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Old 01-08-2020, 09:50 AM   #1
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New to precious metals, looking for advice.

Hi All,

I'm looking to get some precious metals and would like some advice.

My main interest is Gold, because ever since I saw the movie Goldfinger as a kid I've wanted to have a small amount of Gold of my own. However I know there is also Platinum to consider along with Silver. Is it best to diversify or concentrate on one metal? Obviously Silver is a lot lower cost per unit than Gold or Platinum.

My intention is to collect an amount as a long term investment (I plan to retire in about 25 years). With that in mind:

1. Are 1oz bars the optimal size to collect? I have read some say spread and have less larger bars of the cheaper metals, and more smaller bars of the more expensive.
2. Storage. Do you store at home? At home in a safe? Safe deposit box?

Finally, where is the best place to buy? It appears buying from reputable retailers like Apmex via Ebay is cheaper both on unit price and free shipping, is that safe?

Thank you.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:56 PM   #2
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Hi cg, welcome to the forum.

Your questions are typical for someone new to exploring precious metals and the answers will depend a lot upon your personal goals and circumstances.

What to invest in will depend upon how much money you are looking to invest and what facility(ies) you have for storage. Silver is more volatile (price) than gold, so there is more opportunity for growth at the moment (gold-silver price ratio is still pretty high and I expect it to go lower as the metals break out to the upside). But if you have a good bit of money to invest, you'll find that storing a large stash of silver can become a logistical issue. Gold is better (logistically) for larger investments.

When considering the unit size to buy, I prefer to think about the liquidity issues. How easy will it be to sell it eventually? Larger sized units (100oz silver bars or larger for example) may be more difficult to sell (to private buyers anyway) if the economy is down. I like 1oz coins/rounds/ingots for gold (smaller units are really small and I worry about losing them). I like silver in rounds/bars anywhere from 1 to 10 ozs.

The storage issue is something you need to figure out yourself based upon your circumstances. Some people store privately (either in a safe, or hidden somewhere), some prefer a safety deposit box (I don't - banks can go on holiday among other issues) and some prefer to use a vaulting company. The right answer for you will likely depend upon the area where you live (is your house secure or likely to be robbed?) and how much you are wanting to invest (not worth paying a vaulting company to store 10 ounces of silver).

Best place to buy? Since you mentioned Apmex and Ebay, I assume you are in America. There are a lot of online dealers you can choose from (see our Marketplace forum for member reviews of most of them). Apmex charges a bit more than most, but they have a great reputation for customer service and delivering on time. Ebay is ebay - caveat emptor.

I'd suggest searching around to see if there is a brick and mortar coin shop in your area. They won't necessarily offer a better deal on price than online dealers, but it's good to have a relationship with them when you want to sell some metal or take instant delivery on a purchase.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:00 PM   #3
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Thanks PMbBug!

Initially I'm not looking to invest a huge amount as circumstances don't allow. My goal at the moment is to buy as and when I can and build up a reserve that way. I'm looking for long term investment and certainly not hoaring it for when the end of the world happens as some seem to. It sounds from what you are saying that in that case it would be better to stick with Gold as it is less volatile, though I may get some silver too just for diversity.

You seem to have confirmed my thoughts on size. I was thinking 1oz bars are manageable and not so small you fear losing them. Likewise due to the low cost I agree 10oz bars are the way to go for silver.

Yes I'm in America, I will check out the marketplace and some local coin shops (I confess I haven't seen any). Aside from Apmex, any other good US retailers?
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:10 PM   #4
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I started out buying 1 ounce silver rounds. Then 5 ouncers, then 10. Like Bug stated above silver takes up a lot of space compared to gold. I bought silver from several different dealers online. Some are out of business now.
As for gold I buy 1 ounce coins or bars. The premiums on sub 1 ounce gold is high. A 1/10 ounce gold eagle is selling for about $170, that is about $150 an ounce premium today. I figured I could use silver for smaller trades or purchases.
If you buy online be prepared to stress out between the time you send the money and get the goods in your hands.
I buy gold mostly from Provident or Apmex.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:27 AM   #5
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Thanks Chigg,

Ultimately I want Gold for the reasons outlined above, but while I dip my toe I am going to do like you and start out with some 1 oz silver and build up to 10 oz bars.
Agreed on the premiums, I mean it costs the same to stamp a 5 gram bar as it does a 1 oz. So I'll look at collecting 1 oz bars for Gold or Platinum.

Last edited by cardiffgiant; 01-09-2020 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:44 PM   #6
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The next question is when to buy? The best time is about 2 hours after I place an order there will be a significant price drop.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cardiffgiant View Post:
Hi All,
1. Are 1oz bars the optimal size to collect?
2. Storage.
Finally, where is the best place to buy?
Been doin this for about 25 years now. One oz gold will be the best for price-size-premium, but... When it's time to sell you need to sell one ounce at a shot. Means that you will most likely have to sell to a dealer. Tenth oz coins are too costly, premium wise, but I think the best option is ΒΌ oz coins. I have been buying the maples (Canadian). 9999 fine gold (verses 9167 fine for GAEs) will get a better premium in asian countries. I steer clear of any gold bars because it's too easy to counterfeit them.

Storage β€” most people I know store their precious at the bottom of some lake (YMMV). It's best to keep yer mouth shut about any PMs in your possession and conceal them to the best of your ability. You do know that you do not own the contents of your safety deposit box, right?

The best place to buy is at your local coin shop. You hand them the cash, they hand you the precious β€” no paperwork trail there.

Silver β€” meh, that old dog? Got a ton of it. It ain't goin nowheres, ether value wise or transportation wise <heh>. The old dog. Would be much easier to spend after the crash, though.

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Old 01-15-2020, 08:56 PM   #8
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I really like the Mexican 20 Peso gold coin.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:13 AM   #9
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So whats the back story BF, if youve been buying 1oz gold bars for 25 years ?

was gold really less than $250 an oz ? ( my charts only go back 20 years )

Have you sold any in that time, or is it all in the lake ?
if it cant be done with a digger .... it cant be done
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