Ultimate Canadian Getaway – Winner Announced!


In March 2015, APMEX launched the Ultimate Canadian Getaway Sweepstakes. Recently, the winner was chosen and we’re excited to congratulate John H. from California on his selection as the winner! The contest ran for a month and more than 5,800 people entered, either through mail-in entry or by purchasing select Gold and Silver Royal Canadian Mint products.

“We were thrilled to bring this opportunity of a once in a lifetime trip to Canada to our customers,” APMEX Chief Operations Officer Kenneth Lewis said. “We appreciate all who entered and thoroughly hope John enjoys the trip.”

John and his guest will be swept away on an exclusive all expenses paid getaway to Canada valued at over $3,500 USD. As part of his winnings, they’ll dine with a Royal Canadian Mint executive, take a photo with a 400 oz Gold bar, enjoy an exclusive behind the scenes VIP tour of the world-renowned Royal Canadian Mint and even get to partake in the process of minting a coin. Following this unforgettable experience, John and his guest will board a train to Montreal and delight in two nights’ accommodations at the historic Hotel St Paul. While in scenic Montreal, they will be treated with two tickets to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Botanical Gardens of Montreal.

During the stay in Ottawa and Montreal, John and his guest can enjoy fine dining, remarkable architecture, famed museums, festive events and exquisite sightseeing.

The Royal Canadian Mint is well-known for creating some of the most recognizable Precious Metals products in the world including the Gold or Silver Canadian Maple Leaf. If you haven’t seen our lineup of Gold and Silver from the Royal Canadian Mint, then you don’t know what you’re missing. View some of the RCM products available at APMEX: Silver Canadian Grey Wolf Coins, RCM Silver Bars, and RCM Gold Lunar Coins.

A Short History of Precious Metals Spot Pricing

Understanding spot pricing is essential to buying and investing in Precious Metals. The spot price represents the price of one ounce of raw, unprocessed Precious Metal. It’s the price point at which Precious Metals can be purchased and delivered this very instant. Precious Metals are traded 24 hours a day and spot prices are perpetually changing based on market speculation, current events, supply, demand and the value of various currencies.

Most investors can’t purchase Gold at spot price because it doesn’t include the cost of manufacturing and distributing a Precious Metal product. The mint or manufacturer will pay to produce the coin, round or bar, and dealers will in turn pay the manufacturer’s cost and slightly increase the price of a product in order to earn a profit.

Origins of Spot Pricing

Most all Precious Metals, but Gold and Silver in particular, have a long history with human civilization. Spot price, in comparison, is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Beginning in 1919, the London Gold Fixing has been the most common benchmark for the spot price of Gold. Members of the London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. telephoned into the offices of Nathan Mayer Rothschild & Sons twice daily to settle on the price of Gold. At that time, The London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. included some of the world’s largest Gold bullion traders and refiners.

In 2004, Barclays bought Nathan Mayer Rothschild’s place on the fixing. Ever since, fixing has taken place on a dedicated conference line to keep up with the demands of a global market.

Trends in the Price of Precious Metals

Throughout history, Precious Metal prices have experienced fluctuations. Peaks and valleys are to be expected, even in periods where the price of Precious Metals is at an average high or low.

Gold spot prices have increased since the 1960s experiencing spikes in 1980, 2008 and 2011. Since 2005, the spot price of Gold has risen, though prices in 2015 are not as high as those in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The spot price of Silver has followed a similar trend: Down-swinging in the 1990s after a peak in the 1980s, a subsequent upturn after 2005 followed by spikes in 2012 and 2013. In 2015, Silver spot prices are almost back down to where they were in 2010 and 2011.

Curious about current spot prices or pricing trends for Precious Metals? Visit APMEX.com today, or give us a call at 800.375.9006.

Top 5 Reasons the Hammerhead Shark is the Coin for You!


This week, APMEX released the 1/2 oz Silver Hammerhead Shark as the latest APMEXclusive® coin in the Shark Series from The Perth Mint, located in Australia. But what is so special about this coin and why should it be considered for your collection?

  • It has a low mintage – The Great Hammerhead Shark Coin has a mintage of only 300,000. Other bullion coins have much larger mintages with some having unlimited quantities. Bullion items are mostly purchased for their metal content; however, bullion coins with a small mintage also carry a numismatic appeal. This means they have a high likelihood of becoming more of a collector’s item in the future, making them more than “just” a bullion coin valued for the metal.
  • It is part of a series – Being part of a series allows the Hammerhead Shark Coin to be a part of something greater than itself. Though beautiful on its own, a coin in a series as unique as the shark series will garner more value over the years. However, the key to a series is to get all of the pieces. With this coin being just the second in the series, adding the first release, the Great White Shark Coin, to any purchase is an easy way to own the complete set thus far.
  • It has great entry point pricing – The Great Hammerhead Shark Coin is a unique 1/2 oz size. This provides consumers the opportunity to purchase at a lower price point due to its Precious Metal weight. The pricing also allows purchasers to order more of than they normally may have.Hammerhead_APMEXclusive-Press
  • It is a sovereign coin from the Perth Mint – This coin holds a $0.50 Australian face value, giving it a sovereign edge over other products. A sovereign coin is backed by a government, in this case Australia, and holds a face value as a form of currency. Sovereign coins can also have a substantial numismatic value. These coins offer a small investment cushion: they’ll never lose their base currency value while also having potential to gain numismatic value.
  • It is unique and special – The 1/2 oz Silver Great Hammerhead Shark coin is .999 fine Silver. Its unique design features one of the most recognizable sea creatures. With its graceful and powerful appearance, the great hammerhead shark really comes to life in its natural habitat swimming in the sea. Sharks are such majestic creatures yet much is still not known about them. All this is what makes this coin and this series so special.

The Great Hammerhead Shark coin is a nice addition to any collection. If you need more information about this coin or others, visit www.APMEX.com or call (800) 375-9006.

Sovereign vs Non-Sovereign products: How to Choose?

Both sovereign coins and non-sovereign rounds and bars are portable, stackable and durable. Both are pleasing to the eye and are worthy forms of investment. So how do you choose the right Precious Metal product for you?

The choice between non-sovereign bars and rounds and sovereign coins depends entirely on your investing goals. Before making a purchase, it’s important to consider what’s most essential to you and your future objectives: Do you want your investment to have numismatic, or collectible, value? Is it important that you can use it as currency? While both sovereign and non-sovereign products function as worthwhile assets, their qualities and features are very distinct.

The benefits of sovereign coins

Gold eagle

2015 Gold American Eagle Coin

If you answered yes to both questions above, you’re likely interested in sovereign coins. These coins, regardless of their Precious Metal content, have a face value and can therefore function as currency as well as an investment. Examples of sovereign coins are the popular 1 oz Silver Maple Leaf or the 1 oz Gold American Eagle coins.

Why does it matter if they’re sovereign?

silver maple leaf

1 oz 2015 Silver Canadian Maple Leaf Coin

Sovereign products are backed by the government of a sovereign nation. The country that issued them assures their purity and Precious Metal content. Some investors choose sovereign coins specifically because they can be easier to sell back than non-sovereign rounds or bars.

Furthermore, sovereign coins can have substantial numismatic value. Not only do coins often have stunning, historically relevant or patriotic designs, certain coins’ value may exceed their physical worth depending on their age, condition and rarity. This does not apply solely to coins from the United States, like the American Eagle, that are popular with coin collectors. Some of the most popular sovereign coin products on APMEX.com come from around the world, including the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Austrian Philharmonic and the South African Krugerrand.

The benefits of non-sovereign rounds and bars

Like coins, non-sovereign rounds and bars are easy to transport and store and are nearly indestructible. If there’s a natural disaster or catastrophic event, chances are your rounds or bars will be in one piece. Though they may be very much the same physically, non-sovereign rounds and bars differ from coins in one essential aspect: they have no face value and therefore cannot be used as currency.

sunshine round

1 oz Silver Sunshine Mint Round

Non-sovereign rounds and bars can be manufactured by either a national government or a private mint. Their value is entirely dependent on their purity and Precious Metal content. While they have little value as a numismatic collector’s item, non-sovereign Gold or Silver rounds can be a prized investment.

In the event of a monetary collapse, it is more likely that bars and rounds will continue to hold their value. Many choose to purchase this form of asset precisely because Gold has maintained its value while even the most trusted currencies have fluctuated. Furthermore, because they don’t have as much numismatic potential as sovereign coins, non-sovereign rounds or bars tend to require less upfront cost.

Some of the most commonly purchased non-sovereign products on APMEX.com come from widely recognizable private mints like Johnson Matthey, Credit Suisse, Engelhard, Sunshine Minting, PAMP Suisse and even APMEX. Some examples of non- sovereign products are the 1 oz Silver Buffalo round or the 1 oz Gold APMEX bar. Non-sovereign products can be as small as 1 gram and as large a 1,000 oz bar!

Are sovereign coins or non-sovereign rounds and bars right for you?

APMEX Silver bar

10 oz Silver APMEX Bar

If you prioritize an investment in Gold, Silver or Platinum based on the numismatic and currency-based value, consider choosing a sovereign coin. A non-sovereign round or bar, on the other hand, is ideal if you’re more interested in the outright value of the Precious Metal. Many people consult a financial advisor before making any investments to discuss the best options for their personal financial plan. However, with online Precious Metals dealers like APMEX, it’s easy to purchase your products online at any time of the day or night.

Regardless of your preference, APMEX carries a vast selection of coins, bars and rounds. We’re happy to cater to your needs and investment goals. Please contact us with any questions you may have about Precious Metals, including sovereign coins and non-sovereign rounds and bars, at (800) 375-9006.

Top 10 Terms You Should Know Before Buying Precious Metals


  •    Spot Price: Describes a one-time open market cash transaction price of a commodity, where it is purchased “on the spot” at current market rates. In other words, it’s how much the metal is worth at the time, which is determined by the London Bullion Market. Spot Price flexes just like the stock market. Prices rise and fall throughout the day. Every minute. Simply put, it’s the value of the metal.
  • Premium: The additional cost of a coin or bullion item, over and above the spot price of the Precious Metal contained in the coin. The premium includes the costs of fabrication, distribution and a minimal dealer fee. Rare coins carry an additional premium representing numismatic value, which is based on scarcity, quality, demand and intangible factors.
  • Bid: The price at which a dealer is willing to buy.
    Ask: The price at which a dealer offers to sell.
  • Bullion: Bullion items are purchased for the metal content and investment aspect of the Precious Metal. They can be Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium coins which closely follow spot prices and have little or no numismatic value (such as restrikes and modern sovereign mint bullion coins). It can also mean the form in which metal is shaped, such as bars, ingots or wafers. The most commonly traded Gold bullion pieces among individual investors in the United States weigh 10 ounces or less.
  • Numismatic Coins: Coins whose prices depend more on their rarity, condition, dates and mint marks than on their Gold or Silver content.
  • Market Loss Policy: It is common for Precious Metal companies to have a cancellation and Market Loss policy. For example, when purchasing from APMEX, once a confirmation number has been issued, the price is locked in for you and the transaction may not be cancelled, but only offset at our current ask price. Any deficit between the price at which APMEX sold  and the offsetting purchase price and or prices, is the purchasers responsibility only if the item(s) is cancelled or returned.  Any market gain on cancellations would remain the property of APMEX. Just like with Stocks, you never know what is going to happen the next trading day.
  • BU: Brilliant Uncirculated; used to describe a coin in new condition. It is for a coin that has no wear and shows original luster, but it may have light handling marks or other imperfections.
  • Fineness: The purity of a Precious Metal measured in 1,000 parts: A Gold bar of .995 fineness contains 995 parts Gold and 5 parts of another metal. The American Gold Eagle is .9167 fine, which means it is 91.67 percent Gold. An American Silver Eagle has a fineness of .999, meaning that it is 99.9 percent pure.
  • Obverse: The front of a coin. The device on the obverse usually consists of the image of one or more people or which contains the principal design of the coin.
    Reverse: The back of a coin. The device on the reverse of a coin usually consists of a country’s coat of arms or an insignia.

We hope that this information provided in this post gives you a better understanding of the terms that are commonly used among the Precious Metals community. For questions or to find out more information contact APMEX at (800) 375-9006 or visit http://www.APMEX.com.

Product Spotlight: 1 oz Sunshine Silver Rounds

For thousands of years, people have used Precious Metals as currency. In more recent years, investors have utilized coins, bars and rounds as investments. Buying Silver and Gold bullion is a great way to add to an investment portfolio because their value is based on the metal content, not the collectibility or numismatic value. The 1 oz Sunshine Round is a great example of a Silver bullion round. The reason this is called a round and not a coin is due to the lack of a government-backed face value. sunshine roundSunshine Silver rounds have a simple yet striking design that makes them appealing to investors and collectors alike. The obverse of the Silver round shows an eagle, the Sunshine Mint’s icon, while the reverse lists the .999 fine Silver purity. Because they have an unlimited mintage and no face value, these are referred to as bullion rounds. Primarily desired for their metal content, investors purchase these products as a hedge or general investment. Other buyers purchase these coins as a possible monetary source in the event of economic collapse.

One unique feature of 1 oz Sunshine Silver Rounds is the MintMark SI™ security feature, which provides buyers the confidence that they’re purchasing a legitimate product from the mint. Sunshine Minting also offers avalidator special item called the Sunshine Minting Decoder Lens (sold separately). This lens offers buyers of Sunshine bullion the ability to see the word “Valid” when held up to the product’s security feature. Additionally, when the lens is turned 90 degrees, a sunburst appears in the same location.

The 1 oz Sunshine Silver round is a great Silver investment. APMEX carries a wide selection of Silver and Gold products, including a variety of Sunshine Mint  , Silver bars and  . If you have questions about these products or about investing in Precious Metals, APMEX has a customer service staff ready and willing to help at (800) 375-9006.


How A Gold Backed IRA Can Help Protect Your Retirement

*This article was originally posted on LenPenzo.com.  If you’re interested in a Precious Metals IRA from APMEX visit http://www.apmex.com/irabenefits.

The stock market made great gains over the last several years. This year alone, we’ve seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 break multiple records. Even so, if you have a traditional IRA or 401k, your retirement funds could be at risk. In fact, if you read between the lines, there is plenty of evidence to at least suggest that there is major danger ahead for the stock market.

Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself. One way is by diversifying your portfolio with a gold backed IRA.

What Is A Gold Backed IRA?

A gold backed IRA is a retirement investment that works much like a traditional IRA. In reality, there is one essential difference: With a gold backed IRA, you’re investing in gold, rather than the stock market. Therefore, your gold backed IRA will realize gains whenever the price of gold increases and losses when the price of gold decreases.

How A Gold Backed IRA Can Help Protect Your Retirement

There are several red flags that investors are beginning to notice. Between the fall of oil prices, the poor economic conditions in the Eurozone, and poor geopolitical conditions around the work; many investors feel as though we’re looking a market correction — or worse — dead in the eyes. The good news is: gold can help protect you from losses. Here’s how it works:

When investors start to get concerned with their ability to realize gains in the stock market, a sell-off typically ensues. That means that thousands of investors start to sell billions of dollars worth of stocks that they own. As a result, a market correction — defined as a period of time where the stock market value drops by 10% or more — takes place. In these cases, traditional retirement investments that are backed by stocks would take substantial losses.

However, when investors pull out of the stock market, many of them look for another type of investment that they believe will work well for them. The industry calls these investments “safe havens.” One of the most common safe haven investments is gold. So, as market values fall, demand for gold has a tendency to increase. As more and more investors start to purchase gold, the supply of the precious metal starts to decrease.

Following these trends, the basic law of supply and demand tells us that the price of gold will eventually increase.

In theory, while you may take losses in the stock market, you should also realize gains on investors’ flight to safety into gold because you’ve got a gold backed IRA. As a result, your losses would be tempered by the gains, assuming you were properly diversified.

Final Thoughts

Geopolitical conditions, economic conditions, and market conditions around the world suggest more turbulence ahead in the markets. The good news is a market correction doesn’t guarantee you have to be a victim. By protecting your investments with gold, you can minimize — or possibly even eliminate — your chances of losing a big chunk of your retirement funds.