Archive for March, 2012



We seldom hear “gold” and “urgency” mentioned together and this concerns me.  My concern is not personal, I own silver and gold. My worry is for those who assume silver and gold will always be an option; the facts prove this anything but true.  Today I want to paint a “what if” picture especially for those sitting on PM fences. Keep in mind I don’t sell silver or gold nor do I benefit if you buy boatloads of each metal. The goal today is to present how a growing trend jeopardizes inventories of the one asset we all need.

The question, what happens when silver & gold run dry?

To see an exact snapshot of today’s PM availability please take a moment to visit www.GoldShark.com.  Like us, they too do not sell PM. GoldShark only provides competitive pricing from reputable online bullion dealers. My intent is to not promote GoldShark but prove how a perception of silver and gold inventories clouds accuracy.

This information fascinates me for several reasons. Notice how competitively priced each online bullion broker is with the next. From a buyer’s perspective, it appears many sources provide new bullion even if the next one runs low on PM inventory. This is nothing close to the case.

If you take one thing from today’s post please let it be this! Online bullion dealers inventory very little silver and gold. Most place an order only after you commit to purchase.

This means only a few wholesale distribution sources supply bullion dealers across the internet. This equals limited supplies even in a time of record e-commerce and online trading. All the online broker services in the world serve no benefit if wholesale inventories and distribution run dry.

Silver and gold confuses Americans. They not only misunderstand its purpose but take for granted its availability.  Both will change in the very near future and this revelation will deplete inventories quickly.

One benefit of founding The Prospector Site is an elevated worldwide perception of silver and gold. This allows me to follow worldwide PM trends and then combine monetary events with silver and gold demand.  Silver is the metal most concerning reminding me of ocean bait fish falling prey from pelicans above and bottom fish below.

We often mention silver’s industrial demand but few piece together future demand derived from masses perceiving silver as money.  Like the bait fish, silver stands the best chance of depletion from multiple demand forces.

I wish I could say gold is different, it is not. Feeding gold’s worldwide appetite is nearly impossible.  While researching my book Why Silver & Gold Will Go Higher (scheduled for release in April) I noticed a concerning trend how environmental organizations are now paralyzing the gold mining industry.  Unfortunately, this is a worldwide occurrence.

It is now safe to say gold mining challenges combined with historically low availability will complicate gold inventories worldwide. This comes as more central banks and global economies ramp up gold stockpiles.  This must be viewed as a “perfect storm” of demand in an age of very limited supply.

But like they say, “It’s only a surprise for those unsuspecting”

Unsuspecting is the current American perception. I know this as fact from how few own silver or gold bullion. The illusion of availability spurs a false security for most Americans. Combine this with nonstop media recovery hype and it’s easy to see the “perfect storm” clouds gathering.

The last word is this, 99% of us unprepared for a day when silver & gold run dry!


Be sure to join us on Monday when we feature a post called “PANIC BUYING. Panic buying is a term describing what we feel represents an age of limited new metal availability and a growing secondary silver and gold market. If you’re wondering how high silver and gold can easily soar don’t miss this post. See you then.

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Okay, after months of thinking, reading, and watching you have decided to buy the one asset no government can print into worthlessness. It’s nerve racking, I know, and this is why you’ve put off trading dollars for silver or gold until now. Part of you is angry. Angry you didn’t buy two years ago with gold at $1100 per ounce or silver at $16.90 (oz). Angry each time another too big to fail finds billions of dollars in favor while you work double time to make ends meet. It is a big decision but a necessary one, this is why you’re reading this site and this post. Now, I have one last question before you head off to your local coin shop or make a call to an online bullion dealer. How safe is your silver & gold?

Congratulations on committing to an asset few others understand or find worthy. You are now part of the 1% protected from fiscal insanity and on the path to monetary self-reliance. I know what you’re thinking because I hear it nearly everyday; you are thinking how little metal comes from such a huge dollar price. I thought the same thing 10 years ago as I bought my first coins of gold. Want to hear something kind of funny?  The guy down your street will pay three times what you paid all while thinking the same thing.  Silver and gold values will rise, they have to. The only way this trend reverses is if economic growth surpasses spending or those in monetary control reverse spending. What is your bet?

Buying physical silver or gold is similar to bringing a baby home for the first time. Nothing can prepare us for the challenges, insecurities, or confusion that comes with either. Like a child, others have faced the same PM (precious metals) obstacles for thousands of years, and survived.  Develop a plan for storage as soon as possible, silver or gold cannot protect you if you don’t protect it. Bullion coins, bars, or rounds can be nearly impossible to locate once they walk away. My goal, to make sure you establish a comfortable method to store this new bundle of metal.

My recommendation is to personally store at least 1/3 of all silver or gold held. This means you or someone trusted finds a safe but non-passive means for PM storage. This should be no different from the plan you established, and then implemented, when buying physical silver or gold.  Developing a storage plan to safeguard silver and gold need not be clumsy or nerve racking. Like buying, you first educated yourself, developed a plan, and then implemented the plan according to your budget and taste.

It is often said that 90% of all physical metal stores within the owner’s home.

This is very possible but my bet is less than half storing at home are adequately protecting something as valuable as silver and gold. I just don’t feel securing PM is at the level of gold’s popularity or demand, this is concerning.  It is no longer adequate to toss twenty ounces of gold into a wall safe or gun safe. This type of singular protection worked with prices 50% of today’s value but rising prices must include multilayered protection. The alternative could be devastating for those less prepared.  So what does a multilayered plan include? Multilayered PM protection includes more than a free-standing safe. Multilayered security includes everything from outdoor lighting to wireless alarms. Multilayered security includes tapping into professional security advice if in doubt. Multilayered security includes a proactive mindset and then a proactive plan of implementation.


  1. Discretion before, during, and after the purchase.
  2. Diversifying storage options including passive and personal storage.
  3. State of the art in-home security system consistently armed.
  4. Decoy safe with decoy metal along with well hidden, well attached, PM safe.
  5. Perpetual storage plan adapting to changing times.


  1. Never allow (use) social networking to promote travel plans or vacations away from home.
  2. Inform all family members of strict discretion.
  3. Never buy from Craigslist type sellers.
  4. Buy from reputable shops or bullion dealers.
  5. Use caution when trading at local coin shows.
  6. Use caution when entering & exiting home or apartment.

Below is a website I recommend all readers not 100% comfortable with this home security issue. If you take one thing from today’s post it must include a proactive security plan. Implementing such a plan greatly reduces your odds of silver or gold theft, there are just too many easier victims. The website I recommend is www.GlobalSecurityExperts.com. This site offers free tips on securing a home but also provides a personal home evaluation/recommendation for those willing to invest a few hundred dollars in such peace of mind.



Question: Can I ask which online bullion brokers you recommend?

PROSPECTOR REPLY:  Thanks for the short question. Yep, it can be a little confusing but many good bullion dealers are available to provide reliable silver and gold options. As you know, I don’t sell silver or gold on The Prospector Site. I buy from three online bullion dealers and have found all great and reliable, I can’t speak for the others. Visit our friends at www.GoldShark.com for the most competitive bullion pricing (posted prices include shipping too). I buy from Blanchard Inc, Gainesville Coins, and Miles Franklin. I also trade at a local coin shop, hope this helps. Oh, one last thing. Make a plan including what you’re buying, how much, and where to store BEFORE calling. Stick to the plan regardless (email me if something doesn’t sound right). Good luck and congrats.


Something you mentioned in Silver Ponzi Warning stopped me dead in my tracks. It is so true that “Silver and gold are only as reliable as the sources selling each metal”. My fear is many will find this out first hand considering the number willing to say or sell anything to make a buck. Just this week I read about tungsten filled gold bars (not the big ones either). Keep up the good work and don’t be afraid to call-out the bad ones.

PROSPECTOR REPLY: Thanks for the comment, and reading our site. I too have the same concerns and truly believe stories like this one will only increase as gold/silver do. The best defense consumers have is education and the internet. The article you mentioned about tungsten is very concerning and we wrote about it several months ago. I feel tungsten risk is limited and excludes gold bullion coins and smaller bars, keep that in mind next time you add to your gold stash. Thanks again for the comment.

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Boy, have you noticed how misinformation is the new media normal? Not a day passes without some Talking Head leveraging a month or three of economic improvement as a road to recovery.  No wonder the masses find themselves confused, confused with gold, confused with stocks, confused politically, and more importantly, confused who to believe.  I have no way of knowing the percentage but willing to bet 80% of all economic predictions as inaccurate.  Why? Because most promoting recovery have a vested interest in folks like you reacting by borrowing, spending, and buying what most don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about strong stable economies but only when free market based and not deficit driven.  Nevertheless, this type of inconsistency encourages many to a relatively unknown asset like PM (precious metals).

I want to lead off with a very brave PM statement on my part. I have no idea how high (in USDs) gold or silver will rise in 2012. If both metals follow ten-year averages, gold should finish 2012 around $1845 (oz) and silver around $34 (oz), respectively.  If things become volatile in Iran, and if oil exports decline, these PM numbers could be low, very low.  A cool feature of gold and silver is  how each performs, or reacts, to oil and inflation. I can’t predict PM values since I can’t predict inflationary influences or oil volatility.  Gold will do what it must to form equilibrium of value, regardless of dollar value. This confuses most savers today, most want to hear a sharp-dressed expert analyze percentages with confidence and trust. After all, like real estate of the past, most ballooning assets grew vertically unabated. 

But gold and now silver too, are not typical investment assets. Both metals are now worldwide currencies. As currencies, both metals are beginning to find favor just as all fiat currencies print themselves worthless. This is why your stash of gold/silver’s buying power grows; this has little to do with investment demand.  Many of us new to PM fret over how much to buy or how much to pay not realizing today’s prices are relatively insignificant over longer term. Sure, each should take advantage of PM dips but ultimately the goal is to own real money in a time of massive monetary execution.  We can debate junk silver to legal tender, gold bullion to Pre 1933 coins, but at day’s end it’s all about ownership!

I want to go back to today’s economic inaccuracies for a moment.  Just last week the media repeated a wheelbarrow full of misrepresentations that I want to rebut.

(Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday took aim at proponents of the gold standard, saying that such a system handicaps the government’s ability to address economic conditions. More.

PROSPECTOR REBUTTAL: This is true. This is also the primary reason to anchor monetary actions to something like gold. This is  the only thing “real” offering those elected fiscal restraint. But very few media minded question such fact, very alarming.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The battered housing market looks to be on the mend as buyers make a tentative return and house prices stabilize. More

PROSPECTOR REBUTTAL: I wish we each had an ounce of gold for each time our media projects another housing recovery. The facts, our mortgage industry are 90% dependent on Fannie/Freddie along with artificially low-interest rates. The problem arises when we expose the billions Fannie/Freddie bleeds all while taxpayers remain indebted to an industry unwilling to allow our housing industry to bottom. Housing is no where close to “on the mend” or about to “stabilize”. Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m a huge fan of residential real estate and would much rather own a condo next to the beach than a stack of silver coins, but.

This is more important than some realize, here is why. Whether we realize or not, we make financial decisions according to how optimistically we view or future.  We scale back personal spending if things look dire and the opposite if things look promising, this is the American way. We re-elect politicians if our future looks promising and we vote out politicians if it doesn’t.  One party portrays gloom while the other promotes opportunity and recovery. Not sure which represents fact?




Buying gold coins right now could be the smartest decision you ever make during this economic crisis. There is a huge economic storm that is coming to a head, and people holding on to dollar related assets are going to suffer the most. There is a lot of hype out there about a recovery in the stock market. Let me just say one thing for sure. There is NO recovery! You can not have a jobless recovery.

PROSPECTOR: Thanks, I couldn’t have said it better. The recovery bandwagon is politically motivated and here is how I know this as fact. Not one promoting recovery warned prior to the economic collapse of 2008. Why? Because focus is more about appeasement than what is best for our children’s future.  You’re also correct in recommending gold coins and let me take it one step further, if I may. Why not buy gold coins as close to spot all while paying as low a premium as possible? Remember, we are not collectors, not most of us at least, and our primary interest is within the metal itself.  Your point about dollar related assets is also “spot on”. Thanks for the insight, and comment.


The gold price Australia is high at the moment. It will be a great time to sell your gold on the market!

PROSPECTOR: Okay, I’m willing to pass on a shameless plug for our friends Down Under. My question, why sell gold just because the market is high?  I understand this as good for your business but scrap gold is just as valuable as any, relatively speaking.  We often hear readers ask about selling scrap metal to buy bullion but I don’t necessarily see the benefit. Gold is gold, even scrap gold. Thanks for commenting and you’re welcome for the plug.

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If my memory serves me right, his name was Don and he was tall, slender, and by all appearances a man’s man.  Years had caught up with him by the time our paths crossed but make no mistake this was a guy worthy of attention.  Years later, I still recall our conversation and his true life tale of bravery in an age I can only imagine. The era, WWII. Don described his life as a war pilot both proud and thankful for others who paid a far bigger price than he did.  I met Don when a friend of mine introduced us liking him the first moment we met. His arms flung with each new story and, to me at least, it appeared Don was comfortable describing a time better than most history books. But lately, something Don said many years ago keeps running through my head all while reminding me how significant my stash of silver & gold. Don described an aviation term called “point of no return” each time putting more meaning to it than the last.  Don’s aviation description reminds me of today’s economic times know more than ever.

Point Of No Return:

The “point of no return” is the point beyond which one must continue on his or her current course of action because turning back is physically impossible, prohibitively expensive or dangerous. It is also used when the distance or effort required to get back would be greater than the remainder of the journey or task as yet undertaken.

There is an art to starting conversation; I put it to work over the last couple of days while resting patiently for a United plane engine repair.  I wasn’t the only one, in fact, a hundred or more sat, stood, or paced while plane engine mechanics did what they do in order for something weighing tons to fly through the air like a bird. At one point, I found myself sitting with a group of other strangers deciding to take advantage of our idle time.  I asked the one question that will start a conversation quicker than anything else I know. My question, “So, is the economy getting better where you’re from?” Yep, that was all it took. I guess it’s safe to say our conversation at the Reno Airport officially entered the point of no return.

One sophisticated gentleman tried to talk first, maybe a professor but not sure, but another guy talked right over the top.  This second guy, the one who one the right to talk by talking over the first, was angry before rolling out of bed and quickly informed all who’d listen how the answer to improving our economy is drilling more domestic oil.  The professor looking gentleman patiently waited for a breath I thought would never come, then rebutted with a polite contradiction by voicing his opinion of solar/wind power as the key to improving today’s economy.  Needless to say, the race was on without my need for another word. A third gentleman said nothing, only staring straight ahead, possibly wishing he had sat somewhere, anywhere, else.  I just listened.

The angry dude, a guy sometimes showing signs of kindness-but only slightly, lived in the Reno area and described a place of 15% unemployment, he told of a personal business loss, machinist, which employed not only him but his son too. At least in his world, today’s economy is nothing close to improving. He grew angrier as he described his interpretation to why our economy hasn’t improved finally spilling blame to our current administration. The professor guy attempted to defend, but was quickly shouted down as being, “part of the problem“. The professor guy politely dismissed himself and walked away.  I felt bad for starting the conversation in the first place.

I could tell the angry guy felt remorse for shouting down the professor dude just as this same angry guy asked me my opinion. I told him I was sorry for his job loss, his son’s too, and understand his anger and contempt. I also explained the professor gentleman had nothing to do with his pain, or future. I also explained the adverse effects he’d described  caused from a destructive wave of economic correction set in motion many years ago. Today’s adversities derive from years of monetary miscues, debasement, and devaluation on  a worldwide level. An easy fix, like drilling domestically, could improve a tiny economic aspect but not improve overall economic conditions.  The angry man is looking for “normal” during an age of correction; I hope he moves on by leaving blame and anger behind.

I own physical silver and gold, many of you do too. Precious metals are preventive economic medicine for today’s ailments.  Some of you know the point of no return has passed leaving only a corrected future economy to plan for. I see no benefit of pessimism or anger, in fact, I’m optimistic for those of us wise enough to develop and plan for this corrective age. Opportunity never goes away; it just rearranges itself now and again.  But, unfortunately, most are banking on recovery because this is what those running for office (or selling bubbled assets) promote.  Below is a perfect example of statements from those in monetary control unwilling to admit failed monetary policies, or the need for self protection, by our own Treasury Secretary Mr. Geithner.

REALCLEARPOLITICS  March 22, 2012: “If this were the last debt ceiling increase you could ask for, the final one, and you had to make it large enough for all current and future obligations, what would the request need to be?” Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday.

“I don’t know how to answer that question,” Geithner said to Gowdy. . . .

“It would be a lot,” Geithner finally said. “It would make you uncomfortable,” he added.

Geithner tried to deflect the debt ceiling question by focusing on the spending question itself and nailed Congress simultaneously by pointing out,

It makes no sense for the country, since Congress controls how much we can borrow every year—we have no independent authority to spend beyond what Congress authorizes—for Congress to put itself and its members through the position every six months or every year to hold a separate vote—politically difficult vote—on whether they should authorize us to do things they’ve already authorized us to do.

Gowdy noted that Geithner had previously used the word “unsustainable” to describe the debt problem. But Geithner put the ball squarely back in Congress’ court:

The debt limit doesn’t decide how much we can borrow; you decide how much we can borrow. more

PROSPECTOR: Does this sound like someone confident in recovery? The conflict within America stems from leadership’s inability to accurately define to the American people the need to prepare for the point of no return. We often mention it here, no one, certainly not Mr. Geithner, is willing to scratch a monetary line in the sand committing to how much “investing” needed to correct the economy.  As you well know, trillions of printed dollars will not bring back normal, nor will it provide a long-lasting recovery built from solid free market innovation and principles. This is why predominantly good people conflicted to the point of arguing at the Reno Airport. This is why gold and silver so necessary to hedge against monetary miscues of the day. I urge you to own value based money by saving in gold & silver.

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I am looking to add some coins to my inventory, I am looking for common date $20 liberty and st gaudens. Please email me price on with dates and let me know if you accept credit card

PROSPECTOR: Great choice with the $20 Liberties/Saints since many of these coins are in the same price range as new bullion.  Unfortunately,  this site doesn’t sell or store precious metals of any kind. The reason, I want readers 100% comfortable with our view of PM (precious metals) without concern of bias or sales pitch. I urge readers to formulate their own opinion allowing each person individually to take control of future PM investments. Since you mentioned “adding some to my inventory” it sounds like you already realize necessity of gold and silver, good for you. My advice is to check out www.GoldShark.com for price comparisons before adding more gold to your stash.  Regardless, thanks for reading and good luck with the $20 gold coins.


Okay, I’m sold but we have no wish to store gold where we live or even care to handle such an asset. Each day I hear of more reckless spending and this validates my choice to hedge with physical gold. I am old enough to vividly recall stories from the last depression and beginning to see an eerie pattern even today. You mentioned something about storing gold internationally and this sounds like the best choice for us.  Can you offer a name of someone you trust as a safe option for storage? Thank you for the good work.

PROSPECTOR: Thank you for reading and congrats on making the gold plunge. I agree, I too see “an eerie pattern today” and this is why my family owns gold and silver.  Let me first say this. I encourage you to consider holding at least 1/3 of your gold investment close at hand. This economic correction is worldwide and who knows what the future offers, having real money within arms reach could be crucial. This doesn’t necessarily require you to personally store the 1/3 recommendation so email me for more specific options. Regardless, for international storage, you have several options and the one I like best is GoldMoney.com. These guys have been around forever and hold several billion (USD) of physical yet private gold/silver.

Here is how GoldMoney works. You establish an account with GoldMoney, this allows each customer to buy real physical metal all while paying low premiums over spot. Newly purchased metal stores at one of four secure locations (international vaults) of your choice all while offering 100% metal ownership without the hassles of storage. All metal is fully insured and routinely audited each quarter offering customers peace of mind AND gold ownership. Again, all metal is 100% backed by real gold from a highly regarded company.  My understanding is GoldMoney charges zero commission to “buy-back” gold/silver originally sold. Check with GoldMoney regarding storage fees and other concerns. Good luck and congrats.


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The website for Atlantic Bullion & Coin Inc is professional, educational, and appears trustworthy.  The site’s opening page offers many comforts but none more comforting as the A+ rating from the BBB.  I visited Atlantic Bullion’s site just prior to this post even going as far to click on the BBB symbol.  Upon further review, the Better Business Bureau’s rating flashes red looking more like a warning for all suspected buyers to run for the hills, before buying silver or gold.  To me, this looks like the beginning of a long nightmare for trusting precious metal holders hoping to retrieve metal that may not exist.  Here is the story as I know it.

There is a lesson here, for all of us.  Silver and gold are only as reliable as the sources selling each metal.  It appears; at least in this case, at least one bullion dealer must explain more to the US Secret Service.  Details are sketchy, but at least a handful of victims are speaking out claiming Atlantic Bullion appears to be running a $70 million Ponzi scheme with investors in South Carolina, among dozens of other states. If you are doing business with Atlantic Bullion, my advice is to contact South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson as soon as possible.

If allegations are true, Atlantic Bullion offered investment seminars advising attendees how to protect with silver and gold bars.  It’s beginning to sound like investors trusted Atlantic Bullion to somehow store or vault newly purchased silver/gold that did not exist.  Regardless, it appears some have lost nearly everything without much hope of recovery.  Most victims, in cases like this, usually retrieve pennies on the dollar.  To say a story like this is heartbreaking is understated; many will lose more than gold or silver.  All will lose trust in one of the few assets able to protect wealth.

Here is how Atlantic Bullion describes themselves even today (“About Us” from their website).

Welcome to Atlantic Bullion and Coin. Our team can show you how to benefit from the current upward trend in the precious metals market.  As a leader in this industry for the past twenty-five years, we have the expertise to put you on the right track toward financial freedom.

Let Atlantic Bullion and Coin show you how to guard against these tumultuous times by purchasing hard assets such as gold and silver.  Explore our wide selection of gold, silver, and platinum bullion and check out our popular Confederate Silver Dollar commemorative coin.

When Alan Greenspan testified before Congress, he was asked, “Why does the Federal Government own so much gold?  His answer was, “Because it is a form of payment which requires no one’s endorsement.”

There has never been a better time to enter the precious metals market.   Do you own any gold and silver?  Atlantic Bullion and Coin would like to help get you started or increase your precious metals holdings.

I have to admit, their self description sounds trusting, experienced, and deliveries the “right track to financial freedom”. Again, if these allegations are true, cases like this send cold shivers down the spine of silver newbies, and for good reason.  My goal today is to expose importance of trusting intuition over well-crafted verbiage and false promises .   For the record, passive ownership describes those owning physical metal by trusting storage to other sources.  There is nothing wrong with passive purchasing or storage if due diligence is part of your master plan.  So, how do we know the good guys from the bad? First, by slowly building rapport especially when familiarizing you with physical silver or gold?  Buy small, take possession, all while building trust along the way. Most scam artists will promise below market discounts, need to expedite or hurry, and maybe bait-n-switch techniques. The best defense you have is knowledge first, then confidence.  

Let me also say this. Please consider storing at least 1/3 of owned metal with someone you know or trust, if not you.  This protects against a complete breakdown within the passive storage method of your choice.  Nothing is certain these days, certainly not something as unregulated as precious metal ownership.  This lack of regulation has more positives than negatives but the downside can be disastrous, as you can tell from today’s post.  I recommend diversifying all physical metal over at least two, preferably three, storage options especially if uncomfortable with self storage; again, this all about diversifying risk and nothing more.

Each of us should expect more scams as PM (precious metals) slowly move more mainstream.  Due diligence must be part of your long-term PM plan, including storage.  My recommendation is to secure a level of silver or gold first and then use passive storage second. I also recommend reputable trustworthy sources regardless who or how your metal stores.  Please email me if in doubt. I don’t sell or offer PM storage so my objective is only to assist those looking for accurate PM information.  You can reach me here.



Sorry, no comments or questions today since my last two days spent in airports. Please look for this Friday’s post to catch up on comments. Thanks for reading The Prospector Site.

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Another group of great questions came in this week with one regarding China catching my eye.  China released, or leaked, cooling growth expectations but I can honestly say from hands on experience in China this means nothing, at best.  China is an independent country hungry to control monetary worldwide power.  I’m not doubting China is cooling but expectations of growth can be misleading and as much for leverage as anything else.  Let’s jump into today questions.


A friend turned me onto your site several months ago and I haven’t missed a post since. I noticed China adjusted their growth rate to 7.4% recently while experiencing the lowest trade deficit in over two decades.  You and other gold sites often mention China as the largest consumer of gold and I’m concerned this news could lead to China buying less gold.  This leads me to ask three questions if I may be so brave. How will China’s shrinking economy affect my gold’s value in your opinion?

PROSPECTOR: Thanks for the great question, and insight. I’m not sure but China and India could be neck and neck as world’s largest consumers of gold. Regardless, please notice the difference in gold’s relevance between China and the United States. Mr. Bernanke could hardly choke the word gold from his mouth last year when asked if gold is money. On the other hand, Chinese officials encourage citizens to buy gold even advertising where to find government sponsored retail outlets, go figure.

Up until now, Chinese traded yuan for gold/silver motivated by profit and as a source of savings.  From my experience in China it seems other asset bubbles, i.e., housing & commercial real estate, are just beginning to pop similar to our housing bubble in 2007.  Is it possible some Chinese are ahead of the curve by protecting with gold?  It’s hard to say but my bet is a real estate correction (China) will only contribute to private gold ownership and enthusiasm.  This is favorable to your gold’s value over long term.

Do you expect gold to dip from this news?

PROSPECTOR: I kind of do expect gold to dip but, if being honest, not sure it has as much to do with China as PM  paper manipulation. Will China’s economic correction catch residents off guard causing some to liquidate gold and silver? This is certainly possible but China’s newly wealthy will hedge, with gold & silver, against economic correction over the long term. The internet has changed the way information travels forever and to be honest we have hundreds of Chinese readers routinely reading this site.  Our Asian neighbors are more aware than some like to give credit. But no superpower is completely protected from recession/depression and this includes China too. China will experience economic correction and this will change the way many perceive, or value, PM.

You asked about news so here it is.  China is on the path to internationalize PM trading with an exchange called PAGE (Pan Asia Gold Exchange).  This exchange will compete with our COMEX in New York but with one huge difference.  COMEX and London Metals Exchange only back gold contracts with 10% physical gold. China’s new exchange (PAGE) plans to back contracts 1 to 1.  So what does this mean to the average Joe holding physical gold? It means China is making a run at cornering the gold market as we know it.  Could this be because of a loss in USD (US Dollar) faith? Here is my take, China realizes the path to a world Renminbi currency (yuan), over the USD, is only possible by way of GOLD.

How will this correction affect how I buy gold & silver in the future?

PROSPECTOR: Great question.  China is forever changing the way we buy gold and silver, even outside of China.  In China, gold sells from banks, vending machines, and retail stores like Starbucks in the US.  The Chinese government not only sells gold but they recommend each citizen own as much as possible, this is not limited to physical gold either.  Paper gold, bullion gold, gold jewelry, you name it and it sells.  Also, the Chinese government continues to buy gold at record pace leading many experts to question what the heck their plans are for what Bernanke denies as money.

If you take one thing from today’s post let it be this.  The one thing all PM experts overlook is emotion.  I think we all agree that fear and uncertainty are human emotions without boundaries. This trigger, by emotion as much as anything else, is what leads you to read what you’re reading today.  The internal revelation of something amiss will cause a Chinese change of perspective. They, like us, will perceive gold as necessary, protective, and comforting.  How will this not tax a limited supply of gold?  How can this not influence gold’s value and price upward?  Yes, emotion or reaction will be the last straw sending currencies by the boatload to PM, especially over long term.

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Here is my question. I own gold and silver bullion but wondering when or how to trade both metals into income producing real estate (rental properties).  I don’t necessarily want to be a landlord but my wife and I are both soon to retire, the additional income would be nice.  Gold is great but it will never provide monthly income so now maybe the best time to move into something else. You write about real estate but lead me to believe now is not a good time to buy, I’m asking why?  By the way, we enjoy reading TPS, especially when RE is the topic!

PROSPECTOR REPLY: Congrats on your wisdom to buy gold & silver. Trading an asset like PM (precious metal) into a discounted asset is the name of the game.  The question you’re asking is if the timing is right to make an exit from gold and into residential housing. Consider this; timing is relative to your situation.  Have property values corrected in your neck of the woods? How much? Are housing values still in decline? What about rents, jobs? Do you know someone willing to professionally share local RE trends and analysis? If so, why not tap their experience even if it costs a couple hundred bucks? Income producing property is only as reliable as the local job market. Please reread When to Sell Your Gold.

Here is the thing. If cashflow is what it takes then trade some gold into income producing properties. I never recommend living your life for gold but rather leveraging gold to live your life. I have no doubt you have worked hard and looked forward to retirement for many years, good for you. We live in a time when each person soon to retire must ask themselves if retirement promises are realistic. You are wise enough to stack the deck in your favor allowing a nontraditional saving source to provide lifelong income. Feel free to contact me regarding options how to safely trade PM into real estate. We will discuss ideas how to safely accrue rental income and still own PM, very cool. Thanks for the question, and reading TPS.

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One of the many highlights of founding a site like this is when we receive great questions from readers who truly hunger to understand PM (precious metals). Such a question came in recently asking for a further explanation why gold or silver could bubble leaving many falsely protected. My goal is to explain gold and silver without over complicating PM along the way. Today’s topic might be a little overwhelming for those new to silver and gold, if so, I’m sorry in advance.  But like most questions, if one person is willing to ask then others are asking as well. By the way, the question below is one long question broken into several replies.


I appreciate the work you’re doing and have been an avid reader of your blog (The Prospector Site) for the past 6 months which is when I began to accumulate physical gold and silver. My question to you revolves around the so-called ‘exit plan’ from previous metals. Many precious metal experts seem to be of the view that the price of gold and silver will ultimately rise to bubble territory similar to 1980 and that it would be wise to switch to an undervalued asset such as property at that time before the inevitable crash. Reading your blog, I conclude that you share this view. Please correct me if I am wrong. PROSPECTOR REPLY: Congrats on jumping into the world of physical gold & silver. You are correct, I view PM as someday ramping into bubble territory.

QUESTION CONTINUED: However I’ve come across another long running blog which seems to suggest that despite paper gold becoming a bubble, physical gold can never become a bubble as its fixed supply can never be ramped up at will to support demand. The author argues that physical gold is essentially the opposite of bubbles and absorbs the monetary energy of bubbles that pop. He limits his theory to only physical gold and not silver as he is of the opinion that silver will behave as a commodity and not act as a future store of wealth.

PROSPECTOR REPLY: Silver is far more than a commodity, it’s money. I doubt this will change in our lifetime but no one knows the future. Please remember,  silver doesn’t have to be worthy but perceived as a worthy harbor for wealth. This silver theory goes against conventional wisdom especially when we conclude most (99%) still await some form of economic recovery. Nevertheless, it is wise to physically hold both metals in my opinion.  Unfortunately, many will soon find gold too expensive leaving silver as the next option, interesting observation.

QUESTION CONTINUED: He states that as the US dollar loses its reserve status, physical gold will rise in value tremendously many times over and then stay elevated as the ultimate world’s monetary wealth reserve while the paper gold market crashes. He uses the example of the world’s Central Banks accumulating physical gold to support his view and points out that they are not doing this with silver. He is also not accepting of the argument that silver will act as the poor man’s gold as he says that the difference between rich men and poor men is that the rich have inter-generational wealth that lies very still and maintains its value as savings whereas the poor would be forced to circulate their silver to meet their daily needs.

PROSPECTOR REPLY:  Great point and why we recommend owning silver rounds for such a barter/trade possibility. Rounds are easy to own and usually sell closer to spot than legal tender coins. Trading silver rounds for other assets, or necessities, could be necessary during a reserve currency reshuffle. One other point, rich men are buying silver since I know of several billionaires heavily invested in silver, as well as gold (David Hoffman with Miles Franklin mentioned a $5,000,000 silver transaction earlier this week, ONE TRANSACTION, wow). Back to gold for a second if you will, I don’t assume central banks will play the same role in future money as the other author.  Is it possible central banks like gold over silver because of gold’s ability to compact wealth? Central banks once held huge reserves of silver but this no longer seems to be the case, they seem more interested in gold.

QUESTION CONTINUED: He warns that silver may not play a part in the future monetary focal point as its supporters seem to think. The 1980 peak and subsequent fall of the gold price is dismissed by him as not a gold bubble event but rather a central bank intervention to save the fiat currency by raising interest rates steeply which he argues would be impossible for the current authorities to consider as it would lead to a financial collapse. Serial bubbles are formed by Central Bank inflationary policy according to him and are not a product of hard-earned real capital which he says will always flow to the safest point which is physical gold. I found his stance quite interesting and would love to know what your thoughts are on this matter. The author concludes by saying that unlike 1980, this time gold will go up and stay up. And that although there may be a temporary overshoot in actual purchasing power, with the threat of hyperinflation in the background, it may not be worth attempting to catch the overshoot as you may find yourself in the wrong paper at the wrong time which is something I am sure we would all like to avoid given how far we have come and are likely to go on this journey of ours.

PROSPECTOR REPLY: As you already realize, there is no easy answer to your question. I have given plenty of thought to the same questions you’re asking since timing a jump from PM can be challenging.  I just find it impossible to believe masses of currency chasing any asset can do anything but drive an asset (gold or silver) beyond relative value? What we must agree on is importance of real money, like gold and silver, regardless if they overshoot in real purchasing power (bubble). It really does come down to whether or not central banks choose to print currencies into worthlessness or a country like China pulls private gold to establish a new gold/renminbi (yuan) currency, we just don’t know yet. In the meantime, I’m buying both metals and recommend all readers consider PM in the very near future. Oh, one last thing if I may. Crazy times like we live create a tendency to over think issues, I know this firsthand.  Not one person on this earth can predict our future with 100% success, this only leaves us to make the best decisions possible with information at hand. Thanks for the great question, you make great points!

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If I didn’t own physical silver and gold the term “investing” could be worrisome. Only a weekend has passed since confetti laden hopefuls celebrated “better than expected” unemployment numbers but few, maybe none, mentioned the amount of “investing” required to achieve improvement.  I have mentioned several times how silver and gold are now lockstep with rising debt (debt ceiling graph proves this as fact) offering only the 1% invested in PM (precious metals) protection from out of control spending, sorry investing.  If you’re one of the many new readers visiting our site please don’t underestimate the protective measures of PM. Profiting is only a byproduct of gold or silver following a distant second to preservation, preservation while the rest of the world invests its way into our generation’s depression.

The term “investing” actually refers to supporting an economy, lifestyle, and society unsupportable, please don’t confuse it with a traditional sense.  The goal is to propel those in power to a higher level or new term of empowerment while the rest pay for it with higher taxes or inflation.  My goal for The Prospector Site is to accurately describe the forces most likely to send your precious metal values skyward, investing is at the list top.  Any business leader realizes investing alone is not evil; in fact, it’s a necessary part of growth and development within all businesses.  But what America has resorted to is not investing; it’s nothing close to the traditional term.  Private enterprises invest by implementing well thought plans capitalizing on innovation and timing.  This type of organized planning reduces risk and exposure all while providing the best odds for future prosperity.  This is completely opposite of today’s governmental “investing” term, do you agree?

It shocks me how easily the American people are now distracted while those in power toss what history will describe as an investing Hail Mary, but with less odds.  This only proves that the line between optimism and denial is nearly washed away leaving only those skeptical to question investing trillions into programs and too big to fails, like this is our best odds for prosperity.  Investing is beginning to look like the rich getting richer while the masses struggle to stay employed, regardless of new numbers. Make no mistake; this is only good news to those invested in gold, silver, and few other assets.

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We can look no further than Freddie and Fannie as investing in leaking ships all while not one person in power draws a limitation line in the sand.  Once private companies, now avenues necessary to invest in America by backstopping a housing industry still in decline and desperately searching for bottom (far more wealth is lost in real estate than will ever be profited in PM).  There is absolutely zero chance of supporting housing values built prematurely from years of easy credit and greed.  Why dump, sorry invest, billions, soon to be trillions, into a housing industry so worthy of correction.  We must realize that the ill effects of trying to fix housing are far more dangerous than letting housing correct freely without manipulation, sorry investing.

Housing is far from the only example of investing in industries desperately necessary to correct, or purge, themselves into free market worth. Wall Street now relies as much on government stimulus as innovation. Again, the ill effects of supporting something so large are far more damaging than allowing dying industries to, well, die.  Real innovation will grow from the ashes but have little opportunity as long as we continue to throw good currency after bad industries.  Again, no one in power is willing to draw a monetary line in the sand regarding too big to fails! This is the point where most readers should ask why we allow leaders to continue this reckless direction. Remember, investing more debt infested capital doesn’t have to work; it only has to convince the majority as successful.  Most Americans honestly feel investing policies are resurrecting our economy.  Why? Because many still believe leadership has their best interest at heart. A tree is known by its fruit, a good man by his deeds. Gold and silver holders know this as anything but real recovery each year metal values increase.

Below is an article describing how Stockton, California has now slipped into a depressed level of economic stability. It can be read here and compliments of the LA Times. No amount of investing will sustain cities like Stockton. Stockton is a perfect example of a community soon to swallow mistakes and then patiently wait for correction to breed new free market innovation. Below are a few highlights from “Stockton Residents Watch Their Port City Slip Away”.

Within the next three months, Stockton could become the nation’s largest city to file for protection from creditors under U.S. bankruptcy code. Using a new California law, the City Council is trying to slow or stop the bust by entering mediation with creditors, including public employee unions. In the meantime, the Central Valley port city of 300,000 has suspended several bond payments and will not cash out vacation or sick time for employees who leave.

PROSPECTOR: Why or how did Stockton reach such a point of economic devastation? Please read below.

The city had a vision. Like San Antonio or Baltimore, it would transform its rough waterfront into the city’s shining jewel. The real estate market was hot and credit was easy. Up went a theater complex, a high-rise hotel, a sports arena/convention center financed by city bonds, a marina and a walkway.

PROSPECTOR: Stockton “invested” by borrowing money to develop a waterfront area financed by city bonds. Now their only hope is federal “investment” money to afford a style that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. No amount of “investing” can support something built on an era of limited wealth or from easy credit or from tax revenue derived from easy credit expansion.

“Everyone had taken money out against their houses,” Koster said. “Everyone had dough and they were spending it.”

As taxes from sales, property, business licenses and utilities dropped, so did money for day-to-day operations such as police, fire, parks and libraries.

PROSPECTOR: I can not find an accurate measure of economic depression but I’m guessing we can agree a situation without police, fire, parks and libraries is on the directional path of depression. Please notice the quote above, “Everyone had dough and they were spending it”.

The landlord already cut the monthly rent from $4,750 to $2,750. Koster said he has thought about asking for another break, but he doesn’t see how the owner would make his mortgage. The owner bought the building for $600,000; it’s now valued at less than $200,000.

PROSPECTOR: This is the most sobering part of this LA Times article, no winners that I can see.  The landlord has cut rent by 50% and at risk of owning a vacant building now worth 1/3 compared to when he bought it, amazing.  This means his investment is worth 1/3, half the cashflow, and in jeopardy of owning a vacant building still in decline.  We must understand the ill effects of fixing, or investing, in cities like Stockton only postpones default and continues to grow deficits on a national level. Can you imagine the level of national debt necessary to bail out cities across this country? Each new day offers yet another city struggling to balance budget shortfall with yet another decline in tax revenue.




COMMENT:  Your post Building Silver Wealthis spot on. Just speaking from someone relatively new to silver (bought 500 oz but soon to buy more) it seems to me silver is more popular than gold.  It stands to reason silver will outperform gold if for no other reason than its popularity.  Love the site and look forward to each new post.

PROSPECTOR REPLY: Thanks, you are correct since 9 of 10 emails mention silver over gold.  Does this mean silver will out perform gold? No, not necessarily. Silver is hot today, especially in the US, because silver allows newbies to gently test the PM waters.  You said it yourself when you mentioned the word “popular” but this alone does not guarantee an asset as worthy over long term.  Sure silver has great monetary and industrial values but gold is now a worldwide currency.  I will caution to not overlook gold’s worldwide influence and stability, I personally own more gold than silver.  Having said that, welcome to our site and congrats on your first silver purchase, well done. Now, don’t forget about gold too.

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When I was around four years old my father and grandfather invested a full day in me and fishing. I can’t recall how many fish we coached to shore but I vividly recall asking far more questions than any father with a much-needed day off should endure.  Finally my father resorted to a generic reply of, “because that is simply the way it works” to each unanswerable question that only a four-year old mind can create.  Unfortunately, explaining the purpose of PM is far too important for a generic reply. Many of you are sending questions to The Prospector Site and we appreciate each question and comment, thank you. The value within each question goes beyond an answer so let me explain.  Gold and silver dialogue, or questions, create further discussion and interest in the one nontraditional asset each person should now own.  Not every question is answerable but each question is worthy of a reply. Today I want to share a couple of what I call common questions from a reader willing to invest time and money to preserve financial wealth via silver and gold, congrats.

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Hello, I am an European reader and I am very fond of your site ( found about it while reading dailyreckoning.com ). I have read your website from the beginning, started last month and only now got to March. It has been very enlightening but I never said anything up until now. I wanted to read the whole site so that I could have a grasp on what the global scene was month after month, since March last year, basically reading the gold/silver economy trend, trough your posts. I have now stepped up and registered at Bullionvault.com buying small amounts of silver.

I would like to ask you 2 questions:

1. What will happen to the silver market if the copper is “the” next silver, will silver drop in prices?

2. Why if there is a gold dip, there is a silver dip at approximately the same proportion?

Thank you very much
Regards from Europe

PROSPECTOR REPLY:  Always great to hear from our European readers so thanks for the comment and questions.  I’m not sure if you know or not but you guys are in the news a bit lately?  You mentioned something that really grabbed my attention with an interest in the global scene as part of your decision-making process to buy silver.  I’m flattered our site is part of this decision so thank you for using us as a PM resource.  Starting with small amounts of silver is exactly how I advise clients to begin a soft entry into PM (precious metals). Silver is relatively cheap to own and easier to buy allowing newbies time to develop confidence in PM without spending boatloads of money in the process.  I do recommend owning both metals ONLY AS YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE in doing so.

Now, to question #1. I see no long-term drop for silver considering all worldwide currencies committing to printing themselves out of economic trouble.  Injecting fiat currency into world markets will drive up value and demand for real money, like silver, and copper rising is no more a factor than two ships rising from the tide, simultaneously.  My opinion is most metals in limited supply will find monetary attraction but nothing like silver or gold. Copper and nickel could easily be included in future monetary attraction but they will not suppress or replace silver, not in my opinion.

I see slim odds of silver doing anything but putting smiles on silver holding faces; this comes from a guy not selling silver or gold. Please stay in contact by letting other readers know how Bullionvault.com is working out (I’m assuming you’re using their vault in Zürich?).  Some PM advisers are hesitant to recommend passive storage but each person must judge risk accordingly depending on local volatility and government overreach. Diversifying storage is as important as diversifying wealth in general (hope this makes sense).

Now, to question #2. You are correct by noticing both silver and gold follow lockstep to monetary demand, kind of. Silver has one over gold and this one thing is a very big thing.  Silver is now the second most used commodity, we can thank modern-age technology for this.  Silver is a great conductor and technology now contributes to silver’s demand.  This means silver has monetary value (money) and industrial value simultaneously.  This is why PM experts feel silver undervalued and will close the silver to gold ratio very soon.  Paper silver suppression obviously is a major factor in today’s cheap silver prices (I hope all are taking advantage of discounted physical silver).

Regardless if (when) silver closes the gold gap; both historically parallel each other in true relevance and value.  This is because both metals are real money and no amount of fiat printing will change monetary balance.  Both metals float along inflationary rivers willing to rise to whatever point necessary to equal true value and worth.  This is why I started trading currency for metal ten years ago to the month.  I’m guessing this is why you are too.  Thanks for the great questions and welcome to The Prospector Site.


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Is it possible you’re still trying to protect something soon to be useless over this decade and beyond?  A big part of understanding relevance of PM is by developing a nontraditional mindset, at least nontraditional to those still buying recovery. The monetary establishment still drums importance of a high FICO score as necessary because their very livelihood depends on you and your buddies returning to debt infested waters.  Since old habits die hard many still protect FICO scores like a burned out fort not realizing the new normal includes far less credit than most are comfortable with.  My question for you, do you still believe in good FICO fiction?

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Eventually all will realize only loads of credit allowed Americans to live a lifestyle unworthy. I often refer to today’s period in time as the great correction because not only will worldwide economies correct but so will individual belief systems. The necessity of a great FICO score has to be on the list of a correcting belief system and we have to look no further than credit shrinkage as proof. If you can grasp this as fact then you’re inches away from understanding why our economy continues to suffer from job losses, housing devaluation and foreclosures, budget woes, and soaring precious metal values.  The last forty years created a credit necessity to maintain an unsustainable lifestyle and this is why governments worldwide are frantically printing currency in hopes of reviving a stone cold economy.

If you’ve owned gold or silver for any length of time then you already know traditional credit doesn’t have to be part of a wealth preservation strategy, but most aren’t so observant. From buying a new home to selling municipal bonds, strong credit is the linchpin holding together a tradition of borrowing, leveraging, or anything but saving.  Today’s mortgage lenders have beefed up borrowing requirements, especially over five short years ago, by now requiring borrowers a FICO score in the high 700s along with a near spotless credit history, not to mention a higher down payment.   Little do the few still willing realize but this false belief supports artificial housing values by postponing a real estate bottom.  This may sound odd but a poor credit score will save millions of households from prematurely purchasing properties still in declining markets.

Our clients often ask what a future with limited or less credit could look like and we understand the curiosity.  No one knows for sure but we are sure that strong FICO scores will be less relevant especially as gold & silver continue to climb the worldwide currency ladder.  Most assets we commonly leverage (homes, cars, trucks, boats, RVs, vacations, and soon to be education) are in decline especially when compared to gold over US dollars.  This is why it’s becoming cheaper to buy most assets in real terms of true money (PM).  This is hard for many to grasp, maybe this is why so many continue to wear high FICO scores like a badge of honor.  PM holders realize the time is soon at hand when leverage, by way of credit, is no longer necessary to buy other declining assets.

SmartMoney recently ran an article called Foreclosure Sales Flood Market offering alarming news for those still advocates of a housing bottom.  Their research shows foreclosures and short sales now account for 35% of total existing home sales in January 2012, this is up a disturbing 16% from last summer.  I guess it is no wonder housing values dropped 8.5% nationally over the same time period.  Folks, you don’t need me to tell you housing has not bottomed and is now below intrinsic value in many cases.  This should tell us housing will not only correct but over correct allowing those sidelined holding gold, silver, or cash, buying opportunities of a lifetime, maybe five lifetimes. If true, and I certainly believe it to be, fussing to preserve FICO scores could be unnecessary as anytime in modern history.

Those looking hardest for economic recovery fail to understand how integrated credit has been to markets in the not so distant past.  Easy credit days will not come back anytime soon and this fact will complicate recovery before correction.  My guess is we will soon see organic credit, especially in home sales, commonly seen during an era of high mortgage interest.  Owner carryback financing relies less on credit scores and more on buyer trust, integrity, and down payment.   Can you imagine the opportunity for PM holders in a time we’re describing?


QUESTION: You talked about getting the copper rounds for as low as 59 cents; who is the manufacture of these rounds and how are you getting them for that price?

PROSPECTOR REPLY: Thanks for the question.  Not sure how long ago I posted copper prices since I don’t recall talking copper prices recently, but it’s possible.  Copper bullion bars and rounds are readily available from several mints and below I’ve linked to an American copper bullion source for those interested.  We have to wonder if copper and nickel will find the same appreciation as silver, my bet is they might but I’m not 100% sure of the level (upward).  Some copper coins are so professionally minted it’s hard to tell them from more expensive bullion.

Check out The Copper Exchange for more information, they ship free to the lower 48 states. This wholesaler offers bullion bars (5 lb. bars) as low as $.44 per ounce and copper bullion 1 ounce round as low as $1.05. I believe they have a 1000 ounce minimum but it is worth asking before buying.  Back to your question, I’m unaware of a bullion source selling one ounce copper coins @ $.59 per.


The gap between new gold bullion and Pre 1933 rare coins continues to shrink making rare coins worth considering, regardless if a collector or after wealth preservation.  Gainesville Coins now advertises $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagles at $1815 while American Eagles bullion at $1800 per ounce (obviously prices are constantly changing). Many collectors believe Pre 1933 coins could be exempt from possible confiscation under collector coin exemption.  This is only speculation but with new gold and rare gold nearly one and the same it’s worth buying rare, at least if you’re in the market for more gold.

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