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Buying physical silver in no-bullion form


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If prices go up significantly on metals, it could change whether melting different objects is worth it.


There's 3 main grades: 99.99% - pure (bullion and coins), sterling (coins and jewellery/ornaments/cutlery etc) and then silver plate (apparently only a few microns thick). Sterling is cheaper (per silver amount) than bullion most of the time, I assume this is because of melt cost.


Silver plate is REALLY CHEAP sometimes, ie a lot of people don't even touch it. How much silver is on silver plate? Is it even worth melting?


The material in EPNS is apparently "65% copper, 18% nickel, 17% zinc." These are base metals, sure, but they have been on the move recently. They will probably pull back, but who knows in 5-10 years. These are a lot heavier than coins, which are apparently worth melting - this is a good mix at a good price.


Maybe silver will become really fashionable, and reasonably nice silver plated will be bought for use again? So maybe don't crush the vases.


I think this is a very space-intensive process and only works on big-payofs for silver price - but I can get a lot of space for not much. So anyone done the maths or know if you can be paid melt costs? Is silver plate worth buying up in huge cheap amounts and storing for a few years?

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I only ever buy silver in non-coin or bullion form at approx 50-60% spot, eg broken hallmarked sterling silver mirrors and brushes, ornaments etc. Because I'd rather coins or bullion at that price as they are recognisable. I don't buy on appearance, only weight.


I think I pay something like 5-10% premium over spot for 1kg silver bullion bars. I like bullion bars, they're fun to hold, easy to store - the only disadvantage is they are quite large, ie you have to buy/sell 50oz, 1kg at a time. 5% markup isn't too bad if you buy and hold for 5+ years like I plan to.


I've only ever paid below spot for my coins, as they have no numismatic value, only bullion. Commemorative coins, maples, kookaburras etc usually have the highest premium of all. I think I have something like 5 nice big silver coins, I don't usually buy these.


Another coin trick is to buy things that have legal tender values, eg there are Australian $200 coins that contain 9.16g of gold (worth $238AUD today). I purchased these as the bullion content started rising above the face value, usually around $215-$230, these are basically a 1 way bet for Aussie residents, if gold became worthless tomorrow they'd still be worth $200 AU, so in effect I'd only lose $15.


You can get good deals on kilo lots of pre-decimal silver coins (usually with all the rare coins removed). Just remember to check the dates and adjust prices accordingly as they were debased to 50% silver from sterling at various dates around the commonwealth.


My physical silver is:


1/2 coins, 1/3 bullion, rest sterling silver household objects.


Gold is mostly 1oz coins and the $200 AUS coins, though I've started buying (1-5g sized) nuggets. You can buy Australian nuggets that are 90 - 95+% pure for less than spot price. I think this is a real bargain, as there aren't that many nuggets around in the world anymore - most have been melted down to make boring looking bars.


There are still prospectors out there looking for nuggets - I go mountain bike riding and about 1 in 3 times that I go into gold areas, I see people panning in creeks - I always stop and ask them if they've had any luck and they always laugh and say "If I did, I wouldn't tell you!"


Apart from a few nuggets, and real bargains, I think I'm through with buying physical precious metals - I am now saving up cash to buy small Australian precious metals mining stocks in the next dip.


I live in a state of 1.5 million people that has 1/3 of the worlds uranium, and I'm kicking myself I don't have any exposure to the insanely rising prices! I want the commodities price to dip/correct so I can get a buy in!

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as youve just hit on something i make some money out of, i guess i best let you in on the secret.



if you trawl any auctions or bootsales in the land, at the botton of they boxes there is epns spoons and forks ect, which quite rightly you can get for basically nothing.


epns is weighed in at scrap yards at the same price as brazier ie a mixed copper/brass alloy.


much like old water tanks are



at the moment you will get around £1.40-£1.60 kilo for this, depending on how far the scrap yard you use is away from a main port.


So its well worth picking up all that junk epns you see lying around.



Scrap metal values have actually dropped quite a lot in the last few months, the reason for this of course is the pounds strength against the usd.But what many dont realise is a scrap yard has to take unto account its costs not just the price of the metal, ie a yard will have to make the same amount on every kilo of scrap to justify its overheads. For example it the value of copper goes 20%, then that whole 20% needs to be taken off the diffrence between buying and selling price not the whole price paid.The yard will still need to make the same profit no matter the price .

so if the yard sells for £3 kilo and buys for £ £2 kilo, and the price lowers 10% then the price he will pay for it will now sell it for will be £2.70 and buy it from you for will be £1.70 ie much more than a 10% drop in price to you.


simple reason is the fixed cost do not change, needs to make the same £1 on each kilo to cover costs and profit.


The same goes for gold or silver scrap, the cost to run a smelter doesnt get cheaper just because the price of his scrap gets cheaper, he will also need to make a set amount per ounce.


A mine is the same.



by the way, i wouldnt buy any gold or silver scrap or overwise unless i could make a profit of 20% right away on it.To sit on it with the hope of the movement in price going in the right direction for you is a big gamble.


its like anything you buy in life to profit from, you make your money when you buy not when you sell.

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