Bullion vs numismatics

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by Jason.A, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Jason.A

    Jason.A Active Member

    Lots of discussion of this in lots of different threads.

    I suppose this has always been an easy one for me:

    1. Bullion is no longer bullion if it is a proof.
    2. Bullion is no longer bullion if it sells higher than an agreed upon premium. For me, that is 20%. If something is more than 20% over spot, it is no longer bullion.
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  3. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    3. Bullion prices change as spot changes, if movements don't change the price it isn't bullion
    Johndoe2000$ likes this.
  4. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    A 1996 ASE BU, which changes per spot price, is currently around $100 a 1 oz coin.

    how does that fit in ?
    Bullion, numismatic or both?

    New ASEs can be bought for spot + premium. But as time goes on it may go way up dependent upon other non-spot factors. How does that affect their "categorization"?

    I've noticed some bars too that are sold way above spot value due to the stamped information. To me bullion is simply rounds or bars that has no significant connection/identifier. Though, many may be sold to the public at significant premiums due to design. So once again some may be not only bullion. Of course, over time, those premiums may dwindle too, or go up.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  5. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Numismatic. Those have significant premiums in almost all grade levels and people who know ASEs would never expect to get one in a random ASE order.

    I think that's a pretty good definition. Something where you could swap out for another and it makes no difference
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  6. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    Except in 1996 they sold for spot + normal premium.
    Now, it's different.
    So it evolved from a "normal" bullion type coin to a numismatic coin.
    Johndoe2000$ likes this.
  7. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

    Proof isn't bullion for sure. Beyond that, you could start World War III for sure with the differing views.
  8. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Exactly. No classification is set in stone. Many numismatic coins became bullion coins during the silver run up as well which later turned back into numismatic/semi-numismatic.
    Johndoe2000$ likes this.
  9. ewomack

    ewomack Senior Member Supporter

    For me, numismatics and bullion go together and remain hard to separate definitively. Many numismatic items contain bullion, though they wouldn't likely get sold as bullion except as something such as "junk silver." Plus, some people collect bullion pieces, as the 1996 Silver Eagle and W burnished pieces suggest, giving them a layer of numismatic value. Plain old bullion, for me, appears in non-numismatic forms such as bars or rounds. But, some numismatic items, particularly gold coins, sell for bullion value and people buy them almost exclusively for bullion value (even some price guides simply state "BV" instead of a price for some items). So the distinction becomes really fuzzy and nebulous quickly.
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  10. sakata

    sakata Devil's Advocate

    Bullion is something you would consider burying in the ground. A numismatic piece is something you would consider burying in a safe. ;)
  11. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ RE-MEMBER

    Believe it or not, there are plenty of generic silver rounds that are struck in proof condition. No real premiums for the extra effort either.(most of the time)
  12. Jason.A

    Jason.A Active Member

    We call that lipstick on a pig.
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  13. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

  14. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ RE-MEMBER

    I call those collector, or art rounds.
  15. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Same. They're clearly meant to be more than just bullion
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  16. Santinidollar

    Santinidollar Supporter! Supporter

    I fail to see, however, where a slab saying MS70 justifies a price 2 1/2 times higher. Guess I never will.
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  17. sakata

    sakata Devil's Advocate

    According to the original premise MS70 is 2½ times higher than VF28.
  18. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ RE-MEMBER

    Same here, no real difference from a 69. Even a 68 looks flawless basically. It's all in the marketing.
  19. NorthKorea

    NorthKorea Dealer Member is a made up title...

    It only becomes a numismatic collectible if you sell it for more than you would any common date silver eagle. If you sold it as bullion today, it'd still be considered bullion. If the person you sold it to then sells it on eBay for a huge gain, it's then a numismatic collectible. ;)
  20. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Active Member

    Two simple factors:

    1) Desirability to preserve it and make or add to a collection of similar items
    2) When buying or selling, or valuing your items, are you tracking a spot price? If so, then that's a standard bullion premium. If not, then it's a "numismatic" premium.

    Proof or business strike matters not.

    Typical example - any US mint issued silver coin.

    Take a common date 1964 Roosevelt dime. Straight out of a mint set it could be either. If you take it and toss it into a tube with other Roosies, not caring about what happens to it, I'd consider it "junk silver", or bullion. If you take it and put it into an album, 2x2 or any other capsule or slab alongside a bunch of other year dimes, then it's crossed the line to numismatic because you have chosen to preserve it, add it to your collection, and can value it as well as sell it for more than you purchased the raw silver coin.

    Same with ASE's, AGE's, Maples, or any older silver/gold/PMs. I have rolls of ASE's in mint tubes in the SDB that I consider bullion since I value them based on spot price only and do not care about their condition. Then I have a binder of toned ASE's that are protected in plastic - some TPG stabbed, others in simple snap lock holders - which will sell for multiples of the spot price. Those are my collectibles and I consider them numismatic because of the other factors, but mainly someone looking to buy one will want to collect it, and not toss it into a tube, at 5x the silver spot price.
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  21. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ RE-MEMBER

    It's really up to the individual whether or not it's bullion or collectable. Someone could collect "generic rounds" and would like different examples from various sources. Even though purchased at or near spot, but they collect them, so they are then collectables, to them, not just bullion.
    So... IMO, it's up to the individual what's considered bullion, and what's collectable.
    The terminology is not black and white, rather it's one of the grayest areas in our hobby.
    I know that I "collect" what others may deem bullion. So what. At least collecting bullion has the intrinsic value it's PM. comic books, trading cards, etc... don't have that going for them. (just a couple examples)
    To each their own. :singing: let it be :singing:
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