Prepare for Disaster by Owning Precious Metals

Silver bars Owning Precious Metals for Survival

If you have been alive in the past few years it is no secret that disasters can happen within the blink of an eye. Whether it be a natural storm or military invasion, the need to be prepared for anything is evident all around us. While your typical disaster preparation might consist of securing shelter and enough food to last you an undisclosed amount of time, the need for precious metals such as gold and silver might not be so obvious.

In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a person who is equipped to survive disaster who would consider precious metals a necessity to purchase. The fact of the matter is that gold and silver have been valuable for thousands and thousands of years, whereas your paper money has not. If a disaster were to ever happen, the value of your paper money would go right out the window because, at the end of the day, it is just paper. Gold and silver are two great resources for securing and storing your own wealth, especially in the face of a disaster. The simple fact that the scarcer something is, the more value it has, should be ringing through your head. Once disaster strikes, don’t be caught without precious metals as they will likely be incredibly beneficial for you. To fully understand the need to own precious metals, you must first understand the basics about buying gold and silver. These will be discussed in the following few sections

Coins vs. Bars

Silver CoinsThe most basic difference in precious metals is the difference between gold and silver bars and coins. While you may be aware that both exist, they are incredibly different entities, even if the weight and purity levels are the same. Precious metals coins are used as currency in countries and are only able to be produced domestically in the country where they are valued as legal tender. Bars, however, are not legal tender and are produced by a variety of privately owned mints from all over the world.

Since coins are produced only by the government of a single nation, they are much rarer and harder to find than bars that can be produced just as easily in Asia as they can in Europe, and so on. The price and value of a coin, while it is determined by the amount of gold or silver in it, is also decided by just how scarce the coin is. Bars are produced in abundance and while they do come from different companies, a 1 ounce gold bar is a 1 ounce gold bar regardless of who produced it. For your disaster preparation needs I would suggest that you invest in gold bars as they can be found, resold, and bought for less money than most coins. Bars, like coins, come in all shapes and sizes so it is vital that you only make a purchase that you can afford.

Timing Your Buys

Time to Buy SilverLike stocks on the stock market, the spot value of gold and silver is always changing. Sometimes the value goes up and sometimes it goes down, that is just the nature of the beast. Your challenge, however, is to purchase your lot of gold or silver when the spot value of the metal has taken a momentary dip. If you buy precious metals when their values are too high, you run the risk of losing money shortly after your purchase.

While gold and silver may move up and down in the short-run, these metals have almost always been on the rise in the long-run, which is why they are viewed as such safe investments. By making a purchase when the price of gold or silver is down relative to its recent numbers, you are not only making the most of your money but also giving your investment the opportunity to grow in value.

Where to Buy

Now that you know what to buy and when to buy it, the next thing we must look at is where you can purchase gold and silver bars and coins. The most classic, old-fashioned way of purchasing precious metals is to seek out your local coin shop and make a purchase from them. This is a fine way of going about things so long as you are in an area where coin shops are. Some people are not so lucky and would have to end up travelling quite a distance to the closest coin shop in order to make a purchase, and that’s assuming that they even have the item you are looking for in stock.

With the advance of the Internet and e-commerce, buying gold and silver online is quickly being the most attractive way to purchase. Not only do you not have to leave your house in order to buy the metal, it is then delivered to your door at your convenience. If you have no idea where you can go about buying gold or silver online, that is OK, because wheretobuysilver.com is an all-inclusive resource which shows you only the best online dealers. It is hard to know who to trust on the Internet, but wheretobuysilver.com makes it just a little bit easier.

Guest Article By: Michael Wilaski

Silver Coin Collectors and Pawn Shops are Getting Duped: “Very High Quality Fakes”

With rising precious metals prices comes the age-old scam of counterfeits.

Fake gold coins and bars,  many originating from China, have been discovered at dealers all over the world, including some high profile banks. Some analysts have even suspected that central banks, which hold thousands of tons of gold, may have fallen prey to the scam.

With silver having recently achieved all times highs and currently trading at around $ 25 per ounce, counterfeiters see a potential boon for their bottom lines. Counterfeiting silver isn’t new, and numerous fake 100 ounce silver bars and U.S. Morgan dollars have been discovered to date. But now the scammers have turned their sights on the official one ounce bullion coin of the United States – the American Silver Eagle. In April, the US Mint sold in excess of four million silver eagles, highlighting the surging popularity of the coin.

With many more millions of ounces being traded on the open market at traditional coin shops, online retailers and popular auction web sites, unscrupulous counterfeiters can easily slip fake coins into the mix. They do so through online auction sites, where unsuspecting buyers think they’re getting the real thing. Those collectors may then end up visiting a broker in their local area who unknowingly purchases the bunk coins and resells them to other buyers. The process happens everyday and is responsible for perhaps tens of thousands of fake silver coins and bars now in circulation.

In Hamilton, Ontario, the problem is so widespread that they have dedicated a special task force to investigate the five hundred fake American Eagles discovered in the hands of dealers and private owners.

Buyer beware, because that 99.9% silver coin you think you may have in your possession may be nothing more than practically worthless silver plated brass:

Police are warning that fake U.S silver eagle dollar coins have been circulating in the city and have been sold to various establishments over the past few months.

“You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference (with) the naked eye. The coins are actually very high quality fakes,” Const. Mike La Combe said in a Hamilton Police YouTube video. “They are silver and nickel-plated, which gives them the look of an actual silver dollar. However, when you cut them open, you can clearly see on the inside, they are brass filled.”

The video shows some of the roughly 500 fakes that have been confiscated so far.

“They are worth practically nothing, just a couple cents each,” La Combe explained.

LaCombe is a pawn unit investigator and says the coins are being bought online, then sold at “golden” times for the seller when shops are busy or with little staff. During the rush, employees may not have the time to do all the proper authenticity checks, giving criminals the chance to sell fast without getting caught.

“Only buy them from reputable dealers, a place that is established, an expert who works there who knows the difference between real and fake. Don’t buy them off the internet. and don’t buy them from people from the public who aren’t considered experts because more than likely you’re going to get a fake,” added Le Combe.

Via: CBC Hamilton

With prices as high as they are, it is in the interest of every potential precious metals investor to take it upon themselves to have a working knowledge of the coins and bars in which they are investing. Here are some tips and strategies for ensuring you are getting the real thing:

  • Ring Test (video) – A silver coin or bar will have a distinct ring, as opposed to fakes which will have a thud when struck or dropped.
  • Weight (video) – Understand that a “Troy Ounce“, which is how we generally weigh precious metals, is different from the popular “Avoirdupois Ounce” used as a more traditional unit of measure in the United States. Just because a coin or bar says it weighs a certain amount doesn’t make it so. If you have a gram-based scale, bring it with you to the coin shop or Craigslist exchange. If you don’t have one, spend $ 30 and pick one up before you spend thousands on precious metals.
  • Nitric Acid Test (video) – You may not be able to test every coin or bar with nitric acid, as it requires a little bit of filing down to get under the “plate” but if you are buying in bulk, the seller may allow you to test a random piece of your choosing after you’ve performed a magnet, weight and ring test.
  • Coin Caliper – If a counterfeiter uses a metal other than silver, chances are that the coin dimensions will have to change – or the coin will weigh more or less than it is supposed to with the specific dimensions. Every minted coin has a specific diameter and thickness. A caliper, usually available for $ 15 – $ 50, will give you the ability to measure the specific inches/millimeters of a particular coin. Cross compare this information, along with the weight, to the mint’s coin specifications and if they match up, then the likelihood of a fake is extremely low – especially if it “rings true.”
  • Low ball pricing – If someone is trying to sell you a silver coin for significantly less than the market value, this should raise alarms. At current demand levels, there is always a buyer out there willing to pay full price, so why would a seller offer the coin for so much less? Probably because it is a fake!

Most importantly, you’ll want to avoid auction sites for silver and gold unless you trust the seller implicitly. The only easily recognizable coins  that have yet to be faked because of their small denominations and potential for long-term jail sentences are dollar denominated official US currency like pre-1965 silver quarters and Kennedy/Franklin half dollars. The amount of silver in these coins is fairly small, making them unprofitable for counterfeiters when compared to one troy ounce silver eagles or larger bullion bars. So, if you’re using an auction site to buy coins consider sticking to quarters and half dollars.

The other key consideration is doing business with reputable firms. While we can never be 100% sure, buying from a dealer who’s been in business for many years and has built a reputation for honesty will help reduce the chance of being scammed. Dealers who source their supplies directly from official mints and offer uncirculated coins or bars are as close to safe as you can get because there is no middle man.

If you’re planning on investing in precious metals do your research, understand what you’re buying, know the specific dimension & weight of the product you’re purchasing, and diversify your holdings to include bullion coins, bars, and even official legal tender like pre-1965 U.S. quarters.


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