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.


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.



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

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.

Coin College: Learn about the 1 ounce Gold American Eagle

APMEX Coin College: 1 oz Gold American Eagle

Let’s learn more about the most popular United States Gold Bullion Coin: The one-ounce Gold American Eagle.

Most Americans have never held this coin in their hands or even seen one in person. That’s because even though it has a face value of $50, the Gold American Eagle doesn’t circulate like the coins you carry around in your pocket.

Gold American Eagle coins first appeared in 1986 as part of the American Eagle bullion coin program authorized by Congress. The United States Mint manufactures and markets these coins for both investors and collectors. Each coin contains one full troy ounce of Gold (with a troy ounce being equal to approximately 31.1 grams, as opposed to the 28.3 grams in a regular ounce). And because Gold American Eagles are produced by the U.S. mint, they are the only Gold bullion coins whose weight and metal content are guaranteed by the United States Government.

The Gold American Eagle is also considered one of the most beautiful coins in the world. The obverse, or front side of the coin, features a recreation of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ iconic 1907 Walking Liberty design that was used for the $20 Gold Double Eagle coin that was in circulation until 1933. Saint-Gaudens, one of the most renowned American sculptors of his day, created the original Walking Liberty design when President Theodore Roosevelt asked him to redesign and beautify the nation’s Gold coinage.

True to its name, the image on the reverse, or back side, of the Gold American Eagle is of a male eagle bringing a female eagle and their young the olive branch of peace. Plus, each coin is actually imprinted with its Gold content.

2013 1 oz Gold American Eagle - (Brand New!)

2013 1 oz Gold American Eagle – (Brand New!)

If you’d like to learn more about Gold American Eagles and see high-resolution images of these beautiful and popular coins, you can visit us at

And if you’re interested in owning Gold American Eagles and actually holding one in your hand, call us at 800.375.9006 or sho

p securely on our website. Our Account Managers are here to answer your questions, help you get the most value for your money, and put the best Gold and Silver in your hands. Thank you for reading.


Perth Mint Lunar Series II Year of the Horse. Interview with Ron Currie Marketing Director Perth Mint

Perth Mint Lunar SeriesTell us a little bit about the history of the Perth Mint.

The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint to refine the gold from Western Australia’s eastern goldfields, and to turn it into sovereigns and half sovereigns for use throughout the Empire.

The Mint continued under British control until 1970, when ownership was transferred to the Government of Western Australia.

In the mid-1980s, following a major redevelopment initiated by the State Government, The Perth Mint became the home of the Australian Precious Metals Coin Program. By agreement with the Commonwealth Government, the Mint manufactures and markets an extensive range of legal tender gold, silver and platinum coins to investors and collectors worldwide.

Operated by Gold Corporation, The Perth Mint is committed to adding value to, and creating demand, for Australian precious metals in a worldwide market.

In addition to producing the world’s widest range of precious metal minted products, The Perth Mint operates Australia’s only precious metals refinery. It also offers a variety of investment options and storage facilities, and hosts a multi-award winning attraction which welcomes more than 80,000 visitors each year.

Can you please tell us more about the design for the Lunar Horse?

The Perth Mint has a dedicated team of six talented designers who together work with sculptors, engravers and engineers to create the intricate designs of our Australian Lunar Coin Program.

In 2014, the reverse designs of the gold coins depict a horse galloping in a stylised scene of mountains and clouds, which represents the highland regions of China. The horse symbolises freedom and reinforces the energetic characteristics of this spirited animal.

The design featured on the reverse of the silver coins depicts two horses standing in a Chinese landscape inspired by traditional Chinese painting styles. The two animals standing together represent the creature’s social nature and companionship.

What makes the Lunar Series special and collectable?

The Australian Lunar Series II is the most sought-after annual coin program released by The Perth Mint, with a number of the more popular issues selling out soon after they are released.

This result is due to the consistent high quality of our bullion coins, coupled with annual design changes and select mintages, which combine to create potential for numismatic appreciation above each coin’s investment value.

What can we expect in terms of a design next year

In 2015, we will unveil exciting new designs in celebration of the Year of the Goat. Here at the Mint, we work for more than one year in advance to perfect our Lunar design, and I can tell you that our designers are currently finalising a range of options for both the gold and silver issues.

The Lunar goat is renowned for peace, health and success; as such, our 2015 coins will reflect these attributes in our designs.

What can the winner look forward to during their trip to Perth?

A visit to The Perth Mint! As one of Western Australia’s leading tourist attractions, The Perth Mint offers a combination of unique exhibitions and demonstrations themed on gold.
The winner can enjoy a guided heritage walk, a traditional gold pour and view the Australian Kangaroo one tonne pure gold coin, recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest coin in the world. For more information, go to
Other popular Perth attractions include unspoilt white beaches, Kings Park, the Bell Tower, Perth Zoo, and Caversham Wildlife Park where visitors can see kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras and wombats.