You may have heard that buying gold is an excellent investment, whether you are planning on buying now and selling as soon as the price increases or are looking at your gold as a long-term investment, an addition to your existing investment portfolio for diversification purposes, or are thinking about a gold IRA. All of those are excellent reasons for buying this precious metal.

Other arguments in favor of buying gold include:

1. Gold is considered to be a safe haven for investors. Buying gold means a hedge against both deflation and inflation. It is also considered a safe investment in times of fiscal crisis or uncertainty, political – national and global – unrest, and calamities as a result of natural events.

2. Gold has a strong reputation as a financial and monetary form across the globe. Nations everywhere, and their populations, prize gold for its beauty, its rarity, and its use as money.

3. Gold is tangible. Unlike other portfolio investments such as stocks, you can see and hold gold, knowing its worth.

4. Gold is not an unending resource. At some point, all of the gold on the planet will have been extracted and gold cannot be made in laboratories. Therefore, those who own gold will own a precious metal that is increasingly scarce, making the gold extremely valuable.

5. The value of gold has been stable for more than 200 years. While there have been some minor increases and decreases in the market, overtime the value of gold has steadily risen.

How to Buy Gold

You know that buying gold makes sense. The stability it provides for the owner, the protection in times of uncertainty, and its value on both the national and international market, are all reasons why one should purchase this precious metal. How an investor goes about doing so, though, is a personal decision.

Most investors prefer to purchase their gold from online companies: the variety of gold, the transparent pricing, and the options available to the individual buyer all make online gold buying logical, safe, and a simple process.

When looking to purchase gold online, research is required. Look into the different companies, and then investigate whether they offer the form(s) of gold you want to buy. Once that research has been completed, call and speak with a company representative about your reasons for purchasing gold and inquire about the services they offer. The company should be able to answer all questions thoroughly and knowledgeably. Having settled on an online precious metals company to purchase from, you are ready to start buying your gold.
History of Inexpensive Silver Coins in the United States

Sometimes referred to as “junk” coins, certain coins produced by the U.S. Mint, prior to 1965, were composed of 90% silver. According to Wikipedia, the most common of these junk or cheap silver coins include:

•         Morgan and Peace Dollars
•         Franklin, Kennedy (1964), Liberty Head, and Walking Liberty Half-Dollars
•         Liberty Head, Standing Liberty, and Washington Quarters
•         Liberty Head, Roosevelt, and Winged Liberty Head “Mercury” Dimes

However, not all years prior to 1965 produced coins that were 90% silver. The website, Silver Coins Today, has a page where you can determine the value of each silver junk coin for each year. It is important to note that these coins are not intended for collectors and have been widely circulated, so many are not in great condition.

Why Buy Affordable Silver Coins?

When you decide to buy affordable silver coins that are “junk” coins, your purchase will yield coins that have two values: first, your coins will have face value, which means if you have a quarter, it is worth $0.25 and can be used for regular financial transactions. Second, your junk silver coins have a second worth: their “melt value,” also commonly referred to as the coin’s “intrinsic value,” which is the amount of silver that they contain. The melt value of any cheap silver coin is based on the price of silver that given day, if the coin were sold to be melted down. For the most up-to-date melt value for various junk silver coins minted in the United States, check-out the above link to Silver Coins Today’s silver junk coin values. Most people purchase bags or rolls of these silver coins and save them by setting them aside for sale at a later date.

How Best to Purchase Cheap and Affordable Silver Coins

Most people who decide to buy silver coins cheaply turn to the internet and online precious metals companies. It is through online stores that the best prices can usually be found. However, before you decide to purchase silver coins inexpensively online, you should look into different companies, investigating their prices for cheap silver coins, as well as their shipping policies, insurance policies, and the reputation of the company in terms of customer service.

Buying silver coins affordably usually means purchasing junk silver coins. Do not let yourself be put-off by the word “junk,” though: these coins have real value, both for the silver that they contain and their face value. As an investment, they are a decent risk, especially for the investor who is looking to start moving into the precious metals markets.

No matter if you are a Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell or Justin Beiber fan, you are supporting Canadians. For hundreds of years Canadian exports have topped the United States music charts as well as favorite options of coin collectors. While I cannot personally support the Beib (I prefer that my music icons have gone through puberty) I can say I do choose to buy Canada silver coins as I trust the Royal Canadian Mint.

There was a time when Canadian coins were thought to be like funny money; American’s got a better exchange rate and the legal tender used materials different than American mints. However, now the tables have turned, freshly minted American silver dollars have devalued and the Canadian mint brought their A game courtesy of maple leaf coins.

The first maple leaf coins were gold and minted in 1976 by the Royal Canadian Mint as they have been charged with producing the stunning Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin.  From 1979 until 1981 the gold maple leaf coins contained .999 percent gold: in 1982, these gold coins were produced out .9999 percent pure gold (24K).

The first silver maple leaf was made in 1988 with a $5 face value for the 1 oz silver coin.  This value is the highest among international silver bullion coins but despite that, it does not take a fortune to buy Canada silver coins. Thanks to a purity level of 99.99 percent silver, weight and current silver prices, individuals can buy Canada silver coins for under $35 a pop (check out this Canada silver coin on Merit Gold).

Unsuspecting consumers who want to buy Canada silver coins are better off working with a reputable coin dealer than taking a chance. I don’t know about you, but every time I travel abroad, I always think the money may be fake, as am only used to the American counterparts. Novices to buying silver coins are at risk of for buying fake if they opt to buy Canada silver coins not produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, so why take a chance.
Silver Eagles continue to reach new heights in the collectable coin market.  The attraction is obvious.  Silver Eagles are one of the few silver coins backed by the US Government guarantee.  Silver Eagles have attracted customers worldwide. 

With the high price of gold, many new investors feel priced out of the gold market and are looking to silver.  Silver coins throughout the world are of varying quality and silver content.  There is also always the risk of counterfeit coins. Silver Eagles put those concerns aside. is a great place to learn about investing and collecting in silver coins.  You can track the price of silver, read about collectable proof sets and get the latest tips from knowledgable investment advisors.  There are special sections on US silver coins, Australian silver coins, Canadian silver coins and New Zealand silver coins.

Coin  collecting  can  be  a  fun  thing  for  parents  and  kids  to  do  together.  The  kid-friendly  site is a great place to teach you kids about coins and their history and value.  You can also go to the library and check out the coin value guides.  Be sure to educate each other about the important point of coin collecting including grading and storage.

There are many places to buy collectable coins including coin shows, flea markets, and coin dealers like Merit Gold.  Wherever you decide to purchase, make sure you are not exceeding your budget.  It is true that coins are an investment, but you cannot always quickly get the money out of them if you decide to sell.

People dream about striking it rich by finding the one rare coin that will make them thousands.  The reason these coins are so valuable is that there is little chance of finding others.  Do not assume you will be the lucky one.  It is much wiser to start a long term approach.  Like any investment, you should expect growth over time.

A new passion for purchasing gold is leading to new choices.

Americans purchasing gold may soon have an exciting new gold product that allows for real flexibility.  The offering of the CombiBar, a gold bar the size of a credit card, has taken Austria and Germany by storm.  The broad appeal is due to the fact that the CombiBar can be broken off by hand into one gram squares.  This has led some investors to call it "the chocolate bar". 

Swiss refinery Valcambi wants to bring this unique product to the United States.  People purchasing gold for security reasons, like the idea that in desperate times the credit card sized bars could be used as an alternate method of payment.

Purchasing gold has always been popular in tough economic times.  What stood in the way for some potential customers was the commitment to major buys.  This new approach is appealing to first time buyers worried about the economic conditions around the world.

It is also gaining popularity among grandparents who like the idea of giving their grandchildren "mini gold bars" or strips of gold rather than gold coins.  They are even being offered in machines under the name "GOLD to go".

It’s always exciting when a new product captures the imagination for people purchasing gold.  These little gold bars are typically being held at home, collected like coins, and given as gifts.  But customers have to be careful if they are viewing this as a method of payment.  To use gold for purchasing is difficult because of the lack of verification at the point of sale.

For now, I view the little gold chocolate bars as a fun novelty and a way to capture the imagination of those investing in gold.  Buying gold from vending machines, breaking off bits to give as gifts and keeping gold in the home is a fun and unique way to inspire the investors in the future.
The end of 2012 saw investors flock to US gold coins.  Gold has had a great rise for the past 11 years, but 2012 saw a leveling off.  The last two months, however, saw a great upturn in interest in US gold coins.  The fiscal cliff standoff moved new buyers to consider US gold coins as a way to purchase a tangible investment.  Local and online coin dealers saw a rush in the post-election months.  The portability and convenience of these gold products are also very appealing to the new investor.

For those who think gold futures are way too complicated and view gold certificates as just a piece of paper, the security of investing in something you can hold in your hand or keep in your safety deposit box is a big draw.

The sheer variety of gold US gold coins also makes entering the collecting market fun and exciting.  Some are drawn to the historic imagery or the memories they represent.  Other’s like the idea of investing in gold which has always been treasured.

Gold has captured the imagination throughout human history and 2013 is expected to be another winning year.  The global economic crisis has turned the eyes of the world once again to gold as a stable place to invest.  There are always people who believe that gold is the one investment that can get them through any crisis.  But now, the booming interest in investing in small amounts of gold can be seen worldwide. 

Small amounts of gold are even being sold in vending machines and the demand for gold jewelry in places like India and China has never been higher. 

If you are interested in collecting or investing gold coins, make sure you are not paying an exorbitant premium.  Because of the high price of gold, many new dealers are rushing to the market trying to get rich quick off of the inexperienced buyer.  Be sure to buy from a reputable dealer who guarantees the coins sold and can advise you on proper insurance, storage and care.
The other day I was talking with some friends about our respective retirement plans and how we’ll be able to afford to live. With all of the fiscal uncertainty in the U.S., in Europe, and across the world, we’re all worried about our retirement funds and don’t know that we can rely on Social Security. We’ve talked about buying stocks and our various IRAs, but I keep coming back to the idea of buying gold. My father and my grandfathers all relied on gold investments to see them through their retirements and I think I should do the same. But where can I buy gold where I know I’m getting a good deal and where I have options?

I’ve been doing my research and I’ve asked my investment and retirement advisors where can I buy gold and the answer I keep coming back to – and that everyone is telling me – is that I should buy my gold online. There are some very reputable, established precious metals companies with online storefronts, and those are what I am looking into. I’ve set myself some criteria for evaluating all of them, and here’s what I’m looking at:

·         How are the gold prices calculated? How much above market is their mark-up?

·        What are their purchase requirements? Do they require a minimum purchase? How fast can I lock in the price and how    do I do it?

·         How are the shipping costs calculated and will they ship to my home or to a vault, if that’s the way I decide to go?

·         What’s their customer service like and do they have a good reputation?

My answer to the question: Where can I buy gold? keeps coming back to one company: Merit Gold. They’ve been in business for many years, they have a stellar reputation, and they are willing to let me make smaller purchases over time, rather than buying a lump sum all at once. Additionally, their shipping policies are reasonable, and I really was impressed with the person who answered the phone when I called with some questions. The man was bright, pleasant, and he was able to answer my questions without having to repeatedly put me on hold (which is what happened with some of the other companies that I called).

If gold was good enough for my father and for my grandfathers, it’s certainly good enough for me. I’ll be buying gold to diversify my retirement portfolio, because I know that gold is a good investment, for the long-term. As for where can I buy gold – I’ll be buying it from Merit Gold. They really have impressed me.
Precious metals such as silver and gold are as old as time itself; the metals only gained value once man ‘discovered’ gold veins and silver streaks. After that is was no turning back, countries set gold and silver prices, the metals became central to the economy and countless industries. That is because those precious metals were the very first used for coinage in the mints of yesteryear.

Money is an abstraction that was created by humans, meaning our ancestors put a price tag on gifts from the earth. The practice of exchanging something for goods and services has been around for over 10,000, according to NOVA the process started with barter, evolved from cattle (circa 9000 to 6000 BC) to shells (1200 BC) and eventually metal money including silver coins and gold coins in 1000 BC to 500 BC.

First China introduced the metal coins, they were designed to mimic the shells used previously.  Several hundred years later (around 700 BC), coins minted of precious metals started to appear in Lydia, an area that is now part of present day Turkey. It is believed that the very first mint was established in Rome in 269 BC; the space (the temple of Juno Moneta) used to manufacture silver coins and was assigned the name mint.

Those early mints were primitive compared to today’s standards; casting coins of precious metals was the prefered method of the time. That gave way to precious metal currency being manually hammered out on sheets and cut, this method proved to be much more effective for producing gold bullion, silver bullion, gold coins, silver coins and the like in larger quantities.

From that point on ,minting technologies progressed and the next changes can be traced back to 16th and 17th century Europe. Weight (as opposed to human force) was the latest trick to making silver and gold coins as in 1553, the French engineer Aubin Olivier introduced screw presses to help pick up the pace of making silver and gold coins. Although the practice went out of style, it became the norm in 1640 thanks to Jean Varin reintroducing the process and was an official method by 1662.

That minting process of silver and gold coins were the status quo until the Industrial Revolution. During that time, steam-power became all the rage and was introduced by coin maker Matthew Boulton and mechanical engineer James Watt; the process was eventually adopted by London’s Royal Mint in 1810. The steam technology was merged with a screw press of Watt’s design and helped put the government in control of silver and gold coins and the economy at large.

Now electricity is the driving force between silver and gold coins manufacturing and nearly every established government has a part making their own currency. Mints like the United State’s Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint also make an assortment of gold bullion and silver bullion for investment purposes. Some examples of this work include a variety of Canadian silver coins, Maple Leaf gold coins, Gold coin eagle and American Eagle coins.


    Charles loves analyzing the current market trends and shares his insights with the investing community for gaining the right perspective while investing. He is also a visiting lecturer in Financial Management at a renowned university. He can be found on Twitter as @CharlesSMcLain.


    July 2013
    June 2013
    May 2013
    April 2013