This is the official blog of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers.
Our goal is to provide you with the most up-to-date information on the gold, silver and platinum markets, the latest coin news, exciting new coin inventory offerings and educational resources so that you can make a well informed decision with respect to buying or selling gold, silver, platinum, old or rare coins and bullion.

The Better Inflation Hedge: American Silver Eagles or Morgan Silver Dollars?

Morgan Silver Dollars

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a repeat customer to discuss whether or not American silver eagles or Morgan silver dollars were a better investment option considering his long term goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.  As we’ve discussed in the past, there are many parallels between coin dealers and investment advisors, and as a coin dealer, I believe that we have a fiduciary responsibility to look out for our customers’ best interests’ as opposed to guiding them toward our highest profit margin items.  Below is a summary of the discussion, the factors that he considered, and the choice that he ultimately made.

The individual that we met with has just recently begun to purchase and collect coins.  His introduction to silver coins began at Christmas time when he received a handful of Morgan silver dollars, and he was instantly hooked.  He subsequently contacted us to schedule an appointment to add to his Morgan silver dollar collection.  At the time, he mentioned that he liked the historical significance of the coins and was also interested in purchasing silver as a hedge against inflation.  While he was set on purchasing Morgan silver dollars at the time, we also briefly discussed some lower premium coin options, such as American silver eagles and 90% silver coins, if the primary reason for purchasing coins was as a hedge against inflation.

A few weeks after his initial purchase, he contacted us again and was interested in making another silver coin purchase.  This time, he was open to other options besides Morgan silver dollars.  We discussed the pros and coins of Morgan silver dollars and American silver eagles so that he could make a well informed decision.  Below is a brief summary of our conversation:

Morgan Silver Dollars

  1. Pros.  Morgan silver dollars are some of the most beautiful and collectible coins ever minted by the U.S. Mint, or for that matter, any world mint.  They are sought after by silver bullion investors and coin collectors alike, and are highly marketable.  Additionally, many of these coins have been melted over the years; therefore, the number of coins produced isn’t an accurate estimate of the number of coins in existence today.  Key date Morgan silver dollars, in particular, sell at many multiples of the underlying silver content of the coins.
  2. Cons.  Because Morgan silver dollars have wide appeal and collectible value, they sell at a decent premium over the melt value of the coins.  Furthermore, they contain less silver content than American silver eagles, at .774 troy ounces.  Additionally, demand and premiums for these coins tend to move in cycles, so it’s important to keep your thumb on the pulse of the market.  Lastly, a number of counterfeit Morgan silver dollars are floating around the market, so unless you’re highly skilled at identifying counterfeit coins or have a local coin dealer that you trust, you could end up purchasing worthless coins.
American Silver Eagles

American silver eagle coin

American Silver Eagles

  1. Pros.  American silver eagles are the official silver bullion coin of the United States.  Nearly a billion American silver eagles have been produced since 1986, making them one of the highest minted modern silver coins in existence.  Last year a record number of 43 million ounces of silver eagles were sold, and the pace thus far in 2014 hasn’t waned.  When purchasing bullion silver coins, the larger the number produced and in circulation, the better, as this expands the potential marketplace when the time comes to sell your coins.  Additionally, American silver eagles contain exactly one troy ounce of silver, which makes it easy to calculate the silver value at any particular time.  Lastly, while some replicas exist, they’re not counterfeited nearly to the extent as Morgan silver dollars.
  2. Cons.  While the premium for American silver eagles is much lower than for Morgan silver dollars, they still sell at a higher premium than some other silver coin options, such as 90% silver coins.  If the price of silver skyrockets to $100 or more per ounce, as many silver experts are predicting, American silver eagles may not sell at a higher premium over generic silver rounds and bars.  In other words, you may not realize a premium when you sell the coins, depending on the price of silver at that time.

After weighing the pros and cons of Morgan silver dollars and American silver eagles, and deciding that his primary reason for purchasing silver coins was as an inflation hedge, our customer decided to purchase a few rolls of American silver eagles.  He still plans on holding on to his Morgan silver dollars, and is hopeful that they’ll continue to appreciate in value over time as the price of silver increases and as more accurate information on the survivorship of the coins becomes available.

In conclusion, we recommend that you assess the reasons for purchasing silver coins prior to entering into a transaction.  In the particular case that we highlighted above, the customer decided that American silver eagles were the better option for him considering that he was planning on using them primarily as an inflation hedge.  Many coin collectors prefer Morgan silver dollars, which is perfectly fine as well.  Our advice is to objectively evaluate your options and reasons for purchasing silver coins, and to not let a coin dealer or broker, who may be looking out for his own interests, pressure you into making a decision that you’re not completely comfortable with.

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Exciting New Gold & Silver Coin, Bar & Round Inventory in Stock!

Gold and Silver Prices

Gold & Silver Eagles

Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers prides itself on meeting the demands of our local and out of state coin collectors.  As such, we attempt to keep in stock many of the most popular gold and silver bullion coins, but every once in a while we have an opportunity to acquire a large and diverse rare coin or bullion coin collection that is exciting for us and hopefully for our customers.  Below is just a sampling of some of the new offerings from a recent collection that we purchased:

Gold Coins

As one of the leading coin dealers in Atlanta, we buy and sell a large number of some the most popular gold coins, such as American gold eagles, South African gold krugerrands and Canadian gold maple leafs, but we’ve recently acquired some more difficult to come by gold coins and bars, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Credit Suisse 1 gram, 2.5 gram and 5 gram gold bars
  • Mexico 2, 5, 20 and 50 peso gold coins
  • 1 oz, 1/2 oz and 1/4 oz Austrian gold philharmonics
  • 1/10 oz Australian gold kangaroos and lunar series coins

All of the above offerings, with the exception of the Mexican gold pesos are 24k gold coins, so if you’re a gold coin investor that is only interested in the purest of gold coins, we have plenty of options available for you.

Silver Coins

While we buy and sell a good number of gold coins, we probably buy and sell more silver bullion coins and 90% silver coins than any other coins.  As such, we regularly have 90% silver dimes, quarters and half dollars, American silver eagles and Canadian silver maple leaf coins in stock.  We’ve not only recently added to the above offerings, but we also have a number of other exciting silver coins in stock, which include the following:

  • Austrian silver philharmonics
  • Australian silver koalas
  • Australian silver kookaburras
  • Mexican silver onzas/libertads

Investors of world silver coins are likely to snatch up many of these coins, as they’re not as common as American silver eagles and Canadian Maple leafs.  Additionally, the Australian silver coins, in particular, tend to have some collectible or numismatic value in addition to the underlying silver value.

If you’ve been in the market to acquire any of the above noted gold and silver coins, we recommend that you act fast, as many of these coins are rarely available locally, and when they are, we tend to sell out quickly.

Give us a call at 404-236-9744 or e-mail us at sales@atlantagoldandcoin.com to schedule an appointment to reserve your coins today!

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What’s Hot & What’s Not in the Coin and Bullion Markets

Hot & Cold

Periodically we like to take a step back and examine the coin and bullion market to identify trends and access which particular coins and bullion are in high demand and which items appear to be lagging.  The coin and bullion market is dynamic, so what may be in style or in fashion one month may not be the case the following month and vice versa.  In today’s brief post, we’ll highlight three types of coins that are in high demand and two that have cooled off in recent months.  The savvy investor should pay particular attention to products that have recently been shunned, as this could create buying opportunities at a significant discount.

What’s Hot

American Silver Eagles – There appears to be no slowdown in demand for American silver eagles.  2013 marked an all-time high in the sale of American silver eagles of just under 43 million ounces, and thus far in 2014, demand appears to be just as strong.  While January started off a bit slow, primarily due to silver blank supply issues and a late release of the coins, February and March are above the record setting pace set in 2013.  We expect for demand to continue to remain strong as long as silver hovers around $20 an ounce.

Proof Gold Eagles – While overall demand for gold bullion isn’t at its peak, many coin collectors and investors of proof gold eagles are flocking to these coins, causing premiums to rise.  Even though most proof gold eagles are common date coins, investors are willing to pay an additional premium for select dates and denominations.  Demand in the proof gold eagle market tends to ebb and flow, so if you’ve been looking for the right time to sell your proof gold eagles, now may be the time to realize top dollar for your coins.

National Baseball Hall of Fame Coins – As we touched on in a previous piece, the recently released National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins have been a smashing success.  The 50,000 gold coin allotment sold out on the first day of issuance, and the silver dollar allotment sold out just two days ago, as reported by Coin News.  The half dollar clad versions still remain available, but with the gold and silver options no longer available, we would expect for demand to increase for these coins as well; possibly completing the trifecta of sold out coins.  These coins are selling in the secondary market at levels well above the issuance price, so it’s probably best to allow this market to cool off a bit before delving in.

What’s Not Hot

Commemorative Silver Dollars – There appears to be a love/hate relationship between coin collectors and commemorative silver dollars, and at this point in time the two have consciously uncoupled.  While there certainly are exceptions, as is the case with the 2001 American Buffalo proof and uncirculated silver dollars, many of these coins are selling for prices slightly above the melt value of the coins.  In fact, in the wholesale market, coin dealers are buying “caps only,” which means that it’s not worth their time and effort to acquire the original government paperwork and box, which can be quite bulky.  If you’re a fan of commemorative silver dollars, now may be the time to jump in and take advantage of depressed prices.

Modern Silver Proof Sets – As is the case with commemorative silver dollars, there appears to be lackluster interest at the moment for modern silver proof sets.  There are of course exceptions, such as the 1999 silver proof set, which remains a hot commodity, but for the most part, premiums on common date silver proof sets have collapsed.  In fact, prices being paid in the wholesale market are similar to offer prices for pre-1965 90% silver coins.  Furthermore, loose modern 90% silver coins are selling at prices slightly over the melt value of the coins.  If you have any interest in assembling a collection of modern silver proof sets, beginning with the inaugural issue of 1992, we recommend that you seriously consider exploring the market at this time.

Summary

The coin and bullion market is large and diverse, and there are certainly many types of coins that are in various levels of demand.  The purpose of our article was to highlight some of the more common coins that we regularly buy and sell.  As mentioned above, the coin and bullion markets are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of the market.  We’ll periodically share insight from a coin dealer’s perspective to keep you informed of the latest developments, and as always, will try and share any breaking news that may be of interest to coin collectors and bullion investors.

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Fascinating Information Regarding the World’s Gold Supply

Gold Supply

We came across some fascinating information regarding the scarcity and production of gold, as well as the top gold producing countries and holders of gold that we thought we’d share with our readers.  Below are some of the highlights from an infographic presented by Gold Corp, as well as some additional research that we conducted on the availability and scarcity of gold.

Scarcity

Very few individuals would argue that gold is a scarce metal and that it’s expensive to mine.  In fact, the cost to mine and produce one ounce of gold is close to the current spot price of $1,300 an ounce.  However, to put the scarcity of gold into perspective, it is estimated that there’s only one gram of gold for every 250 tons or 550,000 lbs. of earth.  An incredible amount of earth must be uncovered to produce the equivalent of $42 worth of gold.  Additionally, considering that the overall ore quality has been declining in recent years, it’s likely that more earth will need to be moved in the future to produce the same amount of gold.

Availability

An estimated 166,000 tons of gold is currently available above ground and approximately 116,000 tons of gold remains underground, but what is more interesting is that only 56,000 tons of the below ground gold (less than 50%) will ever be recovered and enter the supply stream.  This means that at some point in time we’ll likely hit peak gold, much like we will with peak oil.  Considering that ore grades are deteriorating, it’s becoming costlier to mine, and we 33% more gold is expected to be mined and brought into the production supply, it’s likely that the price of gold will continue to rise, if nothing more than due to supply and demand factors.

Top Producing Countries

A number of countries throughout the world account for the roughly 2,900 tons of gold produced in 2013, but we’re going to limit our discussion to the top six gold producing countries, which in order are as follows: China, Australia, Russia, United States, Peru and South Africa.  While most of these countries produce gold coins, bars and jewelry, which are exported to other countries, China has passed a law prohibiting the exporting of gold, so we would expect for Chinese gold holdings to increase dramatically in the coming years; especially considering that they produced over 437 tons of gold in 2013.

Top Official Holdings

This number can be a bit misleading, as it only accounts for the amount of gold that countries have reported as official holdings, but through 2013, the top official holders of gold bullion (in order) are as follows:  United States, Germany, Italy, France and China.  According to the infographic produced by Gold Corp and available on visualcapitalist.com, China’s official holdings are slightly over 1,000 tons; however, it’s widely believed that China may have more along the lines of 2,710 tons of gold holdings, which would make it the second largest holder of gold reserves in the world.  Additionally, considering the rate at which China has been accumulating gold, they may surpass the gold holdings of the United States by 2030.

Summary

In summary, as is oftentimes the case, there’s more to gold than meets the eye.  It’s helpful to put things into perspective, and it’s clear that at a rate of one gram of gold per 250 tons of earth, that it’s a scarce resource.  However, what may be most surprising to folks is that most of the gold available in the world has already been mined, and that the estimated underground gold that is likely to be mined and brought into production is only 33% more than the current available above ground gold.  At the moment, China is the top producing gold country in the world, and considering that no gold exports are currently permitted in China, its official holdings are expected to grow at a much faster rate than the other top official holders of gold bullion.

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New Gold & Silver Coin Offerings from Atlanta Gold & Coin

Silver Eagles & Silver Maples

Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers is excited to announce that we have a number of new gold and silver coin offerings that we’re selling at industry leading rates.  Below is a small sampling of some of the most popular items that we’re currently offering:

Canadian Maple Leaf Coins

We recently acquired a number of 25 coin count tubes of Canadian silver maple leaf coins, but have already sold out of nearly a third of our stock.  We don’t receive these coins in stock very often, and when we do, they’re typically one off purchases.  Rarely are these coins available in the original government issued tubes, so we don’t expect them to remain in stock for long.  Additionally, they’re slightly more affordable than American silver eagles, which makes them appealing to the cost conscious silver investor.

For fans of Canadian issued coins, we also have a couple of Canadian gold eagle coins in stock.  These are the most popular 24k gold coins worldwide and are personally one of our best sellers.

American Eagles

American silver eagles have been one of the most difficult silver coins for us to keep in stock over the past year.  Fortunately, one of our silver suppliers recently sold us a couple of monster boxes, which we’re quickly depleting due to high demand.  We recommend that you act quickly before we completely sell out of our stock of silver eagles.

While Canadian gold maple leaf coins are the most popular 24k gold coins that we buy and sell, American gold eagles are the most popular gold coin that well sell, period.  We have a few one ounce gold eagles in stock at the moment; primarily large denomination coins, so don’t delay in contacting us to reserve yours.

90% Silver Coins

90% silver coins, also referred to as junk silver coins, continue to remain one of our best sellers.  In fact, we buy and sell more 90% silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars than any other coin.  Due to the relatively low price per coin, we sell these coins in bulk, such as in $50 and $100 face value bags.  With the price of silver currently less than $20 an ounce, these coins can currently be had for a relative bargain.

The above are just a small sampling of the coins that we have in stock, so if there’s anything in particular that you’re interested in buying or selling that we haven’t highlighted above, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We can be reached at 404-236-9744 or via e-mail at sales@atlantagoldandcoin.com.  We look forward to hearing from you and earning your business!

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Gold & Silver Prices Spike On Disappointing March Jobs Report

The price of gold and silver have seen a nice jump today of approximately 1% and 1.5%, respectively, following March’s jobs report of 192,000 non-farm jobs created during the month.  The consensus called for 200,000 new jobs created during the month; however, many economists predicted higher numbers than the consensus, as it is believed that the harsh weather experienced in the first two months of the year affected hiring.  While we saw an upward revision of 37,000 new jobs for January and February, it doesn’t appear as though weather played as large as a factor in hiring as originally believed.

For those individuals that closely follow the gold and silver markets, the spike we’ve seen today in the precious metals market is expected.   When weaker than expected economic data is reported, this is an indication that the FOMC may be withdrawing stimulus at too fast of a clip, causing them to reevaluate their plan.  This could result in a suspension of their tapering efforts or a reduction of the timetable that they’re previously shared.  Monetary inflation typically bodes well for the precious metals sector.  On the other hand, when economic data exceeds expectations, the assumption is that the economy is on stable footing, sending a signal to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) that their tapering efforts have not been detrimental to the economy and that they can stay the course.

Where do we see the price of gold and silver going from here?  We believe that the upside far exceeds the downside at current levels.  A highly valued stock market, a slowing housing market (as measured by mortgage application demand), an underperforming job market, an historically $59 trillion in credit market debt, and little to no sign of economic restraint by our elected officials will likely lead to continued weakness in the economy, lower than expected GDP growth and continued monetary expansion by the Federal Reserve.

What may be surprising to most of our readers is that for all of the talk of tapering, we’re seeing very little to no sign of a reduction in the Federal Reserve’s monetary base.  The follow chart from the St. Louis Fed site clearly shows that the monetary base is still expanding at an upward trajectory:

Federal Reserve Monetary Base

The above chart displays the expansion of the monetary base from 3/1/13 – 3/1/14 (the most recent data available).  Even if the Federal Reserve continues on its path of tapering, the monetary base will be $4.5 trillion by the time that they’re done, which is five times higher than it was where they first began expanding six years ago.  While no one wants to talk about the elephant in the room, the fact of the matter is that the Federal Reserve will at some point need to unwind the massive amount of Treasurys and mortgage backed securities that they’ve purchased over the past several years.  This will likely only occur if we begin to see higher inflation rates or the dollar falls drastically in the Forex markets.

Of course, an unwinding of the Fed’s asset base will push up interest rates, which will cause a slowdown in the real estate market, a likely sell off in the stock market and high debt servicing fees.  With official debt levels of approximately $17.5 trillion, we could see a majority of the tax revenue received by the government used to service debt, which most assuredly would lead to a slowdown in the economy and a reduction of welfare programs.

In light of the above, we believe that it’s wise to hedge yourself with an investment in gold and silver coins.  They’re one of the few investment options that don’t have counterparty risk.  In other words, there’s no need to rely on other parties regarding the stability of your investment.

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