As is the case with many firms that put official-seeming words into their names, GovMint.com is neither a government organization nor a mint. It is a private company attempting to gain a measure of dignity and standing by combining two words that suggest reliability into its name. This American corporation is some two decades old and offers a variety of silver and gold bullion products for sale, as well as a large number of other numismatic and collectible items.
The coins available on GovMint.com include many American coins, as is only to be expected from a firm located in the United States whose primary market consists of American citizens. There are pages for Silver Eagles (mostly limited to the more recent mintage), Morgan dollars, and so forth. Gold Eagles are also in evidence, and there is a selection of other American coins both past and present.
There are also numerous pages with the coins of many other countries. Although the number of coins from each country is not huge, there are many obscure nations that are not covered even by massive operations like APMEX. The total coin stock of GovMint.com is probably best classified as “medium” – it is less far-flung than APMEX and its brethren, but much more varied than the small stocks maintained by the Franklin Mint and its ilk.
GovMint.com only sells coins, it does not buy them.
Prices on GovMint.com Review
The prices on GovMint.com are the most problematic part of the website from the viewpoint of a potential customer. They are quite steep, and are higher than the prices found on other precious metals sites such as APMEX. A comparison between a handful of prices will illustrate the extent of the difficulty. Of course, you may well opt to buy anyway, but you should know that you are paying a very hefty premium over spot for GovMint.com’s bullion products.
The case of a proof American Silver Eagle from 2011 will give a very clear illustration of this. Through GovMint.com, a proof silver Eagle costs $100, while from APMEX a precisely similar Eagle costs $65. In both cases, there is a strong numismatic premium above the current spot price of silver, thanks to the gleaming proof finish featured on the coin. However, you could almost buy two Silver Eagle proofs from APMEX for the price of one from GovMint.com.
This high pricing is not unique to this single example of coinage. The ordinary brilliant uncirculated Silver Eagle costs $55 from GovMint.com, and $43 from APMEX; a 2011 1/10 ounce Gold Eagle costs $274 from GovMint.com and only $210 from APMEX; and a brilliant uncirculated 2011 Gold Australian Kangaroo coin of 1 troy ounce weight that is sold for $1,839 on APMEX will set you back a startling $2,345 on GovMint.com, a difference of more than half a thousand dollars. Examples could be multiplied.
Ordering and Shipping Methods
As mentioned above, orders with GovMint.com can be placed using several different methods. The twenty four-seven toll free telephone line is available for sociable buyers, or those who have special instructions to give, or want to ask questions. Orders can be typed out and e-mailed to a special inbox maintained by the company, or placed using the purchase buttons on the site. Finally, it is also possible to buy the gold and silver products offered by GovMint.com using a faxed message.
International customers may be disappointed by the very brief list of nations to which GovMint.com will send its bullion products. This list is without exceptions, and GovMint.com will refuse orders from elsewhere in the world even if they are paid up front. The countries whose citizens can make use of this site’s services are those from the United States, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Austria, South Africa, and Switzerland. It is curious that the company will not ship to such affluent, numismatically active nations as France, Germany, Japan, or the Scandinavian countries. Unfortunately even for buyers in the USA, buying silver with free shipping is impossible.
Unusually enough, the only payment methods that GovMint.com will accept are credit cards of various kinds – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. Since charges do not occur until the items are shipped, which is likely to be weeks later, you should take care to leave enough available balance on the card you use to cover the costs of the transaction to ensure that your bullion will end up safely on its way to you.
Note that the bullion price is not “locked in” when you place your order with GovMint.com. You will end up paying the price of the bullion as it stands several weeks in the future when your credit card is charged, rather than the price you are quoted on the site or over the telephone when you place your order. This is clearly stated on the site, but is well worth noting carefully here as well.
Only order if you are expecting metal prices to remain fairly stable, or if you have enough money to cover spikes in price. Of course, there is always a chance of an unexpected discount as well, which is a pleasant “flip side” to the coin.
Physical Location of GovMint.com and Other Data
Unlike most other gold and silver companies in the United States, which seem to cluster in the south or on the west coast (in areas like California), GovMint.com is found in the Upper Midwest, close to the metropolis of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This northern region, with its numerous small lakes, short but vivid summers, and cold, snowy winters under crystal bright blue skies, is an intriguing area of the United States for such an institution to be located.
The exact location of the company is on Southcross Drive West, in Burnsville, Minnesota. The firm offers telephone service twenty four hours a day, using a toll free number that is free for people in the United States to call, though unfortunately those calling from abroad may need to pay for their time on the telephone. This line can be used seven days a week to place orders.
There is also a fax number for orders, and of course, orders can also be placed online using the shop function on www.govmint.com, the company’s website and Internet store.