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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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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11 Precious Metals Investing Terms You Should be Familiar With

If you’ve ever spent time on APMEX’s website you may have come across a few terms that were deserving of a curious eyebrow raise.  Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a skilled numismatist to find out the meaning of all the hieroglyphic-like terms that your eyes are trying to decode. When you choose APMEX as your precious metals provider you’re not only picking the best bullion products available on the market, but you’re also investing in a skilled team of workers that can actually help answer your questions and lower your confused eyebrow. Check out this listing of some of the most commonly used terms. All terms have been taken directly from the APMEX Glossary.

Assay: A test to ascertain the fineness and weight of a precious metal.

Bid: The price at which a dealer is willing to buy.

BU: Brilliant uncirculated, is used to describe a coin in new condition. It is for a coin that has no wear, but it may have light handling marks or other imperfections.

Bullion: The term is used to describe: 1. Gold, silver, platinum or palladium coins which closely follow spot prices and have little or no numismatic value (such as restrikes) 2. 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 oz. or less.

Early Release: NGC designation for a coin received during its first month of release.

First Strike: These coins have been struck from a new set of dies within the first 30 days.

MS-60: The lowest grade of Mint State, or uncirculated, coins. Using the Sheldon Grading Scale, coins are grade from 1 to 70, with 70 representing a perfect coin. Coins grading MS60 or higher are uncirculated; coins grading below MS60, are circulated.

PCGS and NGC: Professional Coin Grading Service & Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, two major coin grading services in the United States.

Proof: Refers to the manner in which a coin was minted NOT to its condition. Highly polished dies and special planchet are used to produce coins with a mirror-like finish. A proof strike is very different from a business strike and proof coins are generally made for collectors not for normal use.

Spot: Term which describes one-time open market cash transaction price of a commodity, where it is purchased “on the spot” at current market rates. Spot transactions are in contrast to term sales, which specify a steady supply of product over a period of time. The price for the physical delivery of bullion bars, usually 100-oz bars of gold or platinum and 1,000-oz bars of silver.

Troy Ounce: One of the most common units of measure for precious metals. 480grains = 31.1035grams = 1.09711 avoirdupois ounces = 1 Troy Ounce.

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Find the Perfect Gold Eagle You’ve Been Wanting

 

Perfection Is In Your Reach: A Large Variety of Perfect 70 1 oz Gold Eagles Very Limited Quantities of Each Selection

Perfect 70 Gold Eagles (1 oz)Here’s your chance to find perfect Gold American Eagles for your collection. APMEX has a great selection of 1 oz Perfect 70 Gold Eagles. You will find multiple dates, as well as First Strikes and Early Releases, plus coins in Burnished, Proof and Reverse Proof finishes. Special 2 and 3 coin boxed sets are also available. Perfect 70 Gold Eagles from APMEX enhance your collection with:

  • Certified Perfection: Tamper evident slabs authenticate Perfect 70 grades from PCGS or NGC, the two leading independent grading agencies. These coins have received the highest grade on the Sheldon numerical grading scale from 1 (barely identifiable) to 70 (absolute perfection).
  • U.S. Government Guarantee: The U.S. Mint guarantees that Perfect 70 Gold Eagles contain 1 troy oz actual Gold weight. They each have a face value of $50.
  • Teddy Roosevelt Commissioned Design: The obverse, or front, mirrors Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ 1907 design of Lady Liberty, while the reverse, or back, features the famed eagle design by Miley Busiek.

 

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Perfect, First Strike 2012 Silver American Eagles – While Supplies Last

Absolutely Perfect The 2012 1 oz Silver American Eagle MS-70 PCGS First Strike While They Last!

Perfect, First Strike 2012 Silver American Eagles - While Supplies Last

Here’s a rare and absolutely perfect opportunity for Silver coin collectors: the 2012 1 oz Silver American Eagle MS-70 PCGS First Strike. It’s the newest issue of one of the world’s most beautiful and highly recognized Silver coins. And it’s in perfect condition. Each coin is:

  • Graded Perfect 70: This is the highest grade, the most perfect state of preservation, any coin can get on the Sheldon Grading Scale.
  • First Strike: The First Strike label tells you that PCGS received this coin within 30 days of its release. Struck when the dies were newest, the stunning details in the classic Adolph A. Weinman design are as sharp as they can be.

1 oz of .999 Fine Silver: This coin is U.S. legal tender with a face value of $1. The U.S. government guarantees the weight and purity of every 1 oz American Silver Eagle.

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Get the Very Best While They Last: Perfect 70 Gold Buffalos

Iconic Gold Buffalos 2012 First Strike Black Diamond & 2012-W Proof Gold In Absolutely Perfect Condition

 Perfect Gold Buffalos Presenting two Gold coins that are classic in heritage and beauty. The Proof and Mint State Perfect Gold Buffalos both display the famous 1913 James Earle Fraser “Black Diamond” design in 1 oz of .9999 fine Gold.

TWO PERFECT BUFFALO COINS FROM ONE TRUSTED SOURCE: APMEX

For 2012, the U.S. Mint struck 1 oz Gold Buffalos in both Mint State and Proof condition and APMEX has First Strikes of both. And every one that we offer has met our own stringent grading standards in addition to the quality authentication process of PCGS. Each of these Perfect Gold Buffalos offers:

  • Mint State or Proof condition: Mint State means the coin has never been circulated and retains its mint luster. Proof coins are minted with specially polished dies to provide a shimmering mirror like finish to the background; a frosted finish to the raised devices.
  • Perfect 70: These coins have the highest grade on the Sheldon Grading Scale which runs from 1-70. They are in absolutely perfect condition and come in a slab from PCGS that guarantees their authenticity and condition.
  • Famous design: There is no nick or wear on these Perfect Gold Buffalos to mar James Earle Fraser’s famous design, with its compilation of three Native American chiefs on the obverse, or front, and Black Diamond, the largest bison in captivity in its time, on the reverse, or back.
  • First Strike: The PCGS First Strike designation means that PCGS received these coins within 30 days of release.
  • 1 oz .9999 fine Gold: The purity of this coin is guaranteed by the United States government.
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Limited Quantity – Perfect Condition American Eagles

Perfect-70-Gold-EaglesFor Collectors Seeking Perfection:
A Large Variety of Perfect 70 1 oz Gold Eagles
Very Limited Quantities of Each Selection

Here’s your chance to find perfect Gold Eagles for your collection. APMEX has a great selection of Perfect 70 Gold Eagles (1 oz) to choose from. You will find multiple dates available as well as First Strikes and Early Releases, Burnished, Proof and Reverse Proof conditions, and even 2 and 3 coin boxed sets.

PERFECT 70 GOLD EAGLES FROM APMEX ARE PERFECT FOR YOUR COLLECTION

These Perfect 70 Gold Eagles (1 oz) define collectible:

  • Graded Perfect 70: Perfect 70 Gold Eagles (1 oz) all come in PCGS or NGC slabs, which protect the coins from damage and certify the authenticity and condition. 70 is the highest grade, or state of preservation, using the Sheldon numerical grading scale that grades coins from 1 (barely identifiable) to 70 (absolute perfection).
  • Celebrated Design: The obverse, or front, mirrors the 1907 Augustus Saint-Gaudens design of Lady Liberty, while the reverse, or back, features the famed eagle design by Miley Busiek.
  • Product of the U.S. Mint: Each coin has a face value of $50 and the U.S. government guarantees that each coin contains a full oz of Gold.
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