Silver Recycling Volumes Forecast to Stagnate Over The Next Three Years

(September 9, 2015 – Washington, D.C.) The Silver Institute today released “Silver Scrap: The Forgotten Fundamental,” a report produced by Metals Focus, the London-based independent precious metals research consultancy, on behalf of the Silver Institute. The study provides detailed information on recycling broken down by region and by five sectors: industrial end uses, photography, jewelry, silverware and coins. This analysis then forms the bedrock for the forecast in scrap volumes out to 2017 and how those volumes might vary with price.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Silver recycling is projected to decline to 178.0 Moz (5,536t) by 2017. This is 14% lower than the 2011 peak, as growth is only expected to average 3% a year, even if prices rally to over $20. This outlook is based on further losses in photographic scrap, a depleted pool of near-market silverware and a limited response from most industrial end-uses.
  • The study found that scrap from industrial sources is the largest segment, accounting for around half the total last year. A key finding was the low level of recovery from the vast majority of end-uses, as highly fragmented ownership and low silver contents often make recovery uneconomic.  The main exception is the substantial and growing volumes coming from ethylene oxide (EO) catalysts.
  • Silverware is the second biggest source of silver scrap supply, with an 18% share of the 2014 total. This large slice was mainly ascribed to a sizable pool of product and a comparatively high value per piece.  By contrast, silver jewelry recycling is modest, despite higher consumption today, as consumers appear to be content to hold on to a still fashionable metal and resale is less valuable.
  • The report notes that photographic scrap remains in marked structural decline as a lagged result of the digitally-led fall in its fabrication since a peak in the late 1990s. However, still sizable volumes of recycling of old x-rays helped this sector achieve 16% of the 2014 scrap total.
  • The West, in particular North America, dominates recycling today, with 53% of last year’s total. Chinese scrap was, however, noted to be growing fast, with its share on target for almost 20% by 2017, largely as a result of gains in industrial recycling.
  • The report isolates four main drivers of silver recycling: the silver price; the scale of a products’ stocks; the degree to which ownership is fragmented and, lastly, environmental legislation in conjunction with its enforcement and voluntary compliance.

“The report illustrates the fact that one of the major contributors to the silver supply complex, scrap supply, has been shrinking, and is forecast to grow only modestly in the near term, further underscoring the strong fundamentals of the silver market,” stated Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute.

The report can be downloaded free of charge at: Silver Scrap:  The Forgotten Fundamental Report

Learning How to Buy Gold Investment for Beginners

People make investments because they want to keep their money stashed somewhere it can earn more. Successful investing is about keeping it safe too against macroeconomic and geopolitical risks. It is a known fact that gold and gold related investments are stable investment options. It can stand global geopolitical debacles as well as economic recessions/depressions. If security is what is wanted, there can no safer asset than making an investment in gold. With this and the potential for profit because of the strong market for gold, more and more people are becoming interested to learn how to buy gold investment these days.


If you have more than enough wealth and you wish to make an investment in gold, you must be wondering how you are going to do it or what cardinal rules that one must remember or follow. Generally, one’s motivation influences the buying of gold and the form preferred. Buyers, based on motivation can be described either as a speculator, investor or saver. Anyone of these can further have other finer motivations such as: Is the investment for the short, medium, or long-term? These are important because can define the different forms they would prefer to buy the gold.

The Value Of The Physical Gold

SilverSaver.comFrom a beginner’s point of view, the easiest to understand and do is concerned with the original form of investing which is the physical gold. It is an ideal part of a properly diversified investment portfolio. This can be bought in the forms of gold jewelry, numismatic coins and gold bullion. Gold jewelry is the most common and familiar form of gold investment among ordinary folks. This takes a very significant form in India where gold is a status symbol of family wealth and which is traditionally used in worshiping and holding of ceremonies. Numismatic coins hold special value not solely for the gold content but for their rarity, historical and aesthetic worth. Gold bullion is available either as gold bullion bars or gold bullion coins. These are highly preferred insofar as investment is concerned being lower in cost but can be easily sold at fair market price than any other physical gold.

Securities: Gold-backed, Stocks And Options

Investing in gold does not always entail owning of physical gold. One way on how to buy gold investment is by buying securities- Gold-backed Securities. A security is a financial instrument that represents a worth. These are actually indirect investments in the Gold ETF (Exchange Traded Funds), which, by the way are still backed by physical gold. This means that a holder of an ETC security only owns a claim against the issuer of gold ETC and cannot demand a physical delivery of the gold. Thus, investors must remember that gold-backed securities carry risks. Another form of securities that allow another gold-related investment is the gold mining stocks and gold mining funds. These are investments made in the companies engaged in gold mining.

Another way to buy gold investment is by using securities with values that are derived from the gold but which are not backed by physical gold such as structured production and options. These are contracts between two parties that will expire at an agreed time. These allow a lot of leverage because the trader can manipulate a large position with a small outlay but carry significant risks.

Other Forms of Gold Investment

Other forms of gold investment may be presented as gold certificates. A gold certificate is like a bank note that entitles the holder certain specified worth of gold. It is a proof of gold ownership in a paper because gold bullion is hard to store and transfer. This used to function like money from 1882 to 1933. The technology of the Internet has already bred the so called Digital Gold Currency. This is an electronic currency that is backed by gold bullion. People with these accounts allow ownership of gold and online transactions (buying and paying online) using their own gold. This also offers the same security as gold bars and certificates only easier to store and convenient to transact with.

With the global economy that is both bleak and uncertain, investing in gold is not only sensible, it is also a necessity. The best form is and always will be physical gold. Yet, with its weight in gold, maybe electronic accounts and certificates, which are backed by gold bullion and as secured as well, will do. So, are you enthusiastic to learn how to buy gold investment?

Coin Collecting 101: What Type of Coin Should You Collect?

Coin collecting is a fun hobby to start and the thrill of hunting for old coins is enough for many people to continue doing it. Other people consider coin collecting an investment, something they can receive a profit from. If you are one of those people, then you can find several types of coins in this article that will help you determine what others are looking for.

Learn about Silver

Most coin collectors will look for only a specific kind of coin that will make their collection more valuable and interesting to buyers. Others are collecting for sentimentality and are looking more at the coin’s uniqueness.

Series collectors are those looking for a series of coins that mark every year and every design change made in that coin.

Type collectors are those people who are looking to get one of each coin where there were/are changes made.

Ancient coin collectors are those people looking for coins spanning the years 650 BC – 450 AD. This is the time when coins were invented and there were silver, gold and bronze versions made. It also marks the time when Roman emperors were the rulers and most of them feature famous Roman emperors, Roman towns, or gods.

Token collectors are those who are looking for different kinds of tokens that were used in exchange for real money when there was a lack of coins. These tokens were used as local currency even if the government had not given permission for them to be used.

Coins are also graded. A coin’s grading depends on its condition and the price of the coin will rely heavily on that grade. It is important for a coin collector to know how to grade a coin to make sure that he is not swindled by individuals looking for a quick profit.

“Uncirculated” coins are those coins that are not showing any wear and tear or to referred to as “in mint condition”. A mint state (MS) grading depends on a coin’s luster, contact marks, hair lines and overall appeal. A coin can have a grade ranging from MS-60 (dull luster) to a flawless MS-70. Although MS-70 is considered unobtainable, a grade of MS-65 and higher will make a coin’s price shoot up.

Circulated coins are more forgiving, they do not take into consideration the amount of scratches and dirt a coin has gathered along the years. Grades for circulated coins will vary. AU (about “uncirculated”), EF (extremely fine), VF (very fine), F (fine), VG (very good), G (good), AG (about good), F-2 (fair) and P (poor) are used as indication of how much a coin is worth.

These grades are dependent on a circulated coin’s luster, visible wear, design elements and visibility of letters and numerals. Unlike “uncirculated” coin’s grades, these grades do not dramatically lower a coin’s value. This is wonderful for people who are looking just to complete a collection and do not care about a coin’s mint condition.

Pricing of a coin will usually be determined by a coin’s supply and demand. Very low supply and very high demand will make a coin’s price higher; however, high supplies of the coins will depreciate a coin’s value.

Demand is usually established by coin dealers where they take into consideration the number of people wanting to buy or sell the coins. Once a coin becomes difficult to find, coin dealers will usually make its price higher so that people are inclined to sell extra copies of their coins.

Grading and pricing a coin usually takes a lot of experience to master. Although there are several tips and guidelines to look for in grading a coin, only professional dealers have the final say on how much a coin is worth. It does not hurt to know this grading is done and why your coin was graded differently from what you thought.

Coin collecting is not really about investment, it should be a fun and thrilling hobby. While the overall goal of a coin collector is to complete a set of coins, learning what to look for in a coin is important to make sure that no one can take advantage of your need to complete a particular set.

Why Silver May Be A Golden Investment

Silver is a wonderful way to put your money in precious metals. This investment does not demand loads of money and you can get the strength and steadiness that comes along with precious metals.

You might want to search for dealers or firms providing online trading of silver. The online trading firm/dealer must have a functionally simple website and the web pages must be promptly downloaded. You can inform the online trading dealer the amount of silver bullion you want to purchase. silver barBullion is the basic product traded in the precious metals market. The unit involved is ounces. You can buy small bars of bullion by one ounce or bigger size bars at 10-15 ounces per bar depending on their size. The online dealer buys the silver and ships it to your destination.

Many dealers in online trading also handle deals that involve large transactions. You can do silver trade with them only if you can invest a good amount of money. By adding precious metals particularly silver to your investment portfolio of stocks, mutual funds etc, an investor can add a real asset to the his investment mix. This enhances the diversification scale, thus reducing the risks caused by fluctuations in any asset kind.

Silver is the most abundant and most inexpensive of the precious metals. Silver is very malleable, corrosion resistant, good reflector of light and is matchless conductors of heat and electricity. Silver plays an important part in your financial planning, as it is an effective investment for an average investor.

Silver has striking demand embedded in segments as varied as imaging, nanotechnology, electronics, jewelry, coins, superconductivity and water purification. Thus, silver has crossed the mark of a precious metal but is now an artistic metal and an industrial metal. Silver is vital metal that helps to improve the quality of our lives.

The value of silver may fluctuate but it has an inherent value that is unchallengeable and enduring. Moreover, between 1970 and 1980, the U.S. dollar lost more than half of its value, while silver prices rose nearly five times.  The economic factors that influence the price of precious metals are different from the factors that decide the price of other most common financial assets. Thus the independent change of precious metals graphs reduces overall volatility of the portfolio and maintains balance.

The dollar is declining and its acquisition power has gradually weakened over time and is anticipated to continue to do so. Thus the rise in online trading of silver can generally impart a hedge against inflation. As the economies swing between prices rises, recession and extension, the silver metals prove to be a sound investment. Many experts of investment believe that 15-20% of assets must be secured in silver investment.

Online trading of silver also gives you a sense of possession as you have the ownership or unswerving charge of their assets as purchasing physical bullion has a good focus. Online trading commissions on buying and selling bullion are minimal. Moreover, silver bullion bars are highly liquid in online transactions.

So don’t loose the golden chance in online trading opportunities of silver investment, as it’ll yield high returns.

The Top Five Morgan Silver Dollars

Why waste everyone’s time? Let’s skip the appetizers and get to the meaty stuff right now: The Morgan silver dollars poised to increase the most in value in the years ahead are the 1895, 1892-CC, 1894, 1878-CC, and the 1883-CC. Pretty bold prediction, eh? At this point, the reader now has three options: (1) Stop reading and act upon this information, (2) Stop reading and get on with life, or (3) Continue on, evaluate the analytical approach to identify the “Top Five” Morgan dollars, and then implement a variation of (1) or (2) above. If you’ve gotten this far, we encourage you to continue on with option (3).

First, a little background info on the Morgan silver dollar…

Morgan Silver Dollar
Photo credit: celticpixl / Foter / CC BY-SA

The Morgan silver dollar is today one of the most popular of all collector coins. First minted in 1878 following the passage of the Bland-Alison Act, the new dollar was named after its designer, George T. Morgan. Political pressure by powerful silver mining companies, in a gambit to stabilize the price of their commodity at artificially high levels, created the impetus driving the legislative action. Bland-Alison led to the overproduction of silver dollars, resulting in millions of these unused “cartwheels” languishing in bank and Treasury vaults. Indeed, few coins have ever been released under more dubious circumstances than Morgan silver dollars. Minting continued until 1904, and then again for one more year in 1921, when the series finally came to a close.

For decades thereafter, Morgan dollars were largely snubbed by hobbyists. Many dates, including those in mint state condition, could be obtained for as little as $1.00. This situation shifted dramatically in 1962, when the US government began selling original 1000-piece silver dollar Treasury bags to the public at face value. Stories of rare dollar finds circulated widely, touching off a veritable Morgan mania. Within a matter of months, all but a small fraction of the federally owned coins were transferred from government vaults to private hands, consequently expanding the Morgan dollar collector base far beyond anything seen previously.

Since then, Morgan silver dollars have proudly perched themselves atop the catbird seat of the numismatic world. Their physical size, availability, beauty, and historical significance have consistently attracted herds of new buyers. Numerous boom-turned-bust cycles have come and gone, sometimes driven by pure speculative motives, but from a long-term perspective, most Morgan dollar prices have trended somewhat positive.

Unlike some controversial promoters in the past, I do not propose purchasing Morgan silver dollars simply as investment vehicles. However, for collectors hoping to satisfy their numismatic yearnings AND acquire coins destined to be worth substantially more in the future, Morgan dollars do present a few opportunities. As noted above, as a whole, Morgans have gained moderately in value over the years. The crucial challenge, then, is to identify which members of this series have enjoyed the best growth patterns in the past. The underlying logic is clear: coins that have demonstrated the strongest gains over a long period of time are the coins best positioned to show similar price advancements with the continued passage of time.

In order to measure past performance and thus visualize Morgans most likely headed toward a bullish future, I developed a systematic approach. First, I researched individual Morgan dollar retail prices as they existed in 1950, for a broad range of conditions, and entered this data on a computer spreadsheet. Moving forward in time, values from the years 1980, 1995, and 2000 were likewise recorded. Finally, estimated selling prices in 2005 were juxtaposed with counterpart data from those earlier years. Because grading terminology has evolved over the 55 year period, certain assumptions were made to progressively track price movements throughout the time spectrum (e.g. an “Uncirculated” value in 1950 is equivalent to the “MS-60” of today).

For each date and condition, compounded annual return rates were computed from 1950 to 2005. [Editorial note: compounded annual return rate is the accepted yardstick for comparing investment performance. Of course, coins do not grow at a guaranteed uniform rate, such as bonds do, but if a coin is purchased at a certain price, and that price is compared with the value of the coin at some later date, the compounded annual return rate can be calculated for the time period in between]. Return rate computations were made from 1980 to 2005, 1995 to 2005, and 2000 to 2005. For each Morgan dollar, the data was placed in tabular format. Next, I calculated a “composite” score for each date by averaging all the compounded return rates computed for that date. I then ranked all the “composite” scores. The Morgan silver dollars with the highest scores are as follows:

Date: Score:
1895 11.37
1892-CC 10.54
1894 10.43
1878-CC 10.28
1883-CC 10.25

So, it would appear, based on past performance over a period of 55 years, the 1895 is the Morgan silver dollar with the best hope of appreciating significantly in the years ahead, followed by the 1892-CC, 1894, 1878-CC, and 1883-CC. Not surprisingly, dollars of the Carson City Mint occupy 13 of the top 16 positions, thanks to persistent collectors scrambling for bona fide artifacts of the romantic American West. On the opposite end of the rankings, Morgan silver dollars having the bleakest long term prospects include the 1898, 1899-O, 1884, and the 1888-O, followed by the 1897 coming in dead last with a score of 2.66.

Anyone whose dual objective is to acquire Morgan silver dollars with a bullish future ought to begin looking at the “Top Five” above. Purchase coins in the best condition you can afford, but be sure the coins are clean, problem-free, and CERTIFIED by a reputable grading service. Be prepared to hold for at least five years. Morgan dollars have skyrocketed in value in the last three years, so some cooling off may be in order before the next upward cycle.

If a polling firm were to survey the population of US coin collectors, it is very possible that Morgan silver dollars would win the vote as the most appealing coin in American coinage history. These beautiful coins have been the heartbeat of the hobby for many years, with no retreat in sight. Ironically, these same coins spent the better part of a century hidden away in government vaults, unseen, unwanted, and unloved. My, how times have changed!

Gold and Silver Maple Leaf Packaging

Gold Maple Leaf
Photo credit: tombothetominator / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Gold Maple Leafs debuted in 1979, Silver Maple Leafs in 1988. Since inception, 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs have been packaged ten to a tube. Because Maple Leafs are 24-karat, pure gold, they are “soft,” relative to alloyed gold coins, such as American Gold Eagles and Krugerrands. Further, because of the design of the coins and the tight-fitting tubes, it was difficult to remove, inspect, and reinsert 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs in their tubes without scratching the coins.

Actually, reinserting Gold Maple Leafs without at least some scratching is nearly impossible. Further, if the persons inspecting the coins do not know how easily the Gold Maple Leafs are damaged, needless damage often occurs while the coins are out their tubes.

Gold Maple Leafs carry the image of Queen Elizabeth II on the front, with a flat, clear field alongside the image. The backs have the outline of a maple leaf, hence the coins’ names. The problem arises from the coins’ really sharp milled (reeded) edges. When the coins are reinserted in their tubes, the milled edges often scratch the fields.

Then there is the problem with investors who like to “heft” their coins “to get a feel of them.” If they put four or five Gold Maple Leafs in the palms of their hands and “clang” them, the damage can be quite severe. Should a Gold Maple Leaf be dropped, rim damage is almost guaranteed.

As Gold Maple Leafs have been sold into the secondary market, damaged coins have become such a problem that Gold Maple Leafs have lost popularity with investors. The problem has become so widespread that many wholesalers bid only “melt” for Gold Maple Leafs, regardless of their condition. By paying only “melt,” wholesalers can profitably resell the coins for industrial or jewelry purposes if no buyers are found for the coins.

Gold Maple Leafs, like the Gold Eagles and the Krugerrands, are bullion coins, which trade for the value of their gold content, plus small premiums. Damaged Gold Maple Leafs do not mean a loss of gold; they contain an ounce of gold regardless of the scratching or rim nicks. Still, buyers do not like to receive damaged coins. This means that Gold Maple Leafs sold into the secondary market have to be evaluated for the degree of damage.

Some wholesalers refuse to take the time to individually inspect Gold Maple Leafs and separate them according to their condition. These are the wholesalers who generally will pay only “melt” for 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs, regardless of condition. Fortunately, the free market being what it is, there are still some wholesalers who will buy according to condition.

Yet the handwriting is on the wall: 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs in tubes will continue to lose popularity and probably will join Krugerrands, Mexican 50 Pesos, and Austrian 100 Coronas as basic bullion coins, which carry the smallest premiums in the bullion coin market.

With the new packaging, each 1-oz Gold Maple Leaf will be encapsulated in plastic and suspended in the middle of a plastic card, somewhat as 1-oz gold bars are packaged. However, the plastic protecting the Gold Maple Leafs will be heavier and more durable than the plastic used with 1-oz gold bars. The new packaging should keep the coins from being easily damaged.

With the new packaging, the Royal Canadian Mint made another big change: 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs will now come 25 to a box, whereas the old packaging is ten to a tube. This change could further increase sales as 20 coins are common ordering units for gold bullion coins, because the world’s most popular gold bullion coins—American Gold Eagles—come 20 to a tube. As a result of the change, investors wanting “complete original packaging” will move up to 25 ounces.

However, orders for small quantities mean the coins will have to be removed from their mint boxes—but still individually encapsulated—and put in other containers. The new packaging also will require more storage space for Gold Maple Leafs than for 1-oz gold coins that come in tubes.

Although 1-oz Gold Maple Leafs will be a little more cumbersome to handle, a large segment of the gold coin bullion market prefers pure gold coins. Gold Maple Leafs have long been the most popular 1-oz pure (.9999 fine or 24-karat) gold bullion coins on the market, and the new packaging should keep Gold Maple Leafs as the preferred 24-karat gold bullion coins. (The market for pure gold bullion coins is estimated to be $2.4 billion annually.)

New packaging for 1-oz Silver Maple Leafs has also been introduced. However, Silver Maple Leafs in their old packaging are still available. Since Silver Maple Leafs were introduced in 1988, they have been packaged twenty coins to a sheet, 200 coins in a box. Each coin was individually enclosed in plastic. The new packaging will be similar to the U.S. Mint’s Silver Eagles packaging.

Silver Maple Leafs will now come 20 to a tube, 25 tubes to a container, and 500 coins to a “mint box.” The new box will be made of durable heavy plastic, whereas the boxes of 200 are cardboard. The new packaging should make Silver Maple Leafs more competitive with American Silver Eagles, presently the most popular 1-oz modern silver bullion coins being sold.

Investing In Silver – Is This Profitable Investment Field Right For You?

Is investing in silver a profitable endeavor? Metals have been the attraction since ancient of times to this day. Investing in gold, silver, copper, zinc and oil is considered as good investment now.

There are also indexes that reports and records silver and gold price movements. Investing in silver is a bright idea, as the silver index looks promising. In the month of July 2015 silver has hit a high of $15.68 per ounce and since it is under $20 it is still at the reach of an ordinary investor.

Canadian Silver DollarsThe demand of silver is increasing in countries around the world and that is the major reason why investing in silver remains good.

Gold and silver almost move in the same way on an index. Therefore, when gold prices do well, it heavily affects silver prices.

It was exciting to experience the last silver boom which took place in 2011 and 12 when prices hit $48.70 per ounce.  Another silver boom is likely to occur soon, and contributing to this factor is demand of silver articles in USA, China, India, Russia and other parts of Europe. Silver jewelry is highly in demand… it looks chic, is affordable and has a resale value. Silver consumption is increasing day by day. Industries silver demand is increasing every year.  Silver is a good conductor of electricity and that makes it popular as well.

Investing in silver is rising as a powerful business with lots of money to play around with. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that investing in silver will bring you a gold mine. One can invest in Silver coins or silver bullion. Your broker can be the guide to your investing in silver.

The bottom line is this: in order to really profit from investing in silver, you need to focus all your efforts on this endeavor. Don’t become a jack of all trades but master of none. Follow these important tips and you’ll make a good profit with your silver investing exploits.

Getting Started on a Coin Collecting Hobby

Through the decades, people have collected coins for different reasons. In the past, when coins were made of gold, these were collected mainly for their intrinsic value. As far back as the 1st century, accounts show that the Roman emperor Augustus already had a form of coin collecting hobby. He gathered exotic coins which he used to give away as gifts.

Coin collecting today is frequently referred to as numismatics. Strictly speaking though, numismatics is a broader discipline which devotes itself to the study and collection of different types of currency while coin collecting limits its interest to the acquisition of coins. Still, using numismatics as a name for coin collection has become commonly accepted.

The Kind of Collector You Want to Be

peace_dollarIf you want to start collecting coins as a hobby, it is important that you decide what kind of a collector you want to be. You may want to start a coin collection as a serious investor. You may even want to gather certain coins because of their metal value which can be almost twice their face value as currency.

Photo credit: rclatter / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: rclatter / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Or, like many collectors, you may want to collect coins just for fun without care as to type, condition or value of the coins gathered. Your interest in coins may be so expansive that you want to take in many different types of coins. This would make you a generalist like the exiled king of Egypt, King Farouk, who had accumulated 8,500 rare coins and medals at the time of his death.

Investing in Your Collection

You will have to invest not just time and effort but also money in your coin collection unless you plan to gather coins randomly without attaching any importance to value. Make no mistake about it; a coin collecting hobby can cost you a pretty penny.

Expenses in the proper collection of coins will include the cost of basic tools such as a reference book on coins, albums or holders to classify and keep your collection, gloves and a strong magnifying glass. Usually, serious collectors keep a jewelers’ loupe as well. The cost for all these items will be in the neighborhood of fifty dollars. You can look for free reference materials to bring this figure down but if you are bent on pursuing this hobby in earnest, sooner or later you will have to buy a good reference book that you can keep on hand all the time.

Of course on top of the tools you will be using, as a serious coin collector you will be buying some items to add to your stash. A coin can cost anywhere from $10 to $100,000 so it will be up to you to decide on a budget and stick to it.

Deciding What Kind of Coins You Will Collect

Unless you want to be a generalist, it would be good to focus on the kind of coins you will collect. Some collect coins based on country of origin while some do this based on design. Others will gather coins based on the year or the period they were minted or the subject depicted on them. There is a wide range of choices in terms of the kind of coins you want to look for and keep. However, it would be wise to first take stock from the beginning of what you already have and how much you intend to spend.

Photo credit: mr.smashy / Foter / CC BY-NC
Photo credit: mr.smashy / Foter / CC BY-NC
For the person wanting to grow their collection of silver coins, collecting pre-1965 dimes, quarters, and half-dollars might be a good choice. Don’t be misled by the term used to describe these coins – “junk silver”, as they are definitely not junk.

Learning about the Hobby

A coin collecting hobby can be enriched by the wealth of information readily available today about the topic. If you want to indulge in your hobby in an organized and knowledgeable way, find out everything you can about coin condition and value. Practice your hand at examining coins based on universally accepted standards in coin collection. Join a group that shares the same hobby and learn everything you can. If you go into collecting with skill and enthusiasm, your collection of coins can present you with a vast and interesting new world that you can fully enjoy by yourself or with the participation of friends and family.

Greece Today, America Tomorrow

Ron PaulThe drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. It appears a deal has been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy and the European Monetary Union. However, this deal is merely a Band-Aid, not a permanent fix to Greece’s problems. So another crisis is inevitable.

The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.

Despite all the handwringing over how the phony sequestration cuts have weakened America’s defenses, the United States military budget remains larger than the combined budgets of the world’s next 15 highest spending militaries. Little, if any, of the military budget is spent defending the American people from foreign threats. Instead, the American government wastes billions of dollars on an imperial foreign policy that makes Americans less safe. America will never get its fiscal house in order until we change our foreign policy and stop wasting trillions on unnecessary and unconstitutional wars.

Excessive military spending is not the sole cause of America’s problems. Like Greece, America suffers from excessive welfare and entitlement spending. Reducing military spending and corporate welfare will allow the government to transition away from the welfare state without hurting those dependent on government programs. Supporting an orderly transition away from the welfare state should not be confused with denying the need to reduce welfare and entitlement spending.

On reason Greece has been forced to seek bailouts from its EU partners is that Greece ceded control over its currency when it joined the European Union. In contrast, the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is the main reason the US has been able to run up huge deficits without suffering a major economic crisis. The need for the Federal Reserve to monetize ever-increasing levels of government spending will eventually create hyperinflation, which will lead to increasing threats to the dollar’s status. China and Russia are already moving away from using the dollar in international transactions. It is only a matter of time before more countries challenge the dollar’s reserve currency status, and, when this happens, a Greece-style catastrophe may be unavoidable.

Despite the clear dangers of staying on our recent course, Congress continues to increase spending. The only real debate between the two parties is over whether we should spend more on welfare or warfare. It is easy to blame the politicians for our current dilemma. But the politicians are responding to demands from the people for greater spending. Too many Americans believe they have a moral right to government support. This entitlement mentally is just as common, if not more so, among the corporate welfare queens of the militarily-industrial complex, the big banks, and the crony capitalists as it is among lower-income Americans.

Congress will only reverse course when a critical mass of people reject the entitlement mentality and understand that the government is incapable of running the world, running our lives, and running the economy. Therefore, those of us who know the truth must spread the ideas of, and grow the movement for, limited government, free markets, sound money, and peace.

Article written by Dr. Ron Paul

U.S. Mint Suspends Sale of Silver Eagle Coins

2015 Silver EagleThe U.S. Mint has suspended sale of U.S. silver eagle coins because a large increase in demand has depleted their inventories. In the memo to authorized purchases said the suspension would last about two weeks.

In today’s memo to bullion coin buyers, the Mint said:

“As you are aware, the significant increase in demand for American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins depleted our current inventories. The United States Mint facility at West Point, New York, continues to produce American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins and we anticipate resuming sales in approximately two weeks.”

Gold and silver coins legal tender in Oklahoma

The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 10) provides for individual states to recognize gold and silver coins as payment for all debts. Last Wednesday, Oklahoma joined Louisiana, Texas, and Utah in exercising their Constitutional right to grant U.S. minted gold and silver coins legal tender status.

Bartering with gold or silver coins is legal in all states. However, states with legal tender recognition make it much easier for citizens to receive payments or pay bills in gold or silver. Legal tender status means no state or local sales or income taxes apply to transactions involving gold and silver American Eagles (and certain other U.S. coins).

At the federal level, capital gains taxes would still apply on coins whose value has appreciated in dollar terms.

What’s needed to allow gold and silver to compete on a level playing field with the U.S. fiat dollar is what Oklahoma has done at the federal level. Until then, we as individuals can help undermine the dollar’s undeserved and highly abused monopoly status by pressuring our state legislatures to declare gold and silver legal tender.

Starting a Coin Collection
It is never too early or too late to have a hobby. Some people are hobbyists for fun while others see a bigger picture; and that is to make money. Some objects that may seem inexpensive now may become valuable or priceless later.

A few good examples are baseball cards, toys and stamps. Many people have made a fortune by collecting and selling on auction sites like EBay. Another collection that can become profitable is coin collecting.

Getting started is as easy as deciding what kind of collection you want. Coins are made every year and some are introduced years later so focusing on a particular time period and location is important.

Conducting research using reference books or the web can aid in coin collecting. You can learn almost anything about the coins to be collected and will help the collector discover those who want to sell coins.

Another good source of information is subscribing to a coin publication such as Coin World or Coinage Magazine. The local coin shop can also expand the search for those antique coins outside the collector’s city or state.

Being a member of a coin club can build the collector’s network. Some members may want to part with a particular coin in exchange for another, etc.

Coins that are no longer used generally have more value than those that are still active, because coins in the past were made of 100% silver or gold. Since the demand for silver coins increased and they were difficult to produce they are now made of 40% and 60% copper.

After completing the collection, the coins should be stored in a nice folder or album. This will keep them clean and easy for the individual to carry around and display.

Coins can be cleaned by soaking them in any of the following liquids: vinegar, rubbing alcohol, lemon juice or ammonia which will remove any dirt or encrustation that’s on the coin when it was acquired. Afterwards, they should be air-dried or patted dry with a soft cloth. Rubbing or polishing the coins is not advisable since it scratches and will decrease the market value of the coin.

Coin collecting can be a lot of fun. By deciding on a specific period to begin with then searching for it, the collector will have something valuable as an investment.

Your Own Coin Collecting Kit

Coin collecting is not as simple as keeping coins: it may be observed from numismatists or even coin enthusiasts that it is a systematic and somewhat complicated hobby. Certain tools must be employed to ensure both fun, discipline and to some extent, good profit.

Here are some of the essential things that must be included in the coin collecting kit.

1. Coin Guides

Coin guides should be used, not just by beginners, but by professional coin collectors as well.

Coin guides give tips on how to start, as well as special instructions on how to proceed with the hobby of coin collecting.

They also provide information on coins, since different coins have different ways of grading, pricing, etc.

It is recommended you read guides before doing starting the hobby to avoid making wrong decisions caused by lack of information.

2. Coin Inventory Record

All items in your collection must be accounted for properly. Information like year, face value, grade, cost, trend, and remarks must always be available for reference.

Inventory Records also help in organizing coin collections. It eliminates the redundancy of coins in the collection by showing the collectors at a glance the items in his collection.

Coin collectors do have options in the method to be used in recording coin information. They may choose the traditional paper-and-pen method, or may use coin collecting software.

3. Coin Containers

To avoid damaging the coins, it is recommended to invest in holders and containers that will give adequate protection.

Just remember that coins react to certain chemicals such as sulfur present in paper and PVC from plastic it is not advisable to use such materials for long-term storage.

4. Silica Gel

The use of silica gel packets is important to maintain the moderate temperature, low humidity atmosphere conducive to coin preservation.

5. Magnifying Glass

Magnifying glasses are a great help when it comes to coin grading. Most numismatists recommend using a 7x magnification, but generally, magnification between 4x to10x will do the job.

The magnifying glass is a great aid in examining the quality and authenticity of the coins. Details like hairlines or scratches, which are not visible to the naked eye, are “big deals” when it comes to coin collecting as they affect the value of coins.

6. Lamp

A light source must be placed half a meter away from the workspace. Recommended light for this purpose may be a halogen lamp, or simply a 75-watt incandescent lamp.

7. Handling equipment

Finger marks reduce the grade of the coins. That is why serious collectors invest in surgical gloves and velvet pads to use when handling coins.

Now your basic coin collecting kit is complete. Enjoy!

How to Survive the Economic Downturn

In order to be economically independent, you have got to be able to take care of yourself without any assistance from anyone else. Sadly, the truth is that our independence is systematically being taken away from us and we are steadily being made serfs of the state. And once you become a serf of the state, it is very hard to resist anything the government is doing in a meaningful way.

The trend right now is the destruction of the middle class. Regardless of your political beliefs, the evidence is obvious, the new Obamacare law is hurting people economically. 74% of small business will fire or cut hours under Obamacare according to the Chamber of Commerce.

Creating an income stream from a home based business might be the answer for you.

Finding the Money in Gold Coin Collecting

Starting and maintaining a gold coin collection takes a lot of money and it is only reasonable to expect such a collection to increase in value as years go by. If you are seriously thinking of venturing into gold coin collecting it is important to know everything you can about it. This way you can make sure you will find money and not lose it in gold coins.

There are Gold Coins and there are Gold Coins

A gold coin is exactly that – a coin that is made wholly or at least mostly out of gold. There are slight variations in the standard for being able to say that a coin is made mostly of gold. Starting from those for circulation in the year 1526, English gold coins have been 22 karats or 91.7 per cent gold while American gold coins for circulation in 1837 and following were minted at 90 per cent gold or 21.6 karats.

If you are thinking of investing in gold coins, there are two types of coins you may want to purchase. The first type is the bullion whose value rests simply on the weight of its metal content and not on rarity, quality or historical worth. Basically, gold bullion coins are used not as legal tender, but as a hedge against inflation. Gold bullion coins can weigh from a tenth of a Troy ounce to a quarter of an ounce to half an ounce or a full Troy ounce.

The second type of gold coin you can invest in is the coin which has been minted for legal tender. While the gold bullion coin derives its value from its gold content, this second type of coin can be worth much more than its weight in gold. There are other factors such as rarity and coin condition that influence the price of gold coins minted as legal tender.

The safer type to invest in would be the gold bullion coin because its price simply follows the price of gold which has steadily risen through the years. There is more risk, but at the same time more room for speculation when investing in gold coins that are used as currency.

How to Begin Gold Coin Collecting

The first step in collecting gold coins would be deciding what kind of coins you want to collect and what your budget is. There is a wide range of gold coins from you to choose from. Austria, Australia, the United States, member nations of the European Union and many other countries have minted their own gold coins in the past and some continue to do so now.

Assuming that you want to collect gold coins that have been used as legal tender, you might want to test the waters by looking into the availability of Liberty Head or Coronet Head Gold Eagle coins. These were minted from1838 to 1907. They come in three styles and are characterized by the face of Liberty looking to the left with a coronet that bears the word liberty.

These coins are one of the most affordable US gold coins and this has made them a big favorite among collectors.

Or, you might want to invest in British Gold Sovereigns, in Australian Kangaroos, South African Krugerrands or Chinese Gold Pandas. Whichever type of coin you want to start investing in, just remember to do your homework first. Track their prices in the last twenty years and figure out if their increment will allow you a good enough profit for the amount you will be spending when you buy.

The world wide figure for coin collecting is about ten billion dollars a year so. It is a big market so there is room for making money from gold coin collecting. Be aware though that this is not a get-rich-quick business and it may take years for a substantial appreciation in value to take place. Still, in a world where stocks of giant corporations have crashed and investment houses have come face to face with the possibility of collapse, gold coins can offer a form of security that is hard to come by.

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A coin is worth more than a coin
Coin collectors, old and new, have always wondered whether the coin or coins they have in their possession are worth more than the face value today – or in the foreseeable future.

Even though that a coin which has little or no value monetarily is not necessarily one would not keep or make part of one’s coin collection.

The following are basic factors which could influence a coin’s value.

How rare or un-rare is it?

Generally, the concept that everyone knows and follows is this: the rarer a coin the higher the coin’s worth. This rule is true in some cases and – fortunately or unfortunately – false on the others.

There was a situation where a Chinese coin, a thousand years old, sold for only a few of dollars because there were many of the thousand-year-old Chinese available. Compare this to a coin made only in 1913, a nickel specifically called a Liberty Head, which could sell for (hold your breath) one million dollars! It is known that only five of these coins exist, consequently the enormous monetary value.

Is the coin in good condition?

The better the condition of the coin, the better the price that it would bring on the market, because the grade of the coin would match its condition. A coin that is in mint condition – add to this that it is basically an uncirculated coin – is actually worth one hundred times more than a similar coin that is just in average circulated condition.

Demand and supply

Sometimes, when the demand for a specific coin is high, that coin’s worth – despite the number of them available – is just as high.

Take the example of the coin dated 1916-D, and compare it to the value of a coin dated 1798. Many people prefer to collect coins of the 20th century rather than those that are from the 1700’s. The 1916-D dimes sell higher than the much older 1798 coins. The fact that there are more (approximately four hundred thousand) 1916-D coins than there are dimes from the year 1798 (only about thirty thousand), does little to affect the price of each.

It is best to have a professional coin dealer grade the coin(s) and determine the value of any coin(s) you may own. Who knows, it could be worth more (or less) than what you think.

Understanding the Value of Gold Amidst Various Economic Conditions

There is no doubt that during the latter parts of 2008, the United States’ economic condition went down from its former glory. Many investors became worried about the U.S. debt burdens and their possible impact on the currency, stocks, and real estate markets. This lack of confidence made many investors increase their stores of gold. Gold, among all the precious metals, is considered one of the most stable assets even during tough economic times. So, is gold investment good when the economy is down? What about when the economy is doing well? Let’s find out.

SilverSaver.com1.) Gold is a stable asset.

Gold would have not been money for hundreds of years if it weren’t for its stable value. The economic issues of “demand and supply” that affect other commodities are not as relevant to gold because this highly-valued metal is inflation-proof. Say you have a ten-dollar “bill” in one hand and a ten-dollar “gold” coin in your other hand. Which of these two has more value? The gold coin has more value, of course. Sure they were of equal value six decades ago. However, due to inflation, the ten-dollar bill has dropped dramatically in terms of buying power while the ten-dollar gold coin has tremendously increased in purchasing power. Is gold investment good? Definitely yes, because the value of gold appreciates over time.

2.) Gold is a highly-valued metal by many countries.

Gold, being one of the most important metals in history, is prized by nearly all nations of the world. Most countries, if not all, continue to trade in gold, making it one of the most liquid financial assets in any investment portfolio. Because of its universal value, investors will not have a hard time using gold in their transactions.

3.) There are several ways to invest in gold.

While buying bullion gold bars has been one of the most traditional ways to invest in gold, this treasured metal offers a variety of other investment opportunities to interested individuals. Some investors prefer gold exchange-traded products such as ETFs, ETNs, and CEFs to avoid the hassle of storing gold bars. Others invest in gold coins for their “safe haven” status. Some prefer gold certificates to avoid the pitfalls and large costs of transferring and storing physical bullion. Is gold investment good? Certainly, because one will definitely not run out of options when it comes to gold investing.

4.) Gold is considered a “safe haven” when the economy is underwater.

This “safe haven” status was again supercharged when Switzerland’s central bank established a limit on how much the Swiss Franc can gain. Severe recession results in weak currency. Interest rates are kept low and people get virtually nothing for their money in bank accounts. So, is gold investment good when the economy is weak? Absolutely. Because gold price increases when currencies weaken.

5.) The demand for gold is expected to surge in emerging-market countries.

The world’s love for gold shows no sign of weakening. Around 2,000 to 3,000 tons of gold are mined every year to meet the world’s demand for the said metal. A lot of developing countries, especially China, Brazil, India, and Russia are having an increased appetite for gold jewelries, watches, and other gold-based products. This growing interest in gold can be a very good advantage to those investors who want to make big profits from this demand.

These are just some of the reasons why this glittering yellow metal is so valuable to many investors around the world. Gold has long been considered a good investment because no matter what the condition of the economy is, gold always remains a highly priced asset.

Coin Collecting Auctions: Bane or Boon?
If you are a coin collector who wants to sell or buy coins, one good way to do it is through coin auctions or bidding.

Coin auctions provide the best ways to obtain coins that have remarkable values. Coin auctions are the primary source of rare coins because most rare coin collectors want to sell their treasures to the highest bidder.

Unlike the typical way of selling and buying coins, coin auctions entail some rules and regulations for both the bidder and the seller that they must adhere to.

Basically, there are three types of coin collecting auctions. These are:

1. Auctions through mail bidding

In this type of coin auction, the seller will advertise and publish coin auctions through the mail. This is highly beneficial for people who want to participate in the activity but cannot attend the event personally.

Usually, the seller has a mailing list available and it is used to send catalogs that contain the descriptions and pictures of the item(s) to be sold. At times it may contain the starting bid amount and other pertinent information.

The seller’s mailing list, the catalogs, or brochures are sent out to the potential bidders. These lists may also be sent to those who have purchased from them in the past.

2. Phone auctions

These auctions are conducted by phone. Just like the mail bidding, phone auctions must observe the rules and regulations that are to be followed.

Once the highest bid is identified, the item goes to the winner. However, there are some instances when people may ask the seller for an approximate selling price but the rules still remain the same, no disclosure of previous bids.

3. Online coin auctions

This type of auction is popular because when bidding on a particular coin the bidder is able to see what the coin looks like. Greater interaction between the seller and the buyer may also be achieved as the seller can instantly contact the bidder for important information.

The only drawback to this kind of coin auction is that through the Internet, others can deceive a coin collector into believing that what they see on the screen is exactly the same item that they are bidding on.

All of these things can provide you with the best ways of obtaining the best coins available on the market. Just try to stick to your bidding budget.

Ancient Coins as Collections
Collecting coins is so much fun! It is both a hobby and a source of income for many. One type of coin that you may want to consider collecting is ancient coins. Many collectors hesitate to buy ancient coins to collect because they can be terribly expensive. What is most important is the uniqueness of these coins and the benefits they provide their collectors.

Here are some tips that should be considered when buying ancient coins:

1. Conduct a research of ancient coins. It is important that a collector is aware of what coins are considered ancient. It does not require a collector to go to a library since many websites on the Internet can provide all the information needed to become well-informed about ancient coins.

2. There is a wide variety of ancient coins available for collectors. A collector can choose from different eras and civilizations. He can choose from a Chinese civilization, ancient Rome, Greek, Persian, etc. It is preferable for a collector to focus on a specific group or era when collecting coins.

3. Once a selection has been made, a collector may then focus on the buying of these coins. To start select coins that are least expensive –set a price range such as $20. Once the collection grows, he may then want to start buying the more expensive coins.

4. A collector may also try searching for ancient coins at auction houses or online auctions where ancient coins are available. Always be aware of possible fraud no matter which venue you are using and take extra care in buying coins at online auctions.

5. It is also suggested that the collector make a list of the ancient coins that he would like to buy. He can list them according to his order of preference which will make his search for ancient coins an easier task. Included on his list should be the amount he is willing to spend on a certain type of coin. The list will be helpful whether online or at an auction house, enabling him to manage his budget easily.

6. It is important to have a separate holder for his ancient coin collection or his other collections. Separate holders will help the collector organize and preserve his coins. Ancient coins are generally more expensive than other collectible coins so it is necessary for a collector to know the proper care for them.

Ancient coins should not intimidate coin collectors. They are an exciting way to enjoy the hobby of collecting coins. Not only do they provide fun but they serve as a source of knowledge for many coin collectors.