Today's Spot Prices Gold: $1,274.00$-0.30

 

Silver: $14.45$-0.01

 

International Precious Metals

  • Is Copper a Precious Metal?

    The Definition And Properties of A Precious Metal

    A precious metal is one that is rare, economically valuable and occurs naturally. Metals like gold, silver and platinum are used in jewelry, currency and as an investment. These metals are naturally occurring elements that are so seldom found in the Earth's crust, that they are considered exceptionally rare and of high value.

    Precious metals also tend to be more corrosion resistant than other elements. In order to be considered precious, a metal must also be valuable.
    For example, gold has been used as currency in in nearly every civilization since its discovery. It is currently valued as a hedge against inflation.

    Other precious metals like silver, platinum and palladium are valuable because of their industrial and investment potential. Silver is used in electronics while platinum and palladium are used in the manufacture of catalytic converters.

     

    Chemistry of Copper

    Copper, a red orange metal, is not considered a precious metal. Building construction is the single largest market for copper and it is one of the most widely used metals in the electrical industry. It is malleable, ductile, and a good conductor of electricity and heat. It has been mined for 5,000 years and there is even a period of time copper -mined-native-copper-metalbetween the Neolithic and Bronze Age referred to as the Copper Age.

    Copper doesn't rust and virtually doesn't corrode which makes it useful in plumbing and in paint used on the bottom of ships to prevent greenery from attaching itself. It is often found in high end housing. Copper piping found to be crafted in ancient Egypt is still fully functional today. It is used for cookware and in analytical chemistry. It would be difficult to find an industry that has not been improved by the use of copper.

     

    Copper in Modern Currency

    Copper has been used for currency as far back as 600 BC Ancient Rome, when it was exchanged in lump form. Soon emperors ordered the lumps shaped and marked with their rule. Some of the earliest copper coins were the coins of Julius Caesar.

    In the modern times, American pennies were made of copper. But that changed in 1982, when the price of copper shot so high that it copper- new-us-penny-coin-1991had more value than the penny it was used to create. The United States Mint began making copper pennies with 97.5 percent zinc covered with a thin layer of copper.

    Currently, in Britain and other countries, “copper” money contains 95.5 percent copper and the rest a mix of tin and zinc.

    The total world production of copper coins absorbs thousands of tons of copper every year. The Royal Mint in London alone minted 700 million bronze and cupro-nickel coins in one recent year, representing nearly 7,000 tons of the metal.

     

    Copper as an Affordable Investment

    Copper is frequently overlooked as an investment when buying bullion. The demand for it is increasing as the supply is shrinking. Copper is also feeling the benefit of the currency affect. Central banks have been printing trillions of paper bills to help reboot their copper-pipes-stackeconomies. This inflation has led to rallies in gold, silver and copper. Copper coins, bars and pre-1982 pennies are all legitimate investment options.

    There are many coins made of gold and silver which actually contain copper, as a way of hardening them and making them more durable. An example of this is the South African 1/4 oz Gold Kurgerrand Coin, made from 1967 - 1986 by the South African Mint from coin blanks supplied by the Rand Refinery Limited.

    Copper coins are available in ¼-oz, ½-oz and 1-oz sizes, copper coins and rounds are an affordable way to invest in copper bullion. Copper Bars are available at lower premiums than copper coins and are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 1-oz to 10 kilos. Pre-1982 U.S. Pennies – Today, the value of these coins is approximately 2.5 cents each, more than double their original face value.

  • Why Are Precious Metals Falling

    Let's Put it in Perspective: Are Precious Metals Prices Really Falling?

    Though precious metals dropped in price near the end of last year, the value of precious metals is still significantly higher than it was 15 years ago. Last year, the Federal Reserve announced plans to raise inflation rates this coming spring, which had an immediate negative effect on precious metals prices.

    But the Reserve announced in December of last year that they could be “patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy” which saw precious metal prices rebound by an average of 1.1 percent. The combination of a dovish Fed and ongoing uncertainty in the markets is projected to give precious metals some lift. And though mining investments are doing poorly, there is still enormous global demand for physical gold and silver in India and China. And sales at the U.S. Mint are at an all time high.

     

    Then What Caused the Recent Drop?

    In response to the dollar's advance to a five-year high in early November of last year, about $1.66 billion was erased from the value of precious metals holdings. The dollar climbed in response to the new Republican Senate and steps taken by the Bank of Japan to precious metals falling - economic-deflation-graphs-stock-imagecombat deflation.

    Gold and silver fell to four-year lows, with December delivery for gold slipping 1.9 percent, the lowest since April of 2010. December delivery for silver dropped 3.2 percent, the lowest since February of 2010. Palladium dropped 4.1 percent and Platinum fell 12 percent over last year.

    Another factor in the drop was the announcement by The Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this coming spring, at a time when other central banks were working to stimulate their economies

    Overall, there was a drop in precious-metals holdings from 97.4 billion in March of 2014 to $76 billion in November.

     

    Is This An Opportunity for Investment?

    The demand for gold, silver, platinum and palladium will rise and fall over time. But precious metals remain a solid investment and an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. Precious Metals offer protection against inflation because, historically, gold, silver and precious metals falling - secure-vault-imageother precious metals have risen in value at or ahead of the rate of inflation.

    Precious metals offer a slow but steady increase in value. They are tangible and supplies are finite endowing them with inherent value and they aren't subject to the same forces as stocks and other paper assets. Also, when you buy with cash, your ownership of physical precious metals is completely private. Because you are in possession of the metals,  your portfolio does not need to be accounted for the government, banks or financial institutions. These metals are extremely liquid assets that remain safe from the factors that threaten other investment types.

     

    Examples of Secure, Long Term Investments

    The American Gold Eagle coin is an affordable and secure long-term investment and a popular coin for investors.  In the United States, 80 percent of gold bullion in circulation is in the form of the American precious metals falling - gold-nest-egg-time-imageGold Eagle and worldwide, it is the most traded coin.

    American Gold Eagles are an excellent way to diversify the types of metal in your portfolio. The coins have historically provided a hedge against inflation. The U.S. Mint Catalog lists the American Eagle 2014 One-Ounce Silver Proof coin as one of its best selling products. Minted at West Point, it is made from one ounce of .999 fine silver.

    Another top seller is the American Eagle 2014 One-Ounce Silver Uncirculated coin minted at West Point as well. On October 20, the Mint released the American Eagle 2014 One-Ounce Platinum Proof - the sixth and final coin of the series - minted at West Point.

  • Coin Experts Survey 2017: Infographic

    Here at International Precious Metals, one of the premier online coin dealers, we are always striving to bring the numismatic world to the masses, by raising awareness and interest to the rare coin community. In an effort to do this, we reached out to over 30 coin and numismatic experts, including coin club presidents and renown coin bloggers.

    Below is an infographic detailing our findings, along with an explanation and background for each question, followed by a list of those who agreed to have their names and affiliations published. Enjoy!

    One of the most common mentioned coins is the Eagle, so feel free to check out our modern American Gold Eagle 1 o/z Common Date Coin for sale here.

    (Click on the infographic to expand.)

    Coin Experts Survey 2015 Infographic

    Feel free to embed this infographic on your site, or copy and paste the image and link back to us.

    Below is an extrapolation of some of the "behind the scenes" answers to survey questions. (It should be noted that the names and references to the coins listed in our answers were not altered, in order to preserve the authenticity of the vernacular of our coin experts.)

    Will the Penny be phased out?

    This has been a perennial question for the US government, as well as a gripe by many private citizens. The US Mint currently loses over $50 million a year from Penny production, and it seems that the experts have spoken: 56% of them think it should be abolished, and believe that it will happen by the year 2026 (average mean).

    What President deserves his own denomination?

    This is another heated question that is constantly discussed by not just the numismatic community, but among history buffs, political enthusiasts, and many others. Even though he was President just 25 years ago, Ronald Reagan won the poll with 41%. In a close second place, Theodore Roosevelt carried 30%. Harry Truman came in third with 11%. It should be noted that all Presidents have already been featured or are slated to appear on a coin as part of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, authorized by Congress in 2005.

    Will there ever be a new denomination? If so, what amount?

    This question intrigued many experts, but ultimately, the majority (70%) said that they don't foresee the US Mint introducing any new denominations. Of the 30% who did believe that a new denomination will be created, the results were evenly split: 15% suggested a $200 bill, and 15% suggested a $5 coin. With inflation consistently on the rise, a $200 bill is not outrageous, though it might take some time.

    Which coin/bill will the US Mint bring back into mass circulation?

    Similar to the prior question, there were a large number of abstentions here, as 44% said that the US Mint will not bring back any of the above mentioned coins/bills. Of the listed coins/bills, the $2 bill won the vote with a solid 28%, while the Susan B Anthony coin received 12%. The Sacagawea and Kennedy half-dollar garnered just 8%. The $2 bill was officially discontinued for mass circulation in 1966, though it is still considered legal tender.

    What is the most overvalued coin on the market?

    Although experts gave many answers, the predominant choice was Morgan dollars. Here were  a few other answers which did not receive enough of a majority of votes: 1943 Lincoln Cent on Dime Planchet, 1875 CC Twenty Cent piece, 1804 Dollar, 1804 Large Cent, new release Gold Kennedy Half Dollars, Liberty Shield Nickels, 1955 Lincoln Double Die, State Quarter Proof sets, 1933 Double Eagle, & 1881 Silver Dollars.

    What is the most undervalued coin on the market?

    A fair amount of the answers here fixated on silver coins, but overall, three cent coins took the crown. Some of other undervalued coins offered up were: Indian Cents, Liberty Nickels, Jefferson Five Cents, 1876 Twenty Cent pieces, 1945, 1946, & 1947 Silver Dollars, Fugio Coppers, Canada Silver Dollars, wheat Pennies, Indian Head Gold Eagle, Flying Eagle Cents, Mint Barber coins, Proof Mercury Dimes, pre-1836 silver, & 1927 D Nickels.

    What is the hardest coin to locate?

    Many coin experts left this question blank, as it seems that every coin is locatable. Of course, it came as no surprise that the famous (or infamous) Liberty Nickel led all other coins in this category. Some other coins listed were: 1863 3 Cent Silver Proofs, Choice 1793 Chain Cent, territorial gold coins from the California Gold Rush, 1790's Copper Coins in Mint Red, the 1909 O Barber Quarter, 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, 1856 Flying Eagle, and the 1894 Silver Dollar.

    What is your favorite coin?

    Unsurprisingly, there was no specific coin which received more votes than others in this category, as coin experts each have their own subjective, fickle tastes. Here are most of the coins that were listed as answers: Gold Kennedy Half Dollar, Planchet Errors, 1982 Lincoln Memorial Penny, 1946 Iowa Statehood Centennial Commemorative Half Dollar, 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter, 1907 High Relief $20, 1794 Large Cent, 1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar, 1732 Pillar Dollar, 1955 Double Die Lincoln Penny, 1804 Silver Dollar, 1907 St Gaudens $20, 1922 'NO - D' Cent, 2009 Double Gold Eagle, Roman Republican Denarii (Sabinus 89 BC), & 1849 Proof $20 Liberty.

    What is your favorite Coin Series?

    Although there was no specific coin series that dominated answers, there was some similar overlap, which we grouped together for the sake of our infographic visual above. This included Liberty Nickels, Quarters, Halves, and Dollars representing 17%, many types of Lincoln Pennies securing 14%, various Morgan Dollar series grabbing 10%, with Barber Quarters and Dollars as well as Kennedy Half Dollars each netting 7%. Among the miscellaneous coins which represented 44%, some of the mentions included: Peace Dollars, Canadian Silver Dollars, Half cents, Washington Quarters, Standing Liberty Quarters, Colonial and post-Colonial Copper, Liberty 'V' Nickels, Buffalo Nickels, Mercury Dimes, and Walking Liberty Halves.

    If you didn't collect coins, what would you collect?

    Stamps was the narrow victor here, securing 16% of coin experts' hobby preference. There was then a 4-way tie with 10% each for bottles, antique guns, spaceflight memorabilia, and art. The remaining miscellaneous hobbies included some of the following: Hot Wheels, postcards, vintage trains, autographs, error items, tokens, poker chips, rock and roll albums, gems, and muscle cars.

     

    Coin Experts Reference List:

    1. Mark Lighterman, President of CONECA (Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America)
    2. Michael McNeil, President of Madison County Coin Club
    3. Michael Turrini, President of CSNA (California State Numismatic Association) Solanocoinclub.com & Calcoin.org
    4. Merle Avila, President of Redwood Empire Coin Club
    5. Brian Grant Duff, Vancouver Numismatic Society &  Allnationsstampandcoin.com
    6. William Eckberg, President of EACS (Early American Coppers Organization)
    7. Pierre Fricke, President of SPMC (Society of Paper Money Collectors)
    8. Richard Parsons, Numismatic Expert
    9. Brian Lowe, Numismatic Expert, Theperfectcoins.com
    10. Rusty Scropper, Numismatic Expert, Coinsniper.com
    11. Charmy Harker, Women In Numismatics, Thepennylady.com
    12. Tony Swicer, President of FUN, (Florida United Numismatists) Funtopics.com
    13. Michael Kittle, President of Glendale Coin Club, Kittlecoins.com
    14. Bill Woscott, President of Richmond Coin Club
    15. Scott Barman, Numismatic Expert, coinblog.ws
    16. Kurt Springfield, President of Madison County Coin Club
    17. Gene McPherson, President of Pasadena Coin Club
    18. John Fryar, President of Albuquerque Coin Club
    19. Harold Katzman, Corresponding Secretary of NASC (Numismatic Association of Southern California)
  • Why Is Palladium So Cheap?

    Palladium Metal Price Points and History Outline

    The price of Palladium currently hovers around $815 an ounce. Physical demand for palladium bullion drove prices sky high in the early part of this century. Given the auto industry's demand for it, palladium commanded $1,100 per ounce. It experienced a five-year low in December of 2009 at just $383 an ounce then opened 2010 at just $419 an ounce but went on to close the year at $79. On December 26, 2013 the metal sat at $698. It experienced a slight increase to $908 an ounce in early September of 2014.

     

    How is Palladium Used?

    Palladium is a soft silver-white metal and is the rarest  - 15 times more rare than Platinum - of the six metals that comprise the Platinum group. It has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of that group. The precious metal was discovered by palladium cheap - jewelry ringWilliam Hyde Wollaston in 1803. More than half of the mined soft metal is used in catalytic converters.

    Palladium has been used an an alternative to using Platinum in white gold jewelry since early in the 20th century. It's consistency is similar to that of gold so it can be hammered into very thin leap form.

    It is also used in dentistry, watches and in the production of surgical instruments and electrical contacts. Twenty-five percent of goods sold today either contain the precious metal or it was used in their production. Nearly a decade ago, Russia was the world's top producer of Palladium with a 44 percent world share. South Africa was the second largest producer with 40 percent of the world share. Canada and the United States follow with less than 10 percent each of the world share.

     

    A Comparison of Palladium to Other Precious Metals

    Palladium is a proven great way to invest in precious metals at low prices, and is generally cheaper than gold. Palladium is cheap due to the palladium cheap - industrial metal gearsrelatively low circulation of palladium coins available, as well as the wide gap in the price spread between palladium buyers and sellers. Buying silver bullion is a much cheaper alternative than palladium, but obviously offers less value.

    Palladium saw the greatest increase in value over the period from 2010 to 2014 when compared to Gold, Silver and Platinum. The precious metal went from an opening price per ounce in January of 2010 of $419 and closed 2014 with a cost of $815 – nearly double.

    While Silver and Platinum costs declined over the same time period with Silver dropping from $16.29 an ounce in 2010 to just $15.71 an ounce in 2014 and Platinum dipping from $1,512 an ounce to $1,183 an ounce over the same period. Gold increased only slightly moving from $1,078.50 an ounce in 2010 to $1,175 in 2014.

     

    Safe & Affordable Palladium Investment Opportunities

    Palladium can be purchased as real assets including as coins or bars or as jewelry. You can purchase Palladium bullion from rare coin dealers, trade shows, online auction houses or brokers. Do some research to make sure these dealers are reputable. International palladium cheap - automobile partsPrecious Metals carries a variety of generic palladium bars and coins, including pure palladium as well as the renowned palladium Maple Leaf coin. IPM has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is one of only two dozen companies recognized as a National Dealer in official United States Mint literature.

    Along with the BBB,  industry affiliations with the American Numismatic Association (ANA), Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC), and Industry Council on Tangible Assets (ICTA) all reflect a commitment to fair and honest business practices.

  • Why Is Platinum So Expensive?

    The History & Origin of Platinum: Ancient to Modern Times

    Platinum, though officially classified as a precious metal in the late 18th century, has been found in Egyptian  jewelry dating from 700 B.C. Its name comes from the Spanish word platina – little silver – the metal with which the platinum was initially confused. While panning for gold in New Granada, Spanish Conquistadors found the white nuggets to be a nuisance and considered them to be unripe gold.

    Two centuries passed before a Swedish researcher discovered a way to produce commercial quantities. Prior to that, the metal had been used primarily to decorate porcelain and make laboratory instruments. Until the early 19th century, Colombia held the only known deposits of the precious metal. Just as those deposits began to dwindle, the metal was discovered in Russia, which became the primary source of it for the next 100 years. Currently, more than 70 percent of the world's platinum is mined in South Africa.

     

    Properties of Platinum

    The white silver metal known as platinum is the heaviest of the precious metals, weighing almost twice as much as karat gold. It is dense, ductile and impervious to corrosion. platinum expensive -rare-metal-world-map-imageIt is the least reactive metal and it has a very high melting point.

    These characteristics, along with its chemical stability, make platinum extremely useful in industrial applications. It's color, which mixes well with gold, and its resistance to tarnish and wear, make it an excellent choice in the crafting of fine jewelry. Nearly 50 percent of what is mined annually  is used in the manufacture of vehicle emissions control devices. More than 30 percent  of what is mined is used in jewelry.

     

    Is it More Rare Than Gold?

    Compared to the nearly 1,782 tons of gold mined, only about 133 tons of platinum are mined annually.It is estimated that there are more than 5 billion ounces of gold above ground. There are  only an estimated 200 million ounces of platinum.

    platinum expensive -gold-versus-platinum-metal-eagle And unlike gold, there are no large stockpiles of platinum. It has been said that there is only around one millionth of one percent in the earth’s crust. It is probable that all of the platinum in the world would fit into a square of less than 25 feet on each side or in an average American living room.

    Platinum is also more difficult to mine than is gold. Typically, the  platinum mining process takes five to seven months and may require as much as 10 tons of ore to yield one ounce of platinum. It costs about $1,800 to produce one ounce of platinum. At its most expensive, the production costs for an ounce of gold is about $957 – nearly half of what platinum costs.

    Affordable Platinum Options

    Platinum American Eagles are an excellent and affordable way to diversify the types of metal in your portfolio. The prices of gold, silver and platinum bullion are independent of each other so diversifying the precious metals in your portfolio allows the positive performance of some to balance the negative performance of others.

    platinum-eagle-reverseEagles also provide a mobile form of investment - easy to store, trade, carry, and buy & sell.

    The coins have historically provided a hedge against inflation and trade close to the spot value of the coin. The weight and purity of American Eagle Bullion coins are backed by the U.S. government and as such can be traded nearly everywhere in the world. They offer one of the most liquid forms of investment available. American Platinum Eagles are available in 1 oz., 5 oz., .25 oz. And .1 oz. denominations. They were authorized by Congress in 1996 then first minted in 1997. They were the first and are the only official platinum coin from the U.S. Mint. Check out this ultra cameo Platinum Eagle coin to boost your platinum investment collection.

     

  • What Exactly Are Modern Coins?

    What is deemed a “Modern Coin” has changed over the past several decades. Today, a modern coin is one struck after 1948. Some examples are the Washington Quarter and the American Silver Eagle. Many modern series contain interesting variety – some extremely rare, some extremely expensive - once only associated with older coins. The entry onto the coin scene of the coin registry concept has also generated interest for modern coins. Collectors are able to compete with one another in their set assembly and are also attracted by the affordability of completing modern coin sets. American Silver Eagles are often the first modern coin purchase and therefore are often referred to as the “gateway” coin for new collectors. Modern coin collection can be accomplished on nearly any budget.

     

    What are Modern Rare Coins?

    Modern coins become bigger investments when they are rare.  Modern coins are hard to find, and even harder to judge. When a modern coins - 2014-baseball-hall-of-fame-coins-silver-goldmodern coin has a low mintage, like the 1996 American Silver Eagle, or is one of the very few in which the coin die is fresh, the blank coin is free of blemishes and the minted coin escapes mishandling, you may then have found a Modern Rare Coin.

    Modern rarities are also comprised of coins with minting errors. Modern coins are often rife with classic condition rarities. For example, a 1999 Silver Eagle that sells for around $150 in MS 69 sells for more than $20,000 in MS 70. There is minute difference between coins but a spectacular price difference.

     

    Buying Modern Rare Coins

    Examples of modern rare coins worth investing in are the 2014-W "Baseball Hall of Fame" $5 Gold Nolan Ryan Signature 2-coin set Proof and MS70 NGC Early Release, the 2014 Silver "Baseball Hall of Fame" 50-cent MS-70 NGC Early Release and the 1999-W $10 American Gold Eagle "Error" MS-69 PCGS.

    International Precious Metals’ store has a diverse selection of modern coins - 1995 american eagle silver proof slabmodern rare coins and coin sets, available for purchase at competitive prices, with a constantly updated portfolio of modern rare coins. Whether you're collecting rare coins to add to your antique coin collection and to satisfy your numismatic interest, or investing in modern rare coins for their inherent value, you've come to the right place. International Precious Metals has nearly 20 years of experience at the forefront of the coin industry, and is happy to offer coin buying advice for interested consumers.

     

    Differences Between Modern Rare and Old Rare

    A collector can buy a coin dating back to any time A.D for $40, yet some modern issues cost $100. Though it seems unlikely, the truth is older does not necessarily mean better. Demand is what dictates value. Modern rare coins provide  a way to secure long term retirement goals, establish a confidential protection for investment modern coins - american-gold-eagle-coins-in-boxassets to balance out the fluctuations in dollar and to enjoy owning something that will stay in demand. That is the critical advantage modern rarities have over their older counterparts. Buying rare coins can be a good investment, but the demand for old rare coins is inconsistent. Check out a rare coins price guide to get a better idea of how to invest.

    Today's  global economic climate, and with regard to the changes in the US financial markets -  from ever-changing tax laws, increased U.S.  reliance on foreign goods and the fluctuations in the stock markets as well really low interest rates -  make now the time to form a modern rare coin investment portfolio. Modern rare coins are considered sound investments and have been featured in respected financial publications like the Wall Street Journal and  Money Magazine. Investment professionals recommend that some portion of one's investment portfolio contain precious metals and rare gold and silver coins.

  • What To Do With Old Coins?

    What Should We Do When We Find Old Coins?

     

    Did you recently find a chest full of old coins in your grandmother's basement? Unsure if they are worth money? Below is a list of quick to-do items to make sure you know exactly what to do with your old coin collection:

     

    Locating Old Coins

    Coins are so prevalent in the average human's life that they are often overlooked and relegated to jars, laundry room shelves, piggy locate old coins - old gold coin hidden in sandbanks and the ashtrays in vehicles. But some of these coins could be worth something.

    When finding a large stash of coins in an attic or parents' home, make sure to examine each coin, before cashing in at the bank. Chances are you will run across something valuable - especially if the coins are from before the 1950's. Also, don't necessarily neglect modern rare coins which can include coins from as recently as 2014, as there are many which have significant value.

     

    Reviewing the Coins

    To determine if the coin is an official U.S. Mint product, search for an engraving that reads “In God We Trust” if the coin was issued in 1866 or after. Coins minted after 1820 bear the engraving “E Pluribus Unum.” Though most regular issue pennies, nickels, dimes, locate old coins - pencequarters and half dollars are valued close to the value printed on the coin, many regular issue coins are considered rare based on age or scarcity.  Search for the mint mark on the coin. This is a small letter on the coin denoting where it was minted. Coins without a mint mark may be very old and valuable.

    To determine the condition of a coin requires grading, a process performed by professionals. Take your coins to a local dealer to have them graded. This is not something that can be done by the untrained eye.  Old coins worth money is a serious subject, and if you find the right coin in your collection, you can make some serious money. To find prices associated with old coins, use the price guide at the PCGS site.

     

    Selling the Coins

    Before selling your old coins, make sure you are fully apprised of the value of what you possess.  International Precious Metals, one of only two dozen companies recognized as a National Dealer in official United States Mint literature, can assist you with an appraisal. American Numismatic Association members on their staff can provide expert advice in evaluating the worth of your coins.  You can also sell your coins to IPM, which has the advantage of offering you face to face and immediate transactions.

     

    Melting the Coins

    Sometimes a box of old pennies is just that – a box of old pennies. If you find a large quantity of coins that are not worth any more than their face value, it may be worth it to melt it down and sell it  as junk locate old coins - gold metal melting pouringmetal. The larger the amount, the better.

    The US Mint Annual Report, which was released in 2014, stated that it costs the U.S. Mint 1.83 cents to produce each penny, primarily due to the high overall and combined cost of materials, production, and distribution. Though the 1.83 cents seems like a lot, it should be noted that in 2011, it cost 2.41 cents. The US loses approximately $55 million a year on Penny production, leading to calls by many for the abolishment of the Penny.

     

    Keeping, Diversifying the Coins

    It is possible that by keeping old coins, you may benefit more in the long run. Coins possess value beyond their face value in their artwork and the history they convey. If you find some particularly valuable old U.S. Mint issues, you may want to keep them as the basis of a personal collection, one that you can add to and diversify over the years.

  • Which Presidents Are On Coins?

    Historical & Current Coin Mints

    The Coinage Act of 1972 proclaimed the creation of the first United States Mint, which was in Philadelphia. Followed by the Mint Act of 1972, these two Acts served to both create and regulate a coin currency.

    The first coin issued was the silver dollar, which began the decimal system for future U.S. currency. There are currently four mints in the U.S which mints coins. They are the Philadelphia mint, the Denver Mint, the San Francisco Mint, and the West Point Mint.

     

    Penny: Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th president of the United States from March 4, 1861 until his untimely death at the hands of assassin John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer whpresidents - lincoln flago shot the president during a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC, on April 15, 1865.

    In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned the penny to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lincoln. It costs the U.S. 1.85 cents to create each penny, due to the costs of material, production, and distribution. Due to this cost discrepancy, the U.S. loses approximately $50-$60 million each year in penny production. That is why there is constant chatter that the U.S. will stop producing the penny (in addition to inflation).

    Nickel: Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson served as the third president from March 4, 1801 until  March 4, 1809. Prior to his presidency, Jefferson was most known for writing the Declaration of Independence declaring 13 colonies free from English rule. In 1938, a competition was held to find a rendition of Jefferson to put on the nickel in 1943 to commemorate Jefferson's 100th birthday. The winner received $1,000. The Jefferson nickel replaced the Buffalo nickel which was first struck in 1913.  In 1942, the US issued a wartime nickel composed of only 35% silver. These war nickels were marked with a P, to indicate the change in substance. Though Jefferson is on the nickel, the US Mint does produce other variations, including the 2014 American Gold Buffalo nickel coin.

    Dime: Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Franklin D. Roosevelt served as the 32nd president from March 4, 1933 until April 12, 1945. Upon his death in 1945, Congress voted presidents - all coinsto put Roosevelt on the dime to honor his creation of the March of Dimes Foundation to combat polio. The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792.

    Before Roosevelt was engraved onto the dime, there were other features:

    • Draped Bust 1796–1807
    • Capped Bust 1809–1837
    • Seated Liberty 1837–1891
    • Barber 1892–1916
    • Winged Liberty Head (Mercury) 1916–1945

    Quarter: George Washington

    George Washington, perhaps the best known American in history, served this nation as it's first president from April 30, 1789 until March 4, 1797. Prior to his presidency, Washington was the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The quarter, produced since 1796, came to bear Washington's profile in 1924 when Congress voted to mint a Washington quarter to celebrate his 200th birthday.

    Here is the breakdown of the how the quarter looked before Washington was engraved on it:

    • Draped Bust 1796–1807
    • Capped Bust 1815–1838
    • Seated Liberty 1838–1891
    • Barber 1892–1916
    • Standing Liberty 1916–1930

    Half Dollar Coin: John F. Kennedy (Limited)

    John F. Kennedy served as the 35th president of the United States from January 20, 1961 until his assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald presidents - kennedyas he rode in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Upon his death, the U.S. Mint began working on a coin to commemorate him.

    The first Kennedy half dollars made for distribution were proofs coined early in 1964 and  were released to the public that March 24. Now one is able to purchase modern Kennedy coins, including the 50th anniversary 2014 Kennedy half-dollar, as well as other recent Kennedy coins. The 2014 Kennedy half-dollar coin is struck from 99.99% gold. These coins are not produced for mass circulation, and are only created in order to satisfy consumer and collector demand.

    One Dollar Coin: Dwight D. Eisenhower (Out of Ciruclation)

    Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, served from  January 20, 1953 until January 20, 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. From 1971 to 1978, the U.S. Mint issued dollar coins designed by Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro with the obverse a portrait of  President Dwight David Eisenhower and the reverse a representation of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

  • Why Is Silver So Cheap?

    Decline of Silver Prices

    Silver prices have fallen 70 percent since the shiny metal reached its peak in April of 2011 when it pulled $49.82 an ounce. October of 2013 saw silver prices decline 36 percent to their lowest level since 2010- taking it below $25 an ounce and sparking the sale of 1.4 million ounces of silver American Eagles at the U.S. Mint in one day alone.

    Investment demand dropped 42 percent in 2013 due to both investor disappointment in the ability of silver prices to reach the highs of 2011 and a recovery in the certain markets. Today’s silverspot price hovers right below $16 an ounce. Analysts predict that silver prices in the next few years will continue declining due to the expectation that Equity markets will firm up. Silver is forecast to drop as low as $8 per troy ounce in the coming months.cheap silver - silver eagle and bar

    Rarity of Silver vs Gold

    Gold and silver are the most popular of the precious metals, mostly due to their functionality in both industrial and commercial applications. But the difference in their availability lends itself to vastly different spot prices. The average occurrence of gold in igneous rock is 0.004 parts per million. Silver shows up at a rate of  0.07 parts per million. There is no question that gold is simply much rarer than silver and will therefore always command a higher price.

    cheap silver - silver vs gold hedge coins

    Global Economic Effect

    Because 70 percent of the supply of silver is a byproduct of the production of copper, lead and zinc, global production affects the price of silver. Global mine production of the gray metal is about 671 million troy ounces annually. While the current low price of silver will maintain production for a while, it has created a decline in further mining investment. This has experts forecasting a peak in silver mining over the next couple of years.

    Different Forms of Silver

    American Eagle Silver coins are America's only official investment grade silver bullion coins.

    Why buy silver? Because they act as building blocks for your precious metals investment and are backed  - weight and purity – by the U.S. government. Silver Eagles are legal tender and can be sold for cash and coins at precious metal dealers the world over. Silver Maples are another popular option for adding silver to a portfolio.

    Buying silver bullion is another solid way to invest in the metal. Silver bullion comes in bars, rounds or triangles and is the mostfrequently traded. These forms are  produced by private minting companies the world over and have the same weight and exact same amount of silver in each. Bars are easily stored and transported and carry the lowest premium over spot price for both gold and silver.cheap coins - miner with silver metal

  • Platinum & Palladium: Historical Prices Into 2015

    Precious Metals Background

    Platinum and Palladium are two of the six metals that comprise the Platinum Group Metals. The other four metals are ruthenium, rhodiumosmium and iridium. All six have similar physical and chemical properties. 

    Platinum, though officially discovered in the 18th century, has been found in Egyptian ceremonial jewelry crafted before the 16th century.

    For many applications, the metal is actually preferred over gold due to its density and durability. It is also far more rare than gold with only approximately 200 million ounces of the metal currently above ground in comparison to the more than an estimated 5 billion ounces of mined gold. And though there was a reported surplus of Platinum during the last two decades of the 20th century, it is now considered scarce.

    palladium & platinum - industrial-metals

    Palladium is 15 times more rare than platinum. The metal was discovered in South American crude platinum ore in 1803 by Englishman William Hyde Wollaston. Nearly 70 percent of palladium mine annually is used in the automotive industry in catalytic converters. Palladium is also used in a number of electronic applications as well as in a new form of composite metallic glass. Forty percent of it is mined from one source in Russia.

    Platinum Historical Prices

    Platinum has historically traded at a higher price than gold. Platinum spot prices began a steady rise in the early part of this century, peaking in early 2008 at a high of $2,100 per troy ounce. Thoughthat peak took a sharp downward swing during the recession that followed, prices began to increase again in late 2008. The forecast for platinum into the coming new year places the metal at about $1,500 an ounce.platinum-eagle-reverse

    Palladium Historical Prices

    Physical demand for palladium drove prices sky high in the early part of this century. Given the auto industry's demand for it, palladium commanded $1,100 per ounce. The forecast for palladium into the new year sets it at nearly $800 an ounce.

     

    Best Value for Platinum and Palladium

    When buying platinum bullion, the government-sponsored American Platinum Eagle and the Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf are wise investment choices. The coins are legal tender and their content and purity are certified if bought directly from a mint.

    palladium-maple-platinum-eagle-coins

    When seeking platinum bars, look for those that feature certifications for weight and purity. Most 10-ounce bars are 99.95 percent pure.

    One of the more popular choices in palladium bullion is the Canadian Maple Leafs issued by the Royal Canadian Mint. These are are one-ounce coins valued at 50 Canadian dollars. And their weight, purity, and face value of each coin is guaranteed by the Canadian government. A more valuable version is the palladium Maple Leaf 1 oz Common Date coin, valued at under $1000.

    When buying palladium bars, as with platinum bars, it is crucial that buyers seek those with the refiner's mark to ensure weight and purity. These bars are transportable and easy to store and trade.

Learn more in our BASICS OF BUYING area, or START SHOPPING »