The Golden Years: How to Use Precious Metals as Part of Your Retirement Plan

Physical Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium represent real wealth to many people, and owning Precious Metals products gives them the security they desire. If you are reading this, you are likely among those who feel that Precious Metals investment is an important part of protecting and growing your wealth. But what about the most important investment portfolio: your retirement portfolio?

Have you made a specific plan to include Precious Metals investments in your retirement? If this is one of those things you “haven’t gotten around to,” APMEX is here to help. Including Precious Metals in your retirement planning is simple with a Precious Metals IRA and APMEX makes it easy to begin.

Why Precious Metals?

All the advantages of Precious Metals investing extend to a Precious Metals IRA. Physical Gold and Silver are excellent hedges against inflation, maintaining the same relative buying power to price per ounce over time. Additionally, since Precious Metal prices tend to move independently of the stock market, they can provide a bright spot among your investments in the event of an economic downturn. Further, diversification is key to building a strong portfolio. A great diversification plan cannot depend on stocks and bonds alone, and Precious Metals can provide the balance and diversity you want.

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What Percentage of My Portfolio?

While exactly how much of your overall retirement investments goes into Precious Metals is a very personal choice, there are some general rules of thumb for you to consider.

  • A conservative Precious Metals investor will have less than 5 percent of their overall retirement investments in Precious Metals. This may not be enough to provide balance to one’s portfolio, but will provide some benefits.
  • A diversified Precious Metals investor may have up to 10 percent of their overall retirement in Precious Metals. They believe in careful diversification and balance and know that the stock market alone cannot provide it.
  • An aggressive Precious Metals investor may have up to 15 percent of their total retirement plan in Precious Metals. These investors believe fiat currency is problematic and want commodities as a hedge against collapse.

You will want to examine your motives for investing in a Precious Metals IRA to determine what percentage is right for you.

How to Get Started

Getting started with a Precious Metals IRA is simple. Essentially, there are three steps between you and owning a Precious Metals IRA.

  1. Open a Custodian Account. The IRS requires that IRA Precious Metals be kept in a custodian account. If you have a custodian, APMEX will happily work with them. If you need a custodian, you can call APMEX at (800) 418-0235 for help selecting one.
  1. Fund the Account. Once you have a Custodian Account, you can fund it with cash or roll over an existing IRA or former employer 401(k). Once again, APMEX has IRA specialists ready to assist you.
  1. Purchase Approved Products. As soon as your account is funded, call APMEX to select among the many available IRA-approved products.

There will be a bit of paperwork but APMEX can assist you every step of the way, making starting a Precious Metals IRA simple and hassle-free.

IRA Approved Products

iraNow for the fun part! Selecting Precious Metals items for your Precious Metals IRA can be an exhilarating part of Precious Metals investing. APMEX has many IRA-approved products, from the perennially popular American Gold Eagle to the always-elegant Gold Austrian Philharmonic. For those looking to include Silver in a Precious Metals IRA, AMPEX carries the well-known Canadian Silver Maple Leaf as well as heftier items such as a 10 oz Silver Bar by APMEX.

Adding Platinum and Palladium to your IRA is easy with APMEX, too, as IRA-approved products are all clearly labeled. This gorgeous PAMP Suisse 1 oz Platinum Bar is eligible, as are the Canadian Palladium Maple Leafs.

Knowing why and how to use Precious Metals as part of your retirement plan, you can see how important it is to get started with a Precious Metals IRA today, as well as how easily you can begin. Help secure your future with Precious Metals.

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Precious Metal Gifts for Your Children to Enjoy

There are those who would scoff at the idea of gifting children Precious Metal products. They may wonder why anyone would purposefully give a kid something so valuable. However, getting children interested in Precious Metal collecting is a great way to set them on the path to becoming Precious Metal investors.

Putting an exciting coin in a child’s hand could be a crucial first step toward lifelong financial literacy and stability. So, what Precious Metal item could you present to a child that is both appropriate and enjoyable? Let’s look at some possible gift items for the young people in your life.

Personal Interests

An excellent guide to selecting what Precious Metal item might interest the young person in your life is the young person himself! There is an appropriate coin for every imaginable interest.batman coin

Is your son going through a Batman phase? There is a 2014 Niue 2 oz Silver 75 Years of Batman Proof coin that would make his jaw drop. Perhaps your daughter recently announced her plan to pursue marine biology. Show your belief in her dreams with a gorgeous 2015 Niue 1 oz Silver $2 Ocean Predators Giant Squid.

Anything your child might love, from sailboats to elephants, is featured on a coin available from APMEX. Presenting your child with a token representing their interests will show them you listen and share in their hopes and plans.

Personal Commemorative Items

84852_SlabIs your family taking that long-awaited trip to Disneyworld this year? You might consider presenting your child with a fun 2014 Niue 1 oz Silver $2 Disney Mickey Mouse coin, either as part of sharing the news of the trip or as a coming-home keepsake. Mementos such as these become sentimental favorites but are also valuable Precious Metal products.

Perhaps your teen completed a rigorous French foreign language exchange this year. You may give her this unusual 2014 British Virgin Islands 1 oz Silver 125th Anniversary Eiffel Tower coin. The only limit to what you can commemorate or celebrate is your own imagination. There is always a Precious Metals product appropriate to your family’s occasion.

Building Traditions

Another great way to help your children truly holiday-silverenjoy a gift of Precious Metals is to make it part of your family’s traditions. There are many holiday-themed Silver items available at APMEX, from delightful fractional coins featuring tobogganing wildlife to large pieces showcasing spectacular snowflake artwork. Making one of these charming items part of your holiday celebration each year builds real excitement for children.

Consider displaying these coins on your holiday tree in an ornament capsule. Presentations like this take a valuable Precious Metal product and make it something children love and hold dear.

Children can truly enjoy Precious Metal gifts. Speak to their interests, commemorate their experiences and build traditions to help them treasure Precious Metals products long before they understand the real importance of Precious Metals investing.

 

Visit our Holiday Gift Guide for more gift ideas for the whole family. 

APMEX Holiday Gift Guide

New release from the Royal Canadian Mint

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We’re expecting a big hit with the latest release of the Royal Canadian Mint’s 2016 3/4 oz Howling Wolves coin.

The .9999 fine Silver coin is hauntingly beautiful, depicting two thick-coated grey wolves raising their own song from the hillside, under a bright moon and clear sky.

Wolves are known to welcome their pack and warn their enemies with a chorus of howls that carry for miles across their territory. The bone-chilling sound of modulated pitches echo and scatter across trees, ridges, and cliffs to surprising and bolstering effect.

The coin is the mint’s second tribute to the Great White North’s legendary hunter. Unique security features (including precise radial lines and micro-engraved lasered maple leaf) ensure that the coin is as sophisticated as it is radiant.

As an APMEXclusive®, the coin is minted on an incremental basis. A specific mintage cannot be determined, but as a comparison, the mint’s Wildlife Series and Bird of Prey Series each have a mintage of 1 million coins.

Interview with Natasha Muhl, designer of the APMEXclusive 2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark

Natasha Muhl, designer at the Perth Mint We had the opportunity to chat with Natasha Muhl, the creative force behind the APMEXclusive 2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark. See below for some unique insights into her design process.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m from the Kimberley in the North West of Western Australia, so I spent a lot of time outdoors in nature growing up. This would probably be my biggest inspiration, especially when it comes to designing Australian fauna-themed coins. While doing my research for any new series, I tend to look at a range of photography and watch nature documentaries. This helps me to accurately recreate the animal. I also take inspiration from coin collecting catalogs and numismatic magazines, as it’s always great to see what other mints are up to and keep ideas fresh.

How do you start the design process?
The Perth Mint Sales and Marketing team meet fortnightly to discuss potential concepts for each coin program. Once the theme has been determined, the designers are given a detailed creative brief to follow. As part of the research process we often take part in field trips. With the Great White Shark bullion coin for example, I visited the Aquarium of Western Australia and dived with a range of sharks. It was wonderful to come face to face with these amazing creatures and it really helped steer my creative process.

What are some of your favorite coins?
There are so many to choose from, but I would have to say The Perth Mint’s Famous Ballets Silver proof coin set, with its subtle pad printing details, is one of my favorites. More recently I’m really enjoying the Gods of Olympus series which is struck in high relief to a rimless format – a first for the Mint! These mythological gods are quite dark and moody so it is an exciting concept for the design studio. They have also proven to be extremely popular with collectors which is always great.

How did you get into designing coins?

2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark

2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shar

I studied at Central Institute of Technology [in Perth], graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 2009. Fellow Perth Mint designer, Tom Vaughan, was a previous classmate of mine and he kindly recommended me to the Mint when they were looking for a new illustrator. It’s always been my dream to become a designer, so I feel very fortunate to work for The Perth Mint as I get the chance to illustrate a broad range of themes for a variety of audiences.

Why a shark instead of another sea predator or animal?
The Great White Shark is probably the most feared and interesting predator in existence. Most people around the world have watched the movie Jaws and can imagine the terror of an encounter with this deadly creature. I think that’s what makes them so exciting and sought-after.

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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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Don’t Wait — Get Free Shipping On 2014 Eagles – Offer Ends 12/31!

Free Shipping on 2014 Silver & Gold Eagles

*Special Promotion: Enjoy Free Shipping when your order includes five or more 2014 Silver American Eagles (Raw or Certified) or Any Quantity of 2014 Gold American Eagles (Raw or Certified). Offer ends 12/31/2013 at Midnight ET. Applies to US Domestic Shipping Only.