the best silver plays in a long time, IMO. I also still look for art bars with interesting designs. I went to the Jacksonville, FL Coin Show today. Some vendors were still setting up since it's a 3-day show. I got a 2016 Koala for $21 which I thought was good. Got a 2016 Shawnee and Cumberland Gap ATB for $100 each. And picked up the "Seasons Greetings" Crown Mint Holiday Beauty art bar which was $30. The same bar is on eBay for $100. Mintage of 5000 and who knows how many have survived over the years.
     
  18. HorseNut

    HorseNut New Member

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    WHOA! You got some steals! Well done. I haven't been to any coin shows, so I started Googling to find some near me. Is there like one big coin show that a must to attend in Florida or is it best to go to the smaller shows for better deals?

    That is interesting, why would they dump the current year eagles. Don't they get more valuable as they get older? Especially, those rated MS70?
     
  19. ToBeSelfEvident

    ToBeSelfEvident Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    HorseNut, the FUN show in Orlando is the largest show in Florida. July 7-9. I have also gone to some smaller shows. You shouldn't have any trouble buying or selling at any size show.

    I went back to the Jacksonville show yesterday. I had 2 duplicate ATB pucks and I wanted to trade them for ATB pucks I didn't already have. There were almost no ATB pucks in the whole show. One dealer had a scratched up Denali for $200. Jim & Carrie Best from Lakeland had their usual spot in the corner of the hall. I always do some business with them. I bought the Crown Mint art bar from Jim on Friday. He also had a full set of the Crown Mint Beauties but he wanted $420 for the set. He wouldn't sell me the September beauty by herself.

    Anyway, I didn't see much that I wanted. I finally settled on a nice looking 10-oz Kookaburra listed at $200. I offered the dealer my two 5-oz ATBs + $10. He claimed there's no market for the ATBs. I sauntered over to Jim & Carrie's table, sold the ATBs for $190 in about 5 seconds, then bought the Kook for $200. I guess there was a market for the ATBs after all.
     

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