Do you own physical Gold or Silver or Both?

Do you own physical Gold or Silver or Both?

  • I own physical Gold

    Votes: 31 9.6%
  • I own physical Silver

    Votes: 52 16.1%
  • I own Both

    Votes: 91 28.3%
  • I own neither

    Votes: 125 38.8%
  • I only own paper metals

    Votes: 23 7.1%

  • Total voters
    322

renotime

Ostrich
Gold Member
what the hell, guy?

Are any of ya'll investing in junior gold mining companies? I've dabbled in Marifil Mines and Equinox Gold.
 

Jaydublin

Pelican
It is interesting to see the low premiums from online dealers. Also, I've heard that local dealers are buying back more gold/silver than selling. This is far different from in 2009/2010 when premiums were sky high. At one point I remember Apmex didn't even have any silver to sell except numismatics, 1,000 oz bars, and silver shot for industrial use.

Of course this doesn't mean anything. After 6 years of PM smackdowns the average retail investor is just happy to get their money back. They will foam in if prices rise more. This low retail interest could even be a positive. The Kitco Forums used to be widely visited, even 2-3 years after the crash. The visitors dwindled and when we got the spike up in summer of 2016 the forums were popping again immediately "THIS IS IT!". Now, even after this big move the forums are still pretty dead. Any given day the silver forum has only 2-4 threads bumped.

I am personally not buying much now but did buy a little in June. I really loaded up in 2008-2010 then again in 2013-2015. I have grabbed a few miners in August, half positions and looking for another opportunity to buy in. Maybe I'll get it or maybe I won't. I had a few positions from 2013-2015 but I wanted to have more exposure incase this thing runs like it did after the 2008 crash. After the crash gold and miners spiked up and never had much of a correction until they crashed in 2011.

I have been playing around with SLV call options and making some really nice profits though.
 

Deepdiver

Hummingbird
Gold Member

zoom

Kingfisher
Gold Member
If you have the space, then it's better to buy physical gold and silver rather than an ETF. The ETFs don't get properly audited and a lot of commentators believe that these funds don't have as much bullion in their vaults as they claim to.
 

Jaydublin

Pelican
^^^ that all depends on the purpose of buying it. When I was younger I loaded up on silver bullion and it really became a hassle. There are huge spreads in premiums(usually) and don’t believe people when they say you get the premium back on the sell, you don’t.

Anything that is a true insurance policy should be physical if possible. I have been dabbling with onegold recently but their security seems meh(they let me change my phone number for 2F authentication through a quick email lol). But I like the etfs for short term gainz and obvious playing with options.
 

Jaydublin

Pelican
An update the physical market from personal experience.

I mentioned a couple posts ago that retail investors haven't been investing. Dealers are letting PMs go at rock bottom premiums.

I just got an email form a pretty decent sized online dealer and they are unloading jewelry grade and AU grade pre1933 gold AT SPOT. Even MS 62 10$ double eagles at like 30$ over spot.

These coins aren't exactly rare but when I was big into buying physical PMs back in 2008-2012 I never saw anything like this, not with pre1933 gold or with any of the modern stuff.

Maybe this run will keep going but at the moment the retail investors just are not buying and are actually probably dumping at their break even number. It has been 6 years of pain for a lot of these folks and they are happy to get out even.
 
@jaydublin

Since you re quite knowledgeable I have a question for you

I have various type of fractional gold coins as part of both collection and investment. Usually 6.45g 20 francs format from various countries , models etc.
Some are bullions (2-5 % above premium) some are "semi numismatics" (10% or more) and some are clearly numismatics although they always hold their spot value (up to 300% premium)

We recently had a raise of the price of gold , which means less people buy and if they buy , they usually are beginners going into the safest bullions. I even notice a trend , which is to buy 1/10 fractional gold even if the premium is much higher than a 1oz

My question is
If gold goes up , why premiums on numismatic coins (with huge premiums) do not crash ?
If gold goes down (haven't lived any period like this as i am a rather recent collector) , do premiums on numismatic coins grow , as there is more room for such market and less demand on bullion ?
 

Tail Gunner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Polniy_Sostav said:
@jaydublin

Since you re quite knowledgeable I have a question for you

I have various type of fractional gold coins as part of both collection and investment. Usually 6.45g 20 francs format from various countries , models etc.
Some are bullions (2-5 % above premium) some are "semi numismatics" (10% or more) and some are clearly numismatics although they always hold their spot value (up to 300% premium)

We recently had a raise of the price of gold , which means less people buy and if they buy , they usually are beginners going into the safest bullions. I even notice a trend , which is to buy 1/10 fractional gold even if the premium is much higher than a 1oz

My question is
If gold goes up , why premiums on numismatic coins (with huge premiums) do not crash ?
If gold goes down (haven't lived any period like this as i am a rather recent collector) , do premiums on numismatic coins grow , as there is more room for such market and less demand on bullion ?
It is all about supply and demand. If retail buyers flood the market, then premiums on numismatic gold coins grow. If retail buyers keep shy of the market, then premiums on numismatic gold coins shrink. Right now, institutional investors are driving the price of gold instead of retail buyers (unlike in 2009-2011), so there are great deals on numismatic (historical) gold coins -- many of which have a premium similar to newly minted coins. This is just one example:

An anomaly currently exists that only a couple years ago could not have been imagined. 10 years ago, it would have been considered an impossibility!

Back in 2010, when gold traded at around $1,000 per ounce, "numismatic" pre-1933 gold coins traded for huge premiums. This happened because there was fear that the Obama administration might go the route of FDR and confiscate bullion. That did not happen, but we did get to see a precursor to what might happen should (when?) confiscation become a reality.

My focus is currently on the pre-1933 MS-62 and MS-63 $10 and $20 Liberties and the MS-62, MS-63, and MS64 Saint Gaudens.

Back in 2008, these coins were "bid," meaning dealers were willing to pay between $1,600 and $1,800 while spot gold was only $1,000. You could currently say the jumping off point to the highest-grade numismatics is at the MS-63 grade for Liberties and MS-64 for Saints. The next grades higher carry much higher premiums. Please keep in mind that these grades of MS-63 and MS-64 are way up the totem pole and represent extremely high grading – and thus rarity.

Over the last year, premiums for these coins compressed, particularly the MS-60 to MS-62 range. These could be purchased for roughly the cost of a current year American gold eagle or Canadian maple leaf. Now, MS-63 Libs and MS-64 Saints have seen premiums shrink to levels not much higher than that of modern gold eagles. This offers an incredible opportunity whether you are an outright buyer or want to swap current bullion into rare and uncirculated coin. Current pricing is stupid cheap!

Why have premiums collapsed? Because since 2011, the bear market in precious metals has destroyed sentiment and created sellers who became worn out, just as a severe bear market in real estate might reduce or wipe out premiums for waterfront vs. inland property. The premiums will once again expand, but confidence and desire to own must occur for the premiums to begin to come back. Should a whiff of confiscation come about or the prices simply continue to move, good luck finding ANY product resembling the spot price of gold...
https://mailchi.mp/futuremoneytrend...vs-financial-independence-495939?e=6c2471da81


BTW: Paying the higher prices for fractional-ounce coins is a waste of money. Spend your money an actual gold, not premiums. Obviously, buying numismatic gold coins is a great investment if the premiums are similar to those of newly minted coins, because there is no real downside risk (if uncirculated condition).
 

Sandstorm

Woodpecker
Premiums should be avoided at all cost (pardon the pun)

Because the only people who will buy it off you later and pay the premium are other retail investors. But how will you sell to them? Face to face in the street? On eBay? On Craigslist? eBay will rape you for 10% plus you run the risk of the buyer being a scammer, making a claim with eBay who always sides with the buyer, and either not returning it, or returning you fake gold or returning it scratched, or just wasting your time and your eBay reputation.

Craigslist you'll probably be mugged and have it stolen when you meet them... any other method seems unlikely. Best way would be through a PM forum where you sell to highly repped members and become a highly repped member yourself.

Otherwise, the safest way is to sell it back to the bullion dealer you bought it from and they will not pay you any of the premium, in fact they will not even pay you spot; they will pay under spot so they can make the difference.

So, buying beautiful PAMP Suisse gold bars is utterly pointless. Buy plain-Jane bars from your national mint.

Also, if you look at the price of buying a 1 kilo bar, vs a 500g, vs a 250g bar... it's all about the same (ie, 250g is a quarter of the price of the 1 kilo bar)

The smaller you go, the higher the premium and buying "cool" products like the Valcambi "Combi-Bars" is utterly pointless.

The difference between a 10g bar and a 100g bar is huge in terms of price per gram.

The very smallest size gold to buy in my opinion is 1 oz coins (preferably in bulk) and 50g bars at the very smallest. 250g would be better but obviously they are quite big-baller! The worlds wealthy all now just buy 1 kilo bars and keep them vaulted.

You have to really consider what the purpose will be - if it's simply an insurance hedge against a collapsing stock market/dollar devaluation, then bigger bars are your best bet. You just want as much gold as cheaply as possible.

If you may need to sell some as price moves up, then 1oz coins are easy to shift and obviously much smaller weight, so nicely fractional. Same for 50g bars (about 1.5 oz)

In a "Mad-Max" scenario, where ATMs have stopped working, power is out, mobs are terrorizing the streets... well, it's likely in that scenario that the entire financial system has collapsed in some way, so the price of gold is probably sky-high - your 1oz coin is now possibly worth $2500-$25000! (who fucking knows at that point)

If that's the case you'd be better off with a stack of silver dollars. They too will be worth more ($50-$250) but it's better trying to buy a weeks supply of food with a silver coin that asking for change from $10,000s worth of gold!

Best coins would be silver eagles, silver maples, silver Britannias if in the UK. Remember, it just needs to be easily recognizable to average people. Most people don't even know about gold and silver to begin with, so that's another problem to deal with.

Something else often overlooked by "stackers", is that even if ATMs were to shut down like they did in Greece and Argentina, most people will trust cash money above all else. More than they'll understand a silver dollar in this day and age.

So what you should also have is a nice fat-stack of crisp $10, $20 (your country's equivalent currency) hidden away somewhere at home.

That way, if ATMs/power go out, you'll still have a regular supply of money that people still value.

If money fails and goes into hyper-inflation, you've got the silver coins to trade with.

And of course you've got your big bars of gold which have persevered your wealth and can be transferred back into the new fiat (or whatever) when the situation is finally resolved.

And don't ignore Bitcoin - huge gains to be made if it takes off again - it proved very valuable to the people of Venezuela when their currency went down the toilet - VERY important lesson to be learned there.
 
Hello
My strategy at the moment is to collect all 20Francs formats (6.45g) up to 300% premium . This will keep me busy for 5-10 years , with around 40 coins. Only commemorative circulated or circulated and in decent state.
When I find a good deal , I buy a few , and try to sell and make little money.
Example I buy a finnish 20 markkaa 320 euro and try to sell it for 350 and repeat.
With the surplus , I buy bullion such as belgian 20 francs , french 20 francs , italian umberto s and vittorio emmanuelle s, ,swiss vrenelis etc which are also part of that list. You can find them for 5% premium big max , and 2% or less with a good research on the internet. So they fall in the same category than the eagles , the maples , etc but as an individual proud of European history and its various nations I prefer to buy such coins.

I also have a philarmonic 1oz which operates as pure bullion , and i could profit from selling it , but the % allocated to bullions ( LMU gold or modern such as philarmonic , eagles , maples etc) is too low compared to my % of numismatic coins so I ve decided to keep it.

My exit strategy is to keep my whole collection and its value for my kids. The speculative transactions are made to make little money and to consolidate my trading skills.

I usually use forum and sell to other forumers , this is the best. Where I live there is 0 dealer so I have to do it all this way.

I know that dealers would take back coins with a decent spread only for a few models. Most of numismatic stuff have a big spread and they more or less take everything back at spot. Which obviously isn't good when you bought coins for 100 or 200% premium.

With the "fall" of numismatics as a hobby I think we are going to see a lot of gold coins with big premiums crashing in the future. But this is just my theory.

All of what you two made sense but my main question was how does the premium evolve in case of a big raise of gold for coins which have a 100-200% premium , and same question when gold crashes.
I know for a fact that the 20 francs napoleon is commanding a much bigger premium when gold rises than during quiet times because there is "trust".

I do not have a huge budget (all in all maybe 15k max when collection will be finished in a few years ) so think it s a better thing to have various type of coins and premiums to eventually get rid of as it covers most of the outcomes (gold up or down)

If i had much more wealth , i would definitely buy bars only or a bunch of 1oz coins with discount and 2% premium as i would simply hedge myself against inflation , but i am at a different level at the moment where i combine collecting as a hobby and hedging myself against inflation.

PS : I Ignore bitcoin , because i do not understand anything about the technicality - and i also do not want to be tracked. There are plenty of ways to use cash only when buying coins , noone knows you have them.
 

Tail Gunner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Excellent introductory video on what to seek in a private bank vault jurisdiction.



Especially important is choosing a private vault with an active two-way market and liquidity (see 5:20 to end). What good is owning precious metals if you cannot liquidate them and exchange them for a currency of your choice when you need cash?
 
Tail Gunner said:
Excellent introductory video on what to seek in a private bank vault jurisdiction.



Especially important is choosing a private vault with an active two-way market and liquidity (see 5:20 to end). What good is owning precious metals if you cannot liquidate them and exchange them for a currency of your choice when you need cash?
Interesting video ; especially if you are US based.
But there will always be an issue in the exit strategy.
I am not an experienced investor more speculator bur say you have X amount of gold in one these vaults.
You decide to sell them.

The money comes back to you in the form of a bank transfer surely due to the amount. All official all legal and all clean .

But if you want the cash ( banknotes ) you cannot without leaving any trace.

I am not au fait with how the banking system works in the USA ; but I believe one of the main interest of holding physical gold is to stay anonymous and escape the banking system ; which is in fact not even linked to its function as a storage value .

I am constantly living in the ( illegitimate ? ) fear of capital control and a Cyprus/Greek scenario where all ATMs withdrawals will be limited and taxes will be enforced on your bank account. Probably for climate change and some other stupid stuff.
 

Tail Gunner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Polniy_Sostav said:
Tail Gunner said:
Excellent introductory video on what to seek in a private bank vault jurisdiction.



Especially important is choosing a private vault with an active two-way market and liquidity (see 5:20 to end). What good is owning precious metals if you cannot liquidate them and exchange them for a currency of your choice when you need cash?
Interesting video ; especially if you are US based.
But there will always be an issue in the exit strategy.
I am not an experienced investor more speculator bur say you have X amount of gold in one these vaults.
You decide to sell them.

The money comes back to you in the form of a bank transfer surely due to the amount. All official all legal and all clean .

But if you want the cash ( banknotes ) you cannot without leaving any trace.

I am not au fait with how the banking system works in the USA ; but I believe one of the main interest of holding physical gold is to stay anonymous and escape the banking system ; which is in fact not even linked to its function as a storage value .

I am constantly living in the ( illegitimate ? ) fear of capital control and a Cyprus/Greek scenario where all ATMs withdrawals will be limited and taxes will be enforced on your bank account. Probably for climate change and some other stupid stuff.
If you use the right private vault, you can have your gold sold and converted into the currency of your choice. If either the USD or the Euro collapses, then you have your gold converted into the other currency -- or into Swiss Francs or Japanese Yen or Bitcoin.

If you are worried about privacy, then you can ship the gold home (in tranches, if you wish) and slowly convert your gold into cash at the local gold dealer, pawn shop, or flea market. Or, instead of shipping your gold to your home country, you can ship it to the country where you have relocated to your bolthole -- and sell it there. Some of these vault companies have private vaults in as many as nine or ten different countries and they can professionally ship your gold, fully insured, to their various vaults as prudence dictates (or near where you are living as you migrate during a crisis).

While I am not worried about bank privacy, there are ways to ensure that -- such as shipping the gold home and slowly convert your gold into cash at the local gold dealer, pawn shop, or flea market. While I value financial privacy, I am far more concerned with preserving my wealth during the great financial reset.
 

JayJuanGee

Crow
Gold Member
Polniy_Sostav said:
PS : I Ignore bitcoin , because i do not understand anything about the technicality - and i also do not want to be tracked. There are plenty of ways to use cash only when buying coins , noone knows you have them.
Surely it is up to you to decide the extent that you ignore a new asset class on an ongoing basis. Bitcoin has been the best performing asset for about the past 10 years, and of course, maybe you could write off the first 4-6 years as being experiment, but a decently large market is developing around bitcoin including ongoing improving liquidity avenues.

There are more and more mainstream (still concededly a large minority) financial experts that suggest to at least get off of zero and to put some stake into bitcoin, and 1% would be prudent, even for those who are still conservative, skeptical and perhaps still learning about bitcoin.

Regarding anonymity bitcoin is pseudo-anonymous, so there are ways to keep a lot of your transactions private, especially if you attempt to do them peer to peer. There is a kind of ongoing attack on bitcoin's anonymity, but that is not a bitcoin issue, but more of an ongoing on ramping and off ramping issue that is increasingly mandated if you are going through third parties.
 
@JayJuanGee : Bitcoin is not an option at the moment. I simply don't understand even basic tutorials about mining etc so I am not even trying to buy some myself. I have some friends who are deep into it , but it's simply not my thing. I also know some very shady organisations who are using it extensively , so I am sure that governments at some points will take care of the problem in a way or another. I am also trying to turn everything into cash , with the origin of the cash not being traceable.

@Tail Gunner : There is no pawn shop where I am living. And in most European countries where I am regularly travelling to , a lot of them will not give you cash as payment , or with very low amounts or with a very bad premium. But it is interesting that you are mentioning CHF because that's one currency in which i really believe in , it has performed better than any other , especially the EUR which is the currency of most of my (tiny) assets.
There is also the 1000 CHF banknote which is incredibly convenient, as it is not seen with a bad eye like the 500 EUR banknote and it has been re-printed recently.
One of the biggest issue with vaults for me is that they can simply go bust and disappear the day everyone wants its gold back and crisis starts , especially if they are based offshore.

And of course I have made the "mistake" ( relative mistake) to focus on speculation on gold numismatic coins . I have made some profit out of it , but it is a good lesson for the future , as I now tend to save fiat money only in 2020 , my gold portfolio should include more low-premium gold and less numismatics.
Most of numismatic coins ( im talking coins with 100% premiums for example) can be sold only through individuals , for a bad premium (almost at spot in most of the cases) in pawn shops or through auction houses. You will always end up lose money with the latter two.
 

Zenta

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I bought my first gold coin the other day 1/10oz for about $15 over spot. I realize there is a bit of markup in buying in such a small quantity. I also bought one of those Chinese panda 30G silver coins as I had brought $200 with me. I mostly have my money in mutual funds but wanted to diversify a bit and hold some physical gold. I plan to maybe buy up small amounts every month.
 

JayJuanGee

Crow
Gold Member
Polniy_Sostav said:
@JayJuanGee : Bitcoin is not an option at the moment.
Of course, it is an option, it is just a matter if you choose it to be an option for yourself. The liquidity avenues have increased a lot in bitcoin in the last 10 years, and they are increasing on a regular basis.

Polniy_Sostav said:
I simply don't understand even basic tutorials about mining etc so I am not even trying to buy some myself.
Yes... that is your choice about whether you believe that it is worth your time and energy to explore and/or to create a plan for yourself in that direction rather than just completely abstaining from it.

Polniy_Sostav said:
I have some friends who are deep into it , but it's simply not my thing.
Well, good. At least, that is likely to help you to make an informed choice for yourself if you have at least looked into the matter, and explored how much efforts you believe it might take for you and made an informed decision against it. I did the same thing with gold about 6 years ago. I did not want what I perceived to be the burdens of it, in my own assessment of the trade offs from my perspective. I personally then concluded that bitcoin would be a better investment for me, including the trade offs of verifiability and portability etc.. and a hedge against the dollar as well.

Polniy_Sostav said:
I also know some very shady organisations who are using it extensively , so I am sure that governments at some points will take care of the problem in a way or another.
Could be the circles that you are exposed to. Some aspects of the government hostility towards bitcoin has been resolved over the years, but of course, there is always going to be some regulatory risks.

Polniy_Sostav said:
I am also trying to turn everything into cash , with the origin of the cash not being traceable.
That is certainly fair enough in terms of if you already know of some avenues to meet your objectives versus going into something that is less certain, such as bitcoin, and then you end up thinking that you have a certain angle covered, such as traceability and it ends up that you did NOT take adequate safeguards. Funny thing with Ross Ulbricht (the convicted silk road mastermind, allegedly). He got caught in a library because he had made some slip-ups in his op sec. Same with our forum member (RawMeow) from Alphabay who ended up getting caught with millions of dollars of various cryptos, including bitcoin, and then supposedly killed himself in a Thailand prison.. and some (if not all) of his cryptos were seized because there were some ways that officials used to trick him into getting access to his private keys, but it became quite obvious that there were a lot of lapses in his Opsec, too.

There are many other examples of traceability that went wrong with likely problematic and insufficient opsec practices (that many novices, including myself sometimes don't take adequate safeguards), so I can understand why you might get worried about getting into something that you are not sufficiently comfortable with and then end up getting traced to some kind of activity that you don't want to be traced to, and sometimes the traced activity could be based on the conduct of others rather than your personal conduct.. but you are implicated merely based on your associations with someone else with really poor opsec practices...so yeah, that is a possible risk that is unclear and various measures are still evolving regarding the extent to which private transactions are possible or maintainable in Bitcoin, and of course if you are moving around $1,000 probably no one is going to give too many shits about that, but if the amounts start to add up, then people are going to start to care and perhaps pay more attention about your proper accounting for such transactions that might otherwise have been none of their business.. blah blah blah.
 

Tail Gunner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
JayJuanGee said:
Funny thing with Ross Ulbricht (the convicted silk road mastermind, allegedly). He got caught in a library because he had made some slip-ups in his op sec.
Slip-ups? Haha. He was in a public library in San Francisco. San Francisco!

He should not have been anywhere in the U.S. -- and he should have been barricaded behind strong steel doors whenever he was logged onto Silk Road.

That was far beyond a slip-up. He may as well have been waving a red flag -- and screaming "I'm a pirate! I'm a pirate!"
 

JayJuanGee

Crow
Gold Member
Tail Gunner said:
JayJuanGee said:
Funny thing with Ross Ulbricht (the convicted silk road mastermind, allegedly). He got caught in a library because he had made some slip-ups in his op sec.
Slip-ups? Haha. He was in a public library in San Francisco. San Francisco!

He should not have been anywhere in the U.S. -- and he should have been barricaded behind strong steel doors whenever he was logged onto Silk Road.
I don't know. You seem to know so god damned much about supposedly shady aspects of bitcoin, Tailgunner, while conceding that you don't really know enough about bitcoin in order to feel comfortable taking a small stake in it. You know that the thing with bitcoin or any possibly complicated asset that touches upon a variety of aspects, you are not necessarily going to know everything about it before you might decide to invest or to take some reasonable stake in it. including the fact that I would not know how to attempt to engage in an online business in my late 20s or to necessarily be able to employ Tor or whatever that might be needed, which were potential issues for both Ross Ulbricht and for Rawmeow. I also have few clues about how the internet works or telephones, but there had been a lot of good investments with those investments too, especially in their earlier stages of adoption.

So, yeah, he was convicted, and also sentenced for life, so he must have been doing some things wrong - and probably part of the reason that he was convicted, including getting the book thrown at him was that he was seemed to had been proclaiming that he was engaged in a kind of anarcho-capitalism, so there are some reasonable arguments regarding whether he was treated fairly, but it seems that he has exhausted most if NOT all of his appeals, so likely the only avenues that he has left would be to appeal to a USA president for a commutation or a pardon.

I understand what you are saying, though, especially if there were some kind of intention to subvert the laws of the USA government rather than a mere disagreement regarding which ones applied to him under the situations in which he was selling a pretty broad array of products through his service, some of which were illegal.


Tail Gunner said:
That was far beyond a slip-up. He may as well have been waving a red flag -- and screaming "I'm a pirate! I'm a pirate!"
I can't really disagree with you a lot but I did believe that he had been making some attempts to conceal his identity, and from my understanding I thought that he had been pretty good at it except for some overlap in his use of accounts that ended up getting cross checked in order to figure out where he was and to stack up evidence against him. You likely realize that in that case there had been some further assertions that Ross was not treated fairly because there were a couple of the Fed agents who were also engaging in self-dealing by sending coins to themselves, and I believe the two Fed Agents were caught received considerably lesser sentences than Ross even though arguments could be made that Ross was a lot less evil, because it seems to me that Ross had been intending to provide legitimate services, but it just happened that some of those were illegal, yet he was NOT trying to steal money from others for his own self-indulgences like the two convicted Federal Agents that had breached their position of trust by using their positions to engage in self-dealings.
 
I haven't gone through the entire thread, but wanted to mention out that jewellery is an easy way to get into gold and silver as well as honing the eye for precious metals in the wild. I just received a 925 stamped bracelet that had a broken clasp for free. It's basic chick, but silver is silver. It's worth checking out thrift and second hand store jewellery counters. If it's a smaller store you can try and make friends with the staff/owner and ask to see broken or unsellable items. (If you bring decent items in regularly, it helps.) I have a pocket magnifier (cheap off eBay) to check for stamping.

My precious metals collection is likely very meagre compared to those in this thread, but I've received most items for free or very inexpensively through second hand shops.

I also try my hand at gold panning if I remember the tools when I'm out in the woods, but no luck so far.
 
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