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A lot of folks want to buy silver and gold coins cheap — below spot price even.
But it’s not always easy to find deals where you can buy silver or gold coins at spot price, let alone for less than the precious metal value of the coin.
Read on to find out why most retail collectors, silver and gold stackers, and investors usually can’t buy silver or gold so cheap.
But fear not… I’ll be sharing 5 legit ways to buy gold and silver coins for really low prices (often at or below spot price). Plus, where to buy gold and silver coins safely — to avoid counterfeits, stolen coins, and scams!
Why Most Folks Can’t Buy Gold And Silver Coins At Spot Price
So many people want to buy gold and silver coins cheap — at spot prices — which is the amount a bullion coin is worth based on the amount of precious metal it contains.
In other words, if gold costs $2,000 per ounce and a given gold coin contains a half ounce of gold, the spot value (or spot price) of that coin is $1,000. Make sense?
The spot value of a gold or silver coin usually constitutes the coin’s base value — or the bare minimum price for which the coin is bought or sold.
Yet, many people who are buying and selling gold and silver coins want to buy them at spot prices.
The problem is twofold:
- Gold and silver bullion spot prices represent the wholesale values of most bullion coins.
- Those wholesale values are the base amount that a coin dealer would pay for a gold or silver coin they purchase from you or another coin dealer.
Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the price you, the retail customer, can expect to pay for gold or silver.
Because that would be like expecting a department store to sell you a pair of pants for the price they paid to buy them from the distributor. Or going to a car lot and paying dealer invoice or dealer cost for the latest coupe.
Impossible? No. But extremely unlikely? Yep!
Before I go much further here, let me disclose that I have no personal or professional interest in making any profits from buying or selling silver and gold. The reason I’m writing this article is because I’m a longtime coin collector and numismatic journalist who is curious about why retail collectors often expect to buy silver and gold at spot price — when it’s just not realistic. And I wanted to share my knowledge on this subject here with you.
So, why are we usually paying more than spot price for gold and silver coins anyway?
Well, a coin dealer has to pay for their rent and overhead, insurance, staff wages, and — of course — make a profit, too. You would probably want to pay your bills and make a little extra if you owned a coin shop, too, right?
The amount over spot you pay is called a premium, or spread:
- Sometimes, the spread is accounting for just built-in operating costs and other business matters.
- Other times, the premium has more to do with the numismatic value of a given silver or gold coin. (For example, rare coins are sometimes worth so much more than their respective spot value that the prevailing silver or gold price really isn’t a significant factor in determining their market value.)
Now, let’s not get too carried away here. It’s one thing to pay a little extra to get the silver or gold coins you want. But you don’t want to pay more than you should pay, either. That’s where knowing the real price of gold and silver — the fair market value, if you will — comes into play.
What are fair prices for gold and silver coins?
Your best bet for finding the real price of gold coins and silver coins is by checking out coin value guides.
How To Buy Gold And Silver Coins Safely
So, you’re trying to find cheap gold and silver coins…
Sure, it sounds like a good idea. The cheaper you can buy gold or silver the better, right?… Or so it would seem.
Not so fast!
You get what you pay for — and you might end up paying more than you bargained for when buying cheap gold and silver coins!
Think for a moment… What motive does someone have to sell you gold or silver for well below what it’s worth?
Here’s why some people sell gold and silver coins below spot price:
- It’s counterfeit — It may not be real gold or silver after all, so be careful!
- It’s stolen — If someone stole those gold or silver coins, even selling them at half price represents a huge profit to the thief. But you definitely don’t want stolen goods on your hands!
- It’s a scam — Something fishy may be going on. Maybe the gold is real, and maybe it’s not stolen — but it could be obscurely damaged, off-quality, or something else might be wrong with it and the seller isn’t telling you. Buyer beware!
How do you avoid getting ripped off like this?
Listen to your gut instinct. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. If the seller insists on transacting the gold or silver in a parking lot, run away. If they want you to pay in cash only and have no listed address, no phone number, or no other form of contact… move on.
Always play it safe.
The #1 best place to buy gold and silver coins is from legit coin dealers who:
- are reputable
- provide guarantees on what they sell
- offer their gold and silver coins at fair prices
- have fair return policies of at least 3 to 5 days
Here’s what you can expect the first time you visit a coin dealer to buy or sell coins.
5 Legit Ways You Can Buy Gold And Silver Cheap
So, you want to pay spot prices for gold and silver?
OK, fair enough. I’m not going to pretend you’ll have the opportunity to buy gold and silver coins cheap simply by asking your coin dealer politely!
However… I do have 5 surefire tips for buying silver or gold at (or below) spot price:
- Buy cull silver coins. You can buy circulated coins that are worn or damaged beyond the typical standards or desires of most coin collectors for really low prices. Stack silver? Purchase off-quality, common-date silver coins that are heavily worn, holed, or otherwise damaged.
- Buy former jewelry coins. Countless people have stuck silver and gold coins into jewelry mounts — which ultimately damages the coins. Coin dealers sometimes sell these gold and silver coins cheap, often near (or even at) their melt value!
- Buy cleaned coins. I’ve said it MANY times here at TheFunTimesGuide… Don’t clean your coins because it ruins the coins and drastically diminishes their value. That said, you can benefit from other people’s mistakes by buying cleaned silver and gold coins — which are usually sold at huge discounts!
- Buy gold and silver rounds and bars. Trying to buy gold and silver but don’t care if it’s in coin form? Silver and gold bars and rounds are generally much cheaper, gram for gram, than silver or gold coins of similar weight and metallic purity.
- Become a coin dealer. If you want to buy silver and gold at wholesale prices, then your best bet is to become a coin dealer! There’s always room for more coin dealers. And you can be super successful if you’re a really good coin dealer — meaning you’re fair, honest, ethical, and offer what collectors want!
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I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!