About APMEX

APMEX is one of the nation's largest online Precious Metals dealers serving a diverse clientele from self-directed individual investors to institutions.

5 things you never want to do with Gold and Silver.

Gold and Silver may last forever, but coins, bars, rounds and jewelry require special care to preserve their value. Here are a few things you never want to do.

  • Don’t touch or talk over a coin: Fingerprints can be almost impossible to remove so be sure to always wear gloves, preferably made of soft cotton, when you handle coins. And don’t talk in a coin’s direction. Subtle, indiscernible drops of saliva can land on a coin and turn into smudge marks over time.
  • Don’t take a certified coin out of its slab: Grading services like PCGS and NGC seal coins in tamper-evident slabs to protect them and certify their authenticity and condition. Once the seal is broken, the certification is lost and the value of the coin is reduced.
  • Don’t try to authenticate a product yourself: We’ve seen coins, rounds and bars lose value when people drill into or pour chemicals on them. Always ask a professional to help you authenticate. Or better yet, buy from a reputable dealer whose products need no authentication.
  • Don’t clean your coins: Improper cleaning can turn a rare, valuable coin into a $25 Silver ingot. Collectors prefer coins that show the deep coloration of age over those whose surfaces have been stripped away.
  • Don’t swim wearing Gold jewelry: Chlorine breaks down the alloys in 14K and 18K Gold jewelry, weakening prongs and ring shanks. Chlorine bleach can destroy 14K Gold in 24 hours. The 24K Gold found in most APMEX products is impervious to almost every chemical, but is generally too soft and pliable for everyday jewelry.

Do you have any ideas for protecting your Gold and Silver? Share them in the comments section below.

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America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins

2013 5 oz Silver ATB Mount Rushmore National Park, SD

2013 5 oz Silver ATB Mount Rushmore National Park, SD

Big in size. Big in popularity. Big in collectibility.

In April 1832, the U.S. Congress carved out a federal reserve near Hot Springs, Arkansas. In April 2010, the U.S. Mint paid tribute to this site with Hot Springs National Park, the first 3-inch, .999 fine, 5 oz Silver coin in the mint’s history to launch a brand new series.

This was the start of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins series. Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Mount Hood National Forest followed later that year. The U.S. Mint has released five America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins each year since 2010. They’re one of the mint’s most talked about bullion products.

The series honors five national parks and historic sites every year. The program is expected to run through 2021 with a total of 56 coins honoring national parks and historic sites. By the time the series is complete, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories will be represented.

Big, beautiful, 5 oz Silver editions of the popular quarters.

America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins have a nominal face value of 25 cents. The designs are exact duplicates of the popular America the Beautiful quarters that are now in general circulation. Check your pockets or purse and there’s a good chance you’ll find some of these quarters.

But these giant 3 inch, 5 oz coins show design details in ways that no pocket quarter ever can. Also, the coins’ .999 fine Silver composition gives them a lustrous sheen.

For more serious collectors, APMEX has very rare, First Strike and proof America the Beautiful coins — some graded perfect SP-70 by PCGS.

A large selection for investors and collectors.

Though the U.S. Mint issues these coins as bullion, they have become very popular amongst collectors. In the first year of the series, which includes the popular Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks, only 33,000 coins of each design were minted. These have become rare collectibles.

There is a total mintage of only 200,000 coins, spread across all designs for the given year. So these big, beautiful coins are scarce enough to potentially become valuable with collectors.

If you have a collection that you wish to complete, click here to see the huge APMEX selection of America the Beautiful (ATB) coins. One of the largest anywhere, it’s where you’re most likely to find the coin you’re looking for.

 

 

 

 

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Learn more about the Sheldon Grading Scale

2014 1 oz Gold American Eagle MS-70 NGC Early Releases

2014 1 oz Gold American Eagle MS-70 NGC Early Releases

Why graded coins are so prized and valued by collectors

Here’s a collector’s horror story that never has to happen to you.

You fall in love with a coin that appears to be in absolutely perfect condition. Not a scratch or smudge – you’d never know anyone touched it since it left the mint. You pay top dollar. Then to your surprise, an expert looks at it and spots a barely discernible nick near the rim on the coin’s obverse. It’s a great coin, but it’s not worth what you paid for it.

That’s exactly the nightmare Dr. William Herbert Sheldon set out to eliminate when he created the Sheldon Grading Scale in 1949.

A standardized system to evaluate a coin’s condition

The Sheldon Grading Scale gives expert coin appraisers a system of standardized attributes to evaluate a coin’s condition. The expert appraisers inspect the coins and grade them on a scale of 1 – 70.

A grade of 1 means the coin may be clear enough to identify, but it may be badly corroded or so worn that a side of the coin is blanked. On the other end of the scale, 70 means uncirculated perfection – no trace of wear, handling, scratches or contact with other coins. All the mint’s original luster is intact.

No circulated coin receives a grade higher than 58. At that grade, just about all of the coin’s original mint luster remains. Uncirculated coins receive grades from 11 – 70.

Who makes the grade?

The Sheldon Grading Scale is not for amateurs. The people who grade coins and assign these values have to be extremely well trained and experienced. That’s why most coins are graded by professional grading services.

There are dozens of grading services, but two of the most popular and highly respected are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

Coins graded by these services are highly valued for three reasons.

First, the people who grade coins for NGC and PCGS are unimpeachable experts. Their judgment is highly respected throughout the industry.

Second, after the coins are graded, they are sealed in airtight protective slabs, which help prevent tarnishing. They also provide a strong tamper-evident layer, so coins coin can’t be damaged in handling without a collector knowing about it.

Third, they label the coins with grades and findings. When you see a coin in a plastic slab labeled MS-70, you know it is an absolutely perfect coin. If it has an NGC Early Releases or PCGS First Strike designation, you know it arrived at the grading service within 30 days of the coin’s release by the mint.

Needless to say, graded coins are highly prized and valued.

 A treasure trove of collectibles

APMEX has a huge selection of graded coins, from uncirculated Silver Dollars that are more than 100 years old to the latest bullion coins receiving First Strike and Early Releases designations. Click here to see some of our more popular Graded Gold Coins and Graded Silver Coins.

 

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Weekly Gold & Silver Market Recap – 1/24/2014

GOLD REMAINS AT SIX-WEEK HIGH

Lower equities and a weaker U.S. dollar buoyed Precious Metals at the beginning of the week. Though gains were modest, Gold futures traded at their highest levels in almost six weeks. “I think the worst of the outflows is behind us,” Danny Laidler, head of ETF Securities’ Australia and New Zealand business, said. “A lot of our clients are still holding onto Gold as a risk-event hedge.” Gold bugs will continue to eye metals prices as Chinese demand ahead of the Lunar New Year, coupled with other economic factors, could continue to boost the yellow metal.

INVESTORS ANTICIPATE EARNING RESULTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER

The U.S. stock market closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. However, it was expected investors would be focused Tuesday as earnings season continues and several Dow Jones Industrial companies were slated to announce fourth quarter results. Strong earnings reports were needed to boost stocks as poor industrial output and weak employment data have weighed on equities to start 2014.

PRECIOUS METALS PRESSURED FROM QE SPECULATION

Precious Metals prices headed downward through mid-day trading Tuesday, giving back gains earned at the end of last week. Speculation of continued quantitative easing (QE) tapering, a stronger U.S. dollar and a downbeat price forecast for Gold this year have weighed on Precious Metals. Mike Cullinane, head of Treasuries trading with D.A. Davidson in St. Petersburg, Florida, said, “The view out there is there’s going to be continued tapering on a gradual basis. Another $10 billion in tapering is a logical way to go.”

THREE RISKS POSED TO STOCK MARKET

MarketWatch’s Jeff Reeves wrote about three risks that could crash the stock market  in 2014, the first being disappointing jobs numbers. Reeves wrote that December’s disappointing report (released at the beginning of this month) was an outlier due to the bad weather, but “of course, the second option is that December’s jobs numbers weren’t a fluke… Friday, Feb. 7 [is] going to be a big day for the markets when January jobs data hits.” The second risk is bad earnings. “Profit margins have been at record highs for a while and haven’t cracked, so why would they this earnings season? Or the next? That’s the million-dollar question, and a huge risk to watch.” A lending drought is also a large concern for the markets. “If reports continue to show slowing lending in the U.S. and around the world, it could get painful for investors.”

PLATINUM REMAINS STRONG AS STRIKES BEGIN

Precious Metals prices fell slightly Wednesday as the U.S. dollar and equities strengthened over the course of the day, which encouraged some profit taking. Gold has already felt pressure this year as the U.S. economy continues to reflect growth and stability, along with concerns of further stimulus reduction measures. The next Federal Reserve policy meeting is set for January 28-29, and the market predicts that the Fed will announce its second round of tapering. Platinum, on the other hand, was the only metal with positive performance Wednesday, due mainly to Impala Platinum shutting down production at all of its South African operations a day ahead of planned strikes concerning wages.

EUROPE TO EXIT DEBT CRISIS SOON

Europe’s financial crisis has been a major concern for several years; however some economists suggest they may be exiting their fiscal issues soon. For instance, Switzerland appears to have escaped its recessionary bonds and may begin to show growth again. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO at WPP Group and noted British businessman, said, “I think the answer is yes-ish. There are two Europes. There’s a Western Europe and there’s an Eastern Europe. I’m very bullish about Eastern Europe,” which includes Germany, Poland and Russia. German economist Axel Weber said, “Everyone expects the eurozone to grow, so that’s good. After several years of crisis, it’s quite normal to look on the bright side of things, to get excited about improvements. It may be too one-sided of a view.”

WEAK JOBLESS CLAIMS SUPPORTS GOLD

The Gold price overturned Wednesday’s losses on Thursday as a weaker U.S. dollar and a flat jobless claims report indicated economic growth is not as robust as predicted. Federal Reserve policymakers look to employment numbers as an overall gauge of domestic economic growth and use the data to determine the future of their quantitative easing (QE) program. This week’s downward revision of jobless claims projections marks the second week in a row that employment expectations were altered. As next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting approaches, jobs data will remain central to Fed officials’ decision to perpetuate QE or not.

GOLD PRODUCTION TO BE CUT IN 2014

As U.S. investors look to employment numbers, stock momentum and the Federal Reserve to gain insight into the future of Precious Metals prices, last year’s price drop has affected production of physical Gold. “The miners were mining at the highest possible cost because the Gold price was going up and when it stopped going up, they had to reduce that. So that means that they will mine less Gold,” Peter Hambro, chairman of Russian Gold mining company Petropavlovsk, said. With smaller scale mining operations closing up shop, larger firms like Petropavlovsk are cutting production back significantly this year. The diminished supply of physical Gold prompted Reuters to predict the yellow metal would be unable to slip much below current levels.

GOLD TRADING FLAT, STILL SET FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT WEEKLY GAIN

Precious Metals prices took a slight pullback Friday, though Gold was still poised for its fifth straight weekly gain. Even with today’s decline, an approaching Fed meeting and speculation that India will lower its import duty, many investors still have a positive outlook on Gold. Jeffrey Wright, managing director at H.C. Wainwright, said, “The existing pullback in equities markets has led to some ‘safe-haven’ buying, the potential for an increase in Gold imports to India if they lower the import duty, along with efforts in Europe to continue their own quantitative-easing policies are all supportive of Gold at the present time.”

 

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How does APMEX ship products so fast?

APMEX QuickShipWe see many APMEX customers who are thrilled to receive their orders in three business days or less. All domestic orders (except for orders that have pre-sale items in them) paid by credit card or bank wire ship within 1 business day of your payment clearing. We guarantee this. And in some cases orders ship the same day as well. Now, there are times when we may not be able to meet this commitment and when that does happen you will receive a coupon for free shipping on your next order (go here to learn more about some restrictions).  So how is this possible? We have a special program called QuickShipSM. The aim of this program is to offer expedited shipping to our customers at no additional cost. I can’t give away too much of our trade secrets but here are some tidbits about APMEX and about QuickShipSM

  • We maintain over $60M in inventory at all times as well as have a state of the art fulfillment operation. This enables us to ship faster.
  •  More than 99% of orders paid by credit card or wire transfer placed between October and December have shipped by the next business day from when the funds were received
  • Because we always try and exceed expectations, more than 1/3 of these orders even shipped same day!

At APMEX, customers always come first. Even if that means that we have to work overnight, during the weekend or right through the holidays. In fact, our shipping team worked over the weekend and all Silver American Eagle pre-orders shipped on Saturday or yesterday! Thank you for shopping on www.APMEX.com and we look forward to helping you meet your investment goals this year by getting Gold and Silver in your hands faster.

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