Lately I have been seeing a lot of articles discussing the merits of buying gold and silver. See “Gold is not Just for Doom and Gloomers Anymore” at http://www.shtfplan.com/precious-metals/gold-is-not-just-for-doom-and-gloomers-anymore_09012010.
Being new at this, I do not know the first thing about how and where to buy gold. I’ve not had enough extra funds to set aside to actually buy gold just yet. I am still in the “buy enough food for six months; finish up the bug out bags” stage. But a co-worker who is a coin collector mentioned one day at lunch that he was on his way to a gold dealer to check out a certain coin so I asked if I could tag along. I figured it would be an interesting little field trip to the gold store, all in the name of research.
We drove for about 15 minutes before arriving at this free-standing two-story building, with a marquee showing the price of gold for the day. We entered a set of double doors, and found another locked door inside. A lady working behind a glass window looked us over then buzzed us in. Inside we saw wood shelves with glass cases along each wall with various items on display. There were various types of rings, pendants, necklaces and even Faberge eggs on display. In short, the place looked a lot like a jewelry store, without all the emotional advertising to entice you to buy. The dealers were very matter of fact about doing business, they were straightforward and did not seem to care one way or another if you made a purchase or not. In the middle of the room were more glass cases and several customers were being helped with their transactions. One lady was unwrapping various types of silverware-cups, gravy bowls, saucers etc., so she appeared to be selling the pieces. Another man had a bag full of gold jewelry. My friend stopped at the gold coin area, and looked at various coins. They had the Buffalo and Eagle coins in various sizes, 1 ounce, half ounce etc. The lowest denomination they had that day was the Chinese Panda coin at 1/20 ounces, selling for $77 each. My friend was looking for Eagles at the low denomination but they only had Pandas.
I spoke with the lady behind the counter regarding pricing, and she explained that you get more gold for your money if you buy the higher denominations, such as the full ounce or even over one ounce, since the markup for these items is not as high as for the little 1/20 coins. However, I was thinking if you were ever in a situation where you need to use the coins as currency or barter, the small denominations would still be good to have, as you would not want to have to cut the larger coins into pieces. But that is just my prepper mind thinking through possible scenarios.
Apparently their inventory varies daily, it just depends on what people come in to sell that day. One lady came in and sold her Krugerrands, and the coins were immediately set on display for the next buyer.
My friend observed the store did not have as much gold coin inventory as they did a few years ago and that is likely due to current popularity of gold. I asked him if he ever went to pawn shops to buy gold coins; he said he has checked out a few but he was convinced the places he went to were not giving him a fair deal so he preferred the gold dealers. He asked me if I wanted to look at anything else, but my curiosity was satisfied so we left. Neither of us bought anything but I was glad I went, as I now know where to go if I am ever in the market for gold. On the drive back he asked me if I looked at the silver for sale, I admitted I only looked at gold. I asked if I can tag along again the next time he wants to look at coins; when we go again, I will make sure to check out silver.