Located on the Internet at www.goldsilver.com, Gold Silver is another of the many services which have arisen to meet the public’s spiraling demand for precious metals in the face of early 21st century economic uncertainty. The question that is foremost in your mind when contemplating the use of a precious metal dealer’s website is, how does it measure up to other providers of similar services?
The answer is that in this case, GoldSilver.com measures up well, but is somewhat more limited than some of the more monumental services. It cannot compete with the sheer variety of APMEX, for example, which is a sort of St. Peter’s Cathedral of Rome for the gold and silver world. However, it does have an adequate selection of regularly purchased bullion coins, combined with good service and some idiosyncratic features that make it a service with personality and color, and not merely another online catalog.
For example, the political musings of the site’s owner appear on it, giving you something that may be interesting, amusing, or thought provoking to read, depending on your viewpoint. The firm offers buyback of gold and silver, including the products it has sold, putting it on a par in terms of professionalism with APMEX and other larger sellers. The company also donates part of its profits to charity, allowing those customers interested in such matters to feel a warm glow of satisfaction in helping others at the same time that they are helping themselves – a truly win-win situation.
Bullion Products on GoldSilver.com
The core of any precious metals site is, naturally, the selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium that they have to sell. Their range of available products, premium over spot compared to the industry average, and other factors all go into how to determine whether or not they are a worthwhile source of metals for the typical investor.
GoldSilver.com offers two of the four precious metals currently used for bullion coins in the world – the silver and gold that appear in its name. These metals are the basis of most portfolios anyway – there is only a minority of buyers who seek for platinum coins or palladium coins. If you are one of this select group, however, you will need to look elsewhere for these bullion products.
The gold offered by GoldSilver.com includes bullion coins, rounds, and bars. The selection is not huge – all of the items can be shown on a single webpage – but for those seeking mostly for bullion rather than for collecting as many different kinds of coins as possible will find a solid, adequate range of sizes here. Coinage is limited to little more than American Gold Eagles and Canadian Gold Maple Leaves, while the gold bars are from Credit Suisse and Johnson Matthey.
Coins range from fractional coins of 1/10 ounce, ¼ ounce, and ½ ounce up to the standard international one troy ounce gold coins. The South African Krugerrand and the Austrian Gold Philharmonic are the only gold coins from outside North America. Gold bars include once ounce, ten ounce, one kilogram, and four hundred ounce variants. Thus, there are products for any budget.
The silver page of GoldSilver.com is much more limited than the gold page, with only six bullion products currently on offer. This is slightly puzzling given that silver is a product with a broader appeal due to a lower spot price. The one ounce Silver Eagle, Silver Maple Leaf, Silver Philharmonic, and Liberty Silver Round comprise most of the range. A ten ounce and one hundred ounce silver bar round out the selection.
GoldSilver.com: Better for Large Purchasers
The policies of the site make GoldSilver.com more suitable only for large purchasers. There are minimum orders in place, based on quantity, and in all cases, these price the small buyer out entirely. Many of the coins are only available in cases of 500, which cost over $20,000 and are obviously out of reach of even a comfortable middle class income of $40,000 to $50,000 per year. Single one ounce gold coins can be bought, but these cost close to $2,000 anyway.
However, for those who are really interested in investing, the products on GoldSilver.com offer an efficient way to bulk up a bullion portfolio rapidly with large numbers of common silver or gold coins.
GoldSilver.com and the Prophets of the Apocalypse
One rather interesting facet of GoldSilver.com are the apocalyptic societal visions that it offers in the articles on the site. Whether or not one agrees with with conclusions that the author of these screeds offers, they still make rather entertaining reading in between scanning the lists of gold and silver coins for sale on the site.
With their projections of massive upheaval followed by a utopian period of peace ushered in by adoption of precious metal coinage, they add a certain uniqueness and color to the site that is sometimes lacking in those websites which are little more than online catalogs. Of course, they are not obtrusive, and you can avoid them entirely if you wish and focus purely on the metals themselves.
Buying from GoldSilver.com
GoldSilver.com is an American corporation and is located in Santa Monica, California, near the scene of one of the continent’s earliest gold rushes – that of the famous “Forty-Niners” (so called because their activity peaking in 1849).
As far as payment methods are concerned, GoldSilver.com is a very particular company, and payment can be rather complex depending on the options you choose. Cash is totally unacceptable as a form of payment, though this is typical for most businesses that do not sell at brick and mortar locations.
Credit cards must be used if you order online rather than arranging your purchase by telephone. The reason for this is that an initial deposit from 5% to 15% must be made at the time the online order is placed. However, you do not have the option to use your credit or debit card to pay for the entire order at that time. Though the credit card is required with no exceptions with this mode of ordering, you can pay only the initial deposit with it, no more and no less.
Once the initial deposit has been made, you have three options for payment. The first of these is to make a wire transfer at the bank. This method must be used within 48 hours of making the purchase, or not at all. The other two choices are to pay by money order, which will be processed immediately upon receipt, or by personal check, which will be held until it clears, which might take as long as eight days. The neatest, quickest method – and the only one available to international customers – is the bank wire transfer.
International orders are accepted from around forty countries, which are not listed on the site. Shipment within the United States is carried out by United States Postal Service (USPS), UPS, or Federal Express (FedEx). International shipments are made exclusively by FedEx or UPS International, as is often the case with bullion products, since the USPS cannot provide international tracking (as its jurisdiction ends at the nation’s borders). All shipments are automatically fully insured and guaranteed. Optionally, your bullion can be stored in a depository in Salt Lake City, Utah, though this involves the problems typically associated with such services – problems which are amplified if you live outside the United States.
Selling Precious Metals to GoldSilver.com
GoldSilver.com’s status as a legitimate gold and silver dealer is strongly underlined by the fact that they will buy precious metals in addition to selling them. Like all dealers in precious metals, the price they offer for precious metals is a little bit below the current spot price. However, this is only natural, since they cannot stay in business if they buy gold and silver at a loss.
However, this means that if you buy gold and silver products from them, and the spot price of these products rises sharply, the company will buy this gold and silver back from you, giving you a solid profit on your initial investment. This marks the company out favorably from such institutions as the Franklin Mint and the London Mint Office, and is a testament to the fact that it is a reliable, professional bullion dealership.
Note that it is usually better to sell larger quantities of coins, or gold – there is a fee for receiving wire transfers from GoldSilver.com (or any other business), and if you own only a single silver coin, this fee will largely cancel out your profits. However, if you have several hundred dollars or more of bullion, the fee will be negligible and easily paid without greatly affecting your overall profits.
Coins with a Conscience Program
Finally, GoldSilver.com donates a portion of its proceeds to rehabilitation services for the homeless, including independent living training and a place to sleep and eat. You can purchase your gold and silver from this source not only with the assurance that you are receiving a high quality bullion product, but also that you are helping to do good for your fellow man.
Overall, the GoldSilver.com site may not be as extensive as APMEX or similar services in terms of the variety of bullion available, but it is highly individual and offers many things that other companies do not, as well.