Most silver and gold websites today sell large numbers of collectible silver and gold coins from the mints of governments around the world. Captured in the sleekly gleaming white or yellow metal, koalas, bald eagles, bison, grizzly bears, pandas, monarchs, and other creatures are etched in fine, aesthetically pleasing detail which makes these small round ounce bars of metal sought avidly by collectors from many different countries. is a large, highly professional British precious metals business which takes a completely different approach. (located on the web at eschews all forms of coinage, rounds, and the like and focuses on the precious metals purely as bullion. Numismatic value is of no interest whatsoever to this business, and you should only make use of their services if you, too, share this opinion.

For this reason, all of the silver, gold, palladium, and platinum it sells take the form of ingots, bearing the imprint of itself. These ingots or bars are beautifully finished, but are very plain, with no decoration beyond the liquid, glassy sheen of the metal itself. Their value is equal to that of their constituent metal’s current spot value, and nothing more.

The precious metals here therefore appear to be designed to be sold back and forth between the customers themselves as they speculate on the gold or silver held in the vault in their name. In short, you will never see your metals in most cases: they are meant to be used for “playing the market”, not as an inflation hedge or a source of coinage in the event of a return to precious metal currency.

All amounts of silver less than 1,000 ounces, and all gold amounts less than 100 ounces, are held as raw metal. 100 ounce gold bars and 1,000 ounce silver bars are all that offers. Even if you take physical possession (something that is unlikely unless you are multimillionaire – see below), you will have a relatively illiquid asset in your possession.

With a 1,000 ounce silver bar in your hand, there is no practical way to use it to buy three packages of hamburger, a loaf of bread, a bottle of ketchup, and a case of soda. You will be hard pressed to liquidate it for cash in any but the largest and most cosmopolitan cities.

There is nothing wrong with any of this, of course – this is a perfectly viable method of investing in precious metals. However, you should be clearly aware that is entirely about this type of investment, and not about coins, rounds, or smaller silver or gold bars.

Ownership of Actual Gold and Silver with deserves plaudits for maintaining gold, silver, platinum, and palladium stocks on a one to one basis, or at least claiming to do so. Some firms are known for selling paper certificates to multiple customers against a single quantity of gold or silver, a dodge which they are able to get away with because they hold all of the precious metals in a single pool and actually sell claims against the pool as a whole rather than ownership of a specific piece of silver or gold.

The disastrousness of this system from the investor’s viewpoint is quite evident. More claims to the gold and silver exist than can actually all be satisfied simultaneously. If everyone were to claim their precious metals at once, half, two thirds, or more of customers would actually find that their claim was worth absolutely nothing and that the first people to claim were the only ones to actually receive precious metals.

This scheme is all too common among shady gold and silver dealers, who want to earn skyrocketing profits by selling far more precious metals than they have actually bought, and counting on few people making claims at one time to protect them. Also, the fine print of their claim documents often contain clauses that specify the document is only a claim against the pool, so that if the pool is exhausted when you attempt to take physical possession, you will simply be out of luck. proves some measure of honesty at least by advertising that they actually assign physical metal to each purchase even if it remains in their vaults – that is, that claims can be filled with metal on a one to one basis. This is a major point in their favor – although, the paranoid should note, there is no practical way for a typical client to check on much bullion is actually in the vault at any given point in time.

Which Countries are Included Among Those will Sell To?

Gold and silver purchasing is not something that is confined to one or two countries, especially in today’s modern world when globalism has created affluent segments of society everywhere across the planet at the same time as it has produced unprecedented poverty and instability in other segments. It is only in the best interests of a precious metal dealer to sell to customers located anywhere – after all, if there is someone who has the money to buy and is ready to make a purchase, why deny them the ability to do so?

Refreshingly, takes this idea to heart and will sell gold and silver to people from nearly every country on Earth. A few are excluded – Cuba, because it is an enemy of the United States; Kazakhstan, because it is not a large enough market to bother with; and a few other Central Asian countries like Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, as well as some African countries like the Sudan. Russia and the Ukraine are, curiously, excluded, while Belarus is included.

Countries are divided into two categories, which determine what you need to do to open an account with The categories are as follows:

• Fast Track Countries, of which there are forty-four, are allowed to open a “Basic Holding”, which is faster and simpler to open than a “Full Holding”. These holdings are opened for free, entirely on the Internet, by filling out a series of web forms on the site. This process requires a mere quarter hour to complete.

o Basic Holdings can be upgraded to Full Holdings online if you are an American, Canadian, or British citizen, using a service provided by Equifax. Otherwise, the upgrading will involve sending physical documents to Copies of your passport and/or driver’s license are likely to be required (that is, photo I.D.).

o The European nations included in the “Fast Track Countries” list include Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar (which is actually a British overseas territory), Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom

o The countries outside Europe which are eligible for Fast Track treatment are the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, South Africa, Singapore, and the Virgin Islands.

• Full Holding Countries, which are slightly more numerous at 58 examples, encompass most of the remainder of the world. This is the same “Full Holding” account as the Basic account holders from the Fast Track Countries can upgrade to, but in the case of these nations, there is no option for opening a Basic account online first.

o Actual, physical documents proving your residence and identity will need to be mailed to to verify your existence, which is a more time consuming process but is much better than being refused an account outright, as is the case with all too many gold and silver selling businesses.

o However, once the documents are received, your account will be up and running within a day, assuming the documentation is deemed to be sufficient.

o The nations of Europe which fall into this category include Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia Hercegovina, Croatia, Georgia, the Holy See, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, and Serbia.

o There are a number of island nations that are to be found on this list, including the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cape Verde, the Cook Islands, the Faroe Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Samoa, the Seychelles, Taiwan, and Trinidad and Tobago.

o Countries from Americas listed here are Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay.

o Middle Eastern nations on the list are Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

o Countries from Asia that will sell to if you establish a Full Holding are Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, Macau, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand. Japan is a Fast Track Country.

o African nations which can receive gold from this firm are Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, and Tunisia. Note that South Africa is on the list of Fast Track Countries.
Holdings for Companies

The holdings described above are intended for private individuals who are interested in investing in precious metals, but recognizes that some firms of the modern era also like to stockpile precious metals as a hedge against inflation and economic disruption. Both Company Holdings and Trust Holdings are offered for these larger customers.

Information About Purchasing From is physically located on Jersey in the British Channel Islands, so those outside Great Britain will need to pay for international shipping with their order. All purchases through this dealer are made using a system of bank wire transfers and accounts at the company.

Basically, you create either a Basic Holding or a Full Holding, which is an escrow account located on the company’s servers. Money is then transferred into these Holdings via bank wire transfer to the appropriate account. Transferring money to the company will cause them to credit your Holding for the appropriate sum. Purchases are then deducted from your Holding, rather than being paid for by direct bank wire transfers, so you will need to keep the Holding “topped up” if you expect to make multiple purchases over time.

A Basic Holding can contain a maximum of $150,000 at one time, while Full Holdings can contain an unlimited amount of money. The Basic Holding will probably be enough for most investors, though obviously the super-rich and companies will likely need a larger account.

The process of adding money to your Holding is rather complex. First, you need to find the Accounts & Transfers tab on the website and click on Add Funds. Next, you must click on “Add Funds to Your Holding by Bank Wire”. Choose a currency and an amount, then click the Continue button. You will then receive a page where you can look over your information and decide whether to edit the data you have entered, or Confirm and move on.

You will be moved to a confirmation page next, where a unique Transfer Number is located. Print this page as the information it contains, plus the Transfer Number, are all essential to completing the process of moving money into your Holding. You will then need to drive to, or call, your bank and use the information on the printed confirmation page to start a wire transfer to’s bank account.

Once the transfer has been successfully made, you will be e-mailed by the firm to tell you that your Holding now has money in it. You can at last begin to make purchases.

Shipping from’s physical delivery policy is rather less robust than one might hope, considering the professionalism of the rest of the site and the wide range of countries that the firm sells to. Shipping is not straightforward, nor are you given the option to take physical delivery at all until you have purchased a certain minimum quantity.

You must buy 100 ounces of gold or no less than 30,000 ounces of silver before you are eligible to have it shipped to you. At current spot values, that is roughly $1,800,000 worth of gold or $1,200,000 worth of silver. In short, physical ownership of the precious metals sells is only possible if you are an actual multimillionaire who has two million dollars of pocket change to buy the metal with. If you have less money, you must leave the precious metals in’s vaults permanently, and will be obliged to pay storage fees to them as well.

Furthermore, no shipping charges are indicated on the website. To receive a shipping quote, you must pay a fee to the company simply to tell you how much shipping will cost! is mostly an excellent site, but its shipping policies unfortunately leave much to be desired from the standpoint of anyone except the most affluent investors.

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