Who to trust?

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by Lucky Cuss, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Lucky Cuss

    Lucky Cuss Cobrador de Plata

    I have some questions pertaining to the various private mints that typically churn out one ounce silver rounds and bars.

    Who are the big players nowadays? Who has the best or worst reputation? Who assays or verifies their output, if anybody? Who's in the best position to weather spikes up or down in silver pricing?

    Who used to be prominent in the this trade but are gone now? Why did they go under? Are any of those defunct companies' products to be avoided?
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  3. lonegunlawyer

    lonegunlawyer Numismatist Esq.

    You can't go wrong with Johnson Matthey or Engelhard. A-Mark is not bad.
  4. thesilvercowboy

    thesilvercowboy New Member

    Silver is silver. As long as its marked .999 fine you should be ok. As long as you buy from a reputable dealer its real silver.
  5. jloring

    jloring Senior Citizen

    imrich likes this.
  6. westcoasting

    westcoasting Active Member

    Trust no one... :D
    Actually, I would probably trust the private rounds made for the major metals dealers with a good reputation.
  7. Lucky Cuss

    Lucky Cuss Cobrador de Plata

    I had read the thread you referred to. Can you (or anyone here) quantify, even roughly, how pervasive the phony bullion problem is? 1 in 1000? 1 in 100? Every other one? And how deceptive are they? Will the normal "weigh & test" protocols really help you at point of sale, if you can even employ them?
  8. Always buy from a reputable dealer when it comes to bullion, scrap coins you don't need to. I use apmex, and they have very low premiums.
  9. Lucky Cuss

    Lucky Cuss Cobrador de Plata

    Well, let me throw out some other players for comments.

    I've heard nothing bad about Silver Towne in Winchester, IN. But how about Patrick Mint in San Francisco, CA, whose production has been sporadic? Or Sunshine Minting of Coeur d’Alene, ID (an awful lot of their stuff readily available), who've made and stored some coinage that ended up being seized by the authorities as illegal?

    And, of course, there's all kinds of rounds and bars that bear no manufacturer's identification whatsoever, but which your local coin shop will sell you with assurances that they're what they purport to be.
  10. SilverTracker

    SilverTracker Well-Known Member

    Hi Lucky,

    I have been buying bullion coins over the last year. I have as of lately bought off E-bay my World Silver 1oz bullion coins from only and I mean only reputable dealers such as MCM (modern coin mart), Apmex (already been mentioned) and Scottsdale Silver.

    I have had in the past bought from Provident Metals and Silvertowne directly and have never had an issue with them at all.

    You may also want to visit the US mint website and look at the authorized dealers of the American Silver Eagles in your area. This all should limit if not completely avoid you receiving any fakes.
  11. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Its always a problem, which is why private mint production has declined significantly and government issued bullion has become so huge. The assurance of a governmental agency is worth a lot when it comes to bullion, to ensure proper weight and purity. This isn't to say there is not good private mint product, or there are not faked governmental coins, but overall I think your risk versus premium is best with either junk silver or governmental issued bullion. If not for your own piece of mind, for resale purposes.

    The only privately issued pm I would consider would be bars from someone like Engelhard, but I probably would not even buy those. Why risk it when you can buy something like Maple Leaves or Philharmonics at very low premiums?

    Just my opinion.
  12. Lucky Cuss

    Lucky Cuss Cobrador de Plata

    Sure, I've bought ASE's, U.S. comemmoratives, Maple Leafs, even some of the issues from places like the Marshall Islands, et cetera. But my main interest in silver monetary coinage is that from Mexico, which can be numismatically fascinating, but generally will have pretty low premiums over melt as compared with many classic U.S. silver coins.

    When I do buy bullion, I'm attracted to attractive designs, or depictions of things that relate to my other hobbies. That's why the kind of stuff that Johnson Matthey, Engelhard, or A-Mark puts out sort of leaves me cold. A lot of what I look at was probably marketed back in the day by the Franklin Mint or like companies. I have discovered that some of those will bear the legend "One Ounce .999 Silver" but that's of course subject to interpretation as opposed to the more specific "One Tr0y Ounce .999 Silver" designation that I prefer to see, and in fact I find that the former will often weigh as much as a gram lighter than the latter.
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