Five Questions to ask Yourself Before purchasing Precious Metals

Between the recent recession and world economic crises, you’ve probably heard someone joke about taking money out of the bank and putting it under a mattress. For the uninitiated, this seems safer than leaving money with government institutions.

Good investors, however, understand inflation. The dollar may not always hold its value. To mitigate risk, they put money in Precious Metals like Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium. These core metals offer intrinsic value and stability that no bank or reserve can reproduce with paper.

If you’re planning your financial future, ask yourself the following questions. You may be on your way to amassing a new kind of wealth.

  1. Are Precious Metals the right type of investment for me?

Precious Metals are just one more form of saving. However, it’s important to have liquid assets that you can move easily in case of emergencies.

Further, Precious Metals are a long-term investment. Because the price of Precious Metals constantly fluctuates, you’ll need patience and comfort with volatility to see real rewards.

   2. What kind of Precious Metal do I start with?

As an individual investor, the best place to start is with bullion: refined Precious Metal bars, rounds or coins. They’re easy to get and allow you to hold — and control — your growing wealth.

When choosing between bars, rounds or coins, think about where you can safely store them. Bars are efficient ways to buy Precious Metals but may take up more room. Smaller rounds and coins are easier to liquidate since they are more convenient and of a more tradable size.

While it’s tempting to start with the more rare metals, invest in Gold or Silver first before buying Platinum or Palladium, since they are more common in the marketplace..

   3. What should I look for in Precious Metals?

For investment purposes, bullion does not have to be in perfect condition. Its value is based in its metal content. The more pure it is, the greater its value.

Some coins have value above their metal content, known as numismatic value, which is based on the historical value, aesthetic features, mint year, rarity and collectibility of the coin. With so many qualities to consider, it’s important to research before making a purchase or sale.

   4. What’s my ROI for buying Precious Metals?

“If you had invested $10,000 in Gold bullion in January 2001, your 37.81 ounces of the Precious Metal would have been worth more than $69,000 by September 1, 2011. That beat the pants off stock investments,” personal finance columnist Kathy Kristoff said.

Like with any investment, your return on investment can vary greatly depending on a number of things, but generally, the longer you hold on to your Precious Metals, the more they’ll increase in value.

   5. When should I buy?

Ultimately the decision is up to you. Many find it helpful to bite the bullet and make a purchase while it’s on their mind. Waiting for better prices may or may not happen. Do your research and purchase when is best for you. Some find it helpful to develop a monthly metals budget. By doing this, the highs and lows of spot price even out over time.

ANA World’s Fair of Money here we come!

Worl'ds Fair of Money 2015APMEX is heading to ANA World’s Fair of Money and we want to see you there! We’ll be at booth #1928 and our own Mike Garofalo will be presenting Classic Commemorative Coin Holders & Memorabilia on Thursday, August 13 at 9:00 am. For more information, see below.

About ANA World’s Fair of Money

The ANA World’s Fair of Money is the largest coin show in the US and it’s hosted annually by the American Numismatic Association or ANA. This year the show runs from August 11 – August 15 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois just outside Chicago. The show features an astounding 1,000 table-holders, educational seminars and presentations for both beginners and advanced collectors. The world’s largest mints and retailers gather in this one location to learn, buy, and sell. It is the place to be for avid collectors and enthusiasts alike, many of whom make the annual patronage.

The APMEX factor

APMEX has attended the ANA World’s Fair of Money since they were established, over 15 years ago. APMEX’s skilled purchasing team has developed one-of-a-kind relationships with dealers in that time to bring our customers an unparalleled inventory selection of the most unique and coveted numismatic items in the country and perhaps the world. This year our team will be busy meeting with mints, searching for great buys to bring back to our customers and meeting with visitors who stop by our booth.

APMEX’s own Mike Garofalo, Director of Numismatics, will be presenting Thursday, August 13 at 9:00 am. The presentation is titled Classic Commemorative Coin Holders & Memorabilia. Mike will be sharing his vast knowledge that he has gained over his 40 years in the precious metals industry. APMEX will be at booth #1928 and will be available to answer questions and speak with the public about products, the industry, and the APMEX shopping experience. We will not be able to sell any items at the booth directly.

Be Social

Throughout the week APMEX will be sharing photos and insights of our time at ANA. Like our Facebook page and keep up to date with the latest news from ANA and the industry. Follow us on Twitter @APMEX and use #WorldsFairofMoney to keep up to date with all the happenings at the show. Share your thoughts and photos with us!

Stop by our booth and say hi to the team! We’ll see you there!

History in Your Hands

Handful of coins in palm hands isolated on white

One of the great things about collecting and enjoying rare coins and currency is that each item is like a miniature work of art that you can hold in your hands. More importantly, each has a specific story to relate. Some were minted during turbulent historical times such as during the Civil War, while others were printed to commemorate important events, such as the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. They are reminders of our nation’s history.

While Morgan Silver Dollars, Large Cents, and Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle Gold coins are all enjoyable, popular, and important series of coins, there is a segment of numismatics that is under-appreciated and, unquestionably, the most historically significant of all!

Early Colonial Coins and Currency were issued before our nation began. These relics bear testament to the courage of our nation’s Founding Fathers. Benjamin Franklin saw the need for the colonies to stop using British Coppers and Spanish Milled Dollars, if we were ever to become a truly independent nation. Under George Washington’s Administration, a Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, was named and a United States Mint was created in Philadelphia. The need for coins and currency was real and it was met, first by each of the 13 Original Colonies, and then by the Continental Congress.

Before the American Revolution, the American colonies relied upon foreign coins in order to transact business in America. This proved unreliable at best, as there were no standard denominations, and the supply of these coins was inadequate. A number of the colonies decided to strike their own coins, while still others contracted with private individuals and companies to mint coins for them. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont were prolific in issuing their own coinage. In fact New Jersey actually has hundreds of varieties of their copper coins. As time progressed, the desire to offer a more standardized coinage that would be accepted by all of the colonies gained momentum. To answer that need, the Nova Constellatio pieces and Fugio Cents (designed by Benjamin Franklin) were produced as experiments to offer a Federal coinage. Additionally, Hibernia coins were minted by different private minters and a series of pieces used to honor former General and then President George Washington was struck. Colonial Coins are a truly interesting collectible that our Founding Fathers may have held in their hands.

There are two major types of Colonial CurrencyContinental Currency, authorized and issued by the Continental Congress but printed by private printers, and Colonial Currency, issued by each of the Colonies. During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress issued their own currency in order to pay the army and to pay all of their foreign and domestic war debts. The Colonies issued paper currency to pay their debts to the Federal Government and to serve as a medium of exchange within their borders. While the public strongly preferred Silver and Gold coins to transact their business, their reluctant acceptance of this paper money and the fact that these notes were inadequately backed by hard currency, gave rise to the expression “Not worth a Continental.” There is a special feeling about holding a note that was issued during our War for Independence or a coin that was struck during President George Washington’s administration and thinking about who also may have held that coin or note.

This is a great opportunity to hold “History in Your Hands!”

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 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 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 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 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.