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Buying gold coins


#1

I’ve recently decided to start using more gold and less silver. I’ve
done some research on buying gold coins. instead of sheet, wire,
etc. I know it’s easier to buy the gold in the form you want rather
than rolling it out, but I always end up rolling or drawing it
anyway, so I figure it’s cheaper to buy coins. So, does anyone have
any recommendations about who to buy from? None of the companies I’ve
found online take credit card and I’m a little reluctant to just send
a check to someone I’ve never dealt with. I found a place in town
(Atlanta) that sells coins, but they only take cash. Is this normal?
Basically, I’m really paranoid about being ripped off so any
recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Kevin
http://www.kevinard.com/


#2

Dear Kevin First of all there is little chance of being ripped off
since you are ( I assume ) buying bullion coins Eagles Krands Maple
Leafs ect and grading won’t be an issue… what you want to look
for is the lowest premium over spot…in your area jefferson coin
and blanchard are 2 good firms ( I don’t know if they take credit )
in my area Liberty coin is where I do business ( 1-800-933-4720 )
…good luck ! …on a personal note I use Krands since they are 22K
as is ( no I don’t know the alloy makeup ) but I have found them
wonderful for bezels and fusing links for chain HTH Ron


#3

Your best price and more direct involvement with metal will be
achieved by buying fine gold and alloying to karat/color. The best
price I’ve found on fine gold is through Mid-States recycling, info
see www.midstatesrecycling.com you may rarely find a coin dealer
with bullion quality coinage available at “spot” but mostly they look
for a higher premium than mid-states on fine. Mark Clodius


#4

If you want to pour all your own metal why don’t you just get
casting grains or one form of the metal from a refiner and pour it to
what you want. It doesn’t make sense to use gold coins as you will
usually pay a premium due to the fact that it is a coin. You also
won’t have the trust problem as you will be dealing with an industry
refiner.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-491-6000
@spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com


#5

Kevin, this is a good idea if what you want to do is make an apple
pie from a basket of peaches.

The gold coins run from about 9825% to 99.95% fine gold if my memory
serves my correctly. Most all jewelry is either 14K or 18K gold,
meaning that it is either 52.5% or 75% fine gold. You would have
to alloy a coin down to the correct karat content and as you are not
really sure what the fineness of the coins are, or what the non gold
content is in the coins, you stand the chance of creating a great
deal of scrap gold at a high cost. If you wish to alloy your own
gold, then purchase the fine gold and the alloy mix from a reputable
dealer, IE Stullers, Rio Grande, Swest, Hoover & Strong, or others.
The same suppliers give you a wide selection of rolling or casting
grain as well as sheet and wire products. It is in your best
interest to gain the experience with a known medium and then make
the decision to do your own alloying after you know what results to
expect.

The switch from silver to gold is a normal progression for
craftsman. It is not without challenges though. In the end, I
think you will like working with gold better than silver. At least
is pays for your time better.

Don Rogers


#6

Kevin try Houston Precious Metals at 607 Chenevert Houston Tx.
713-228-3931. They are very honest people and I have been doing
business with them for 15 years. They will sell you coins or (my
preference) pure gold shot. Their prices are very reasonable they
will take a check or a wire transfer. I recommend the wire transfer
as you do not have to wait for the check to clear before they ship.
They also handle pure silver shot.Talk to Pat. Tell them I sent you
or not. Frank Goss


#7

Kevin, I believe you will be better off buying bullin bars rather
than coins as they are lower priced since you do not have to pay the
premium that you do on coins. There are many places to do this. I
don’t know where you are but I buy mine from Oxford refining in
Anchorage. If there is a refiner where you are that would be a good
source. Hoover and Strong is a highly reputable supplier. You also
may want to go on line to KITCO.COM, a large company which deals in
gold in many forms. Good luck. Jerry in Kodiak


#8

Kevin, I used to buy clean 14k scrap from coin shops.I told the
owners what I was doing with it.They would sell me wedding bands and
scrap that had no solder in it.They usally sold it at a little ovr
spot price.It worked fineI used it for sizing stock and casting.Now I
send my gold scrap to a refiner and get gold back.You can buy coins
and alloy them for casting or rolling.Most coin shops take checks or
cash or credit cards in our area.There must be more
than one coin shop in Hotlanta.Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio


#9

One aspect you did not mention is how much and how many different
sizes you use. I found out many years ago that it did not pay for me
to roll out most of the stock that I use. The time factor vs extra
cost, how much is your time worth. How many more pieces could you
make in the time it takes to alloy, pour, roll, anneal etc, etc, etc.
In my opinion your spending dollars (time and effort) to save dimes.

Good luck,
Bill Wismar
wismargallery.com


#10

I started buying fine silver, sterling and 24k gold in rounds and
coin at a local shop a couple years ago. Initially it was cash, but
as we developed some rapport I could start using a check. Good
relationships, trust and networking are the core of this business.

After a while the owner offered to display some of my pieces for sale
in his showroom.

Brad Smith
Los Angeles


#11

You can buy pure gold (bars or grain) for $1.50 - 4.00 / troy oz
over 2nd London Fix (depending on quantity, 1 kilo and above
$1.50/oz) from the New York refiner:

Kahan Jewelry Corp.
36 West 47th Street, Suite 308
New York, New York 10036
212-719-1055
fax 212-944-1715
yitzkahan@aol.com

~ ask for either Isaac or Leslie ~

They also provide refining services to the trade - clean scrap,
sweeps, platinum, silver, etc. Their standard refining rates for
clean scrap is:

up to  25 troy oz FINE GOLD refined
$100 flat fee and 98.75% return
and
over 25 troy oz FINE GOLD refined
$4/oz charge and 98.75% return
(and you really get 98.75% back!)

And no, i’m not the salesman. i’ve been using them since '97 after
going through: Heraues, Gline&Rhodes, Hoover&Strong, Republic
Metals, Metalix(RFE) just to mention a few.

Sincerely,
Andrew Goodell


#12

There are gold coins that are .9999% pure, 24 kt casting grain is
.9999. That is as pure as refiners can get it. You can get these
coins from a coin dealer for 3%-7% over spot. Krugerands have the
lowest % from my dealer, Dave’s Gold and Silver Exchange, 303
7786076, in Denver,co. I have been using him for years. There is
quite a premium for refiners to make alloyed gold. Regarding working
with silver or gold, your labor should be the same, or close to it.
With the same mark up, you make more on gold because it costs more.
There is less resistence to getting higher prices for gold from the
public because of the perceived value of its intrinsic value. When
one of my customers really wants something custom, price is not much
of an issue, gold or silver. If you have good designs, good
craftsmanship, prices for materials and labor that are in line with
something similar, and a way to market your work, you should be able
to compete in the marketplace. The more skill, the more unique your
designs are, or the more clever you are in any area where you capture
peoples imagination, the better you will do. And you are always
really marketing yourself. Richard in Denver


#13

Hi Kevin – You may want to talk to your regular metal supplier about
the most cost effective form of gold to buy – if you want to
purchase 24K and do your own alloys. I had a conversation with my
supplier a little while ago about that and their recommendation was
to purchase casting grains.

I imagine every supplier might have their own form of most
economical, depending on what they do the most of or their
particular processing ect. I would call around several metal
suppliers.

Laura.


#14

Hi Kevin, I only use gold coins for my work. When making gold links
for weaving gold chains (via the Jean Stark method) , you need pure
gold to start with, called Four Nines, 99.99%. Normally if you buy
gold wire or sheet, there is about a 30% markup for fabrication
charges. For every ounce of gold wire/sheet you buy, you pay in the
neighborhood of $400 an ounce. It dosent take long for this to mount
up. In fact after 20 ounces you could have saved enough to buy one
of the best rolling mills available. If the gold isnt 99.99%, when
making chains, the fused links will break. Jean Stark let me waste a
whole day doing this, a lesson I’ll never forget. . Anyway, to get to my point, I buy Canadian Maple Leafs, 1
pure ounce of 99.99% gold from a coin dealer in Dallas. Dallas Gold
and Silver Exchange. I don’t know of anyone who will give you pure
gold on a credit card, there isnt much if a markup on pure gold
coins, in the neighborhood of 5%, and the credit card charges are
just about that. If you are going to be doing quite a bit of
business with the dealer, sit down and determine what kind of a
constant markup he will give you, then you will always know how much
over the spot price of gold you will have to pay. I learned the
following from Jean, and still haven’t found the reason for the
behavior. If the gold is 99.99% pure, when heating it on a charcoal
block, after it cools, it will be perfectly shiney and just as it
solidifies, it will create a ‘hole’ in the top. It will ‘suck’ in on
the top and there will be a depression. Don’t know why but it has
never failed. I do it on every coin I melt just to make sure its
pure.

-randy


#15

Canadian Maple Leafs And Austrailian Kagaroo’s are two examples for
coin that are 999. There are coins that as you say 9825% to 99.95%
fine gold, But you can use coins very successfully if you know which
"apples" to pick.


#16

Several responses to the original question suggested that buying
casting grain or bullion from refiners is cheaper than buying coins.
I have not found this to be true – at least when buying in 10 ozt or
less quantities. The markups from refiners and especially jewelry
suppliers run from high to ridiculous, for what they consider to be
small quantities! I have consistently been able to buy bullion coins
at 2% over the spot price of gold, or less, delivered. Often, I can
get under 1.5% over spot. If someone knows of a refiner or jewelry
supplier with this low a markup for casting grain, I’d sure like to
know about it!

Sometimes you run across great deals – right now, I know a dealer
with Krugerrands at just $2 over spot – this is 0.65% markup (and if
you buy 10, shipping is included). How can you possibly beat that?
(of course, the reason he can sell them so cheap is he bought them
before the recent gold runup, so he’s making his profit, but it does
say something about his business practices that he doesn’t
automatically add a fixed markup over current spot. A lot of dealers
do, so you need to shop for price.)

As someone else mentioned, I also like the Krugerrand 22kt red gold
alloy for fusing, bezels, and general 22kt work. (It’s alloyed with
copper, by the way, for the person who wondered about it). But I
also buy Maples and Eagles, generally whatever I can get for the
lowest markup. Often, that’s tended to be the K-rands, as they are
less in demand from collectors/hoarders, for some reason. I also
always check to see if I can get “blemished” coins, or less than
brilliant uncirculated condition, which is typically what the coin
dealers quote. I usually can save a few bucks that way, too – since
I am melting them, what do I care about minute blemishes.

Someone else mentioned alloying issues, with other than 24kt coins.
Not really an issue, in my opinion – all you are doing is carating
down, it’s the same basic calculation as making 14kt from 18kt.
Alloy compositions on all common bullion coins are published and easy
to find.

Now, if you are buying 50 or 100 ozt at a time, then maybe this
doesn’t apply to you…! But for the small shop, I think some
careful shopping for coins saves some real money. If you are making
your own stock anyway, why pay a premium for the basic metal? And,
one more advantage – if you decide you need to sell some gold at
some point, coins bring a large premium over grain or fabricated
goods, when you are selling. The refiners discount heavily when you
sell to them, but the coin dealers pay much closer to spot. I can
sell a K-rand to the dealer I mentioned above, today, for 2.9% under
the gold spot, and a Maple or Eagle for $1.00 under spot. How much
do the refiners pay you for your excess gold, in small quantities?

Regards,
Bob Edwards
Chromis Designs


#17

Howdy Kevin The two cheapest gold and silver coin, or bullion dealers
on the web are http://www.tulving.com/goldbull.html and
http://www.ajpm.com/htbin/gold.cgi

I have used both. It is a leap of faith when you send off your check
or you can wire transfer to them. They do a lot of business and they
always come through just fine. You might want to go to these sites to
check out current spot price.

http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=FOREX_XAUUSDO&v=i&w=5&t=l&a=24  for 

gold or
http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=FOREX_XAGUSDO&v=i&w=5&t=l&a=0 for
silver

Rex who is still waiting for green-up in Montana


#18

Leap of Faith, when I saw the recommendations for coins including
the Tulving name, I stopped breathing for a moment. I spent many
thousands in “investment grade” coins quite a few years ago with
this company. I literally had to force them to sell me gold coins,
but bought some. Couple of years ago facing bankruptcy, I took this
collection to a coin shop and got pennies on the dollar. I had
bought into a Ponzi scheme. There were headlines and trials when
this blew up.

I just looked at the web site, yes it is one and the same, please be
careful. Teresa


#19

Yep, you have all convinced me that getting 24K maple leafs, or
Krugarands is the way to go. I plan to use the Krugas for
bezels, and the Maple leafs for casting. My questions aRe:

l. What is the best alloy to use for casting which will not be
brittle. I want to alloy to 18 K.

  1. Can one do the alloying and casting at the same time—i.e.
    measure out the correct quantities for the desired alloy ( 18 K),
    and correct weight for the model directly into the casting
    crucible, melt them together, and stir, and then cast, or does one
    need to make the alloy, then after it has cooled use it for casting.

  2. If one has to make the alloy first, cool it and then use it
    for casting, what is the best way to turn it into grain—pour it
    into a bucket of water??? or what. 4. Can one use fresh 14 K
    casting grain and the 24 K. Maple leafs to make 18 K. I know that
    these are a lot of questions, but you guys have always come to
    my aid and i will appreciate your experience and wisdom, and
    willingness to share. Thanks- Alma


#20
   Yep, you have all convinced me that getting 24K maple leafs, or
Krugarands is the way to go.    I plan to use the  Krugas for
bezels, and  the  Maple leafs for  casting. My questions aRe: l. 
What is the best alloy to use for  casting which will not be
brittle.  I want to alloy to 18 K.    

Your choice. I like about half and half silver and copper, which is
a bit harder and darker color than the most common 18K alloys. The
traditional ones are more silver, often about twice the silver as
copper. Most 18K alloys don’t use zinc deoxidizers, so you won’t have
to bother with that fuss.

2.  Can one do the alloying and casting at the same time---i.e.
measure out the correct quantities for the desired alloy ( 18 K),
and correct weight for the model directly into  the casting
crucible, melt them together, and stir, and then  cast, or does one
need to make the alloy, then after it has cooled use it for
casting. 

You can alloy and cast at the same time. Just make sure all
componants are completely melted, and thoroughly mixed before you
cast.

3. If one has to make the alloy first,  cool  it  and then use it
for  casting, what is the best way to turn it into grain---pour it
into a bucket of  water?  or what.  4. Can one use fresh 14 K
casting grain and   the 24 K. Maple leafs to make 18 K.  I know
that these are a lot  of questions,  but you guys  have always come
to my aid and  i will appreciate your experience and wisdom, and
willingness to share.  

Pouring from a bit of a height into water is the traditional method.
It has the drawback that while some of what you get is good sized
grain, until you get just the right temps and pour speed, you’ll find
a bunch of it is very fine grains, and other bits are awkward lumps.
And some bits can trap water, which gets interesting when you remelt
it (grains can explode).

I prefer not to make grain. I just pour an ingot, roll the metal
out into sheet (or wire, if you prefer), and clip it into convenient
sized pieces.

While you could use 14K gold and mix in fresh maple leafs to raise
the karat, the alloy you’ll end up with may not be what you expect,
since most 14K alloys for casting use deoxidizers, especially zinc or
more recently, silicon or others. By contrast, many 18K alloys don’t
use such. So if you raise the karat of 14K to 18K, you’ll retain
deoxidizers, which can change the color, melting point, and working
characteristics of the metal. sometimes it’s not a good change…

HTH

Peter