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    Selling Gold & Silver: 4 Essential Steps for Success

    Owning gold or silver is great. Either precious metal offers a tangible store of value. In many cases, having one of these metals in your portfolio is a great way to guard against oscillations in the economy.

    However, owning gold or silver also puts a particular onus on you. Namely, you have to be able to sell your gold from time to time. So, here is a 5-step guide on how to sell your precious metals.

    Step 1 – Commit to the decision

    Before you begin the actual process of getting fiat value for your gold or silver, you need to commit yourself to the course of action. In other words, you need to have eliminated as much doubt about moving forward as you can.

    People sell their gold and silver for all kinds of reasons. Common causes for selling precious metals include:

    • Adding liquidity to a portfolio due to market conditions
    • Adding liquidity to a portfolio due to life events
    • Attempting to realize profits based upon the spot prices

    All of these reasons are perfectly valid. In fact, you don’t have to justify your reasons to everyone. In the end, even if your reasoning is mostly emotional, it’s still a legitimate reason to move forward with a sale.

    The important thing is that, regardless of your motivation, you are ready to make a move before you proceed to Step 2.

    Step 2 – Know or Learn about Your Gold or Silver

    In any resale market, it is crucial for a seller to know their product intimately. Even if selling gold is not a common activity for you, you need to have some insight into the bullion you have in your possession. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of gold or silver dealers to offer you a fair deal, and not all of them are motivated to do so.

    There are a few dimensions that can make a big difference on the price you can get for your metal. Before you move on to step 3, you should have an understanding about where your bullion falls within these classifications.

     

    Common or special

    The first thing to note is whether your piece(s) are common and easy to find or are collector’s pieces. A collector’s item may bear additional value beyond the raw value of the metal.

    When we’re talking about common pieces, though, what we really mean is how common they are for coin collectors, coin shops, or humble online precious metals retailers to have or encounter. A piece that is easy to find may still have quite a bit of value, but won’t have that special X factor that a rarer item might possess.

    So, do your homework about the true rarity of your piece before you approach a seller. Saying something is a collectible doesn’t make it one.

    Contemporary or historical

    A kind of corollary to the first dimension is the historicity, or lack thereof, of your item. Some coins, while rather mundane, may have extra appeal due to the fact that they are getting along in their years.

    Generally speaking, an older coin is going to have more value than a younger one with the same composition. For instance, a Barber quarter is probably going to draw a bit higher price than a pre-1964 Washington quarter – even though both coins are metallurgically identical.

    So, be specific about both how old your piece is and whether the age makes a difference. It probably will, but you need to know.

    Pure or alloy

    Though it probably goes without saying, you need to know the exact composition of your item. Simply put, the higher the percentage of gold or silver in your object, the higher its value due to the raw spot price of the metal(s) within.

    If your item is a coin, you’ll probably have an easier time getting a concrete answer about its composition. The makeup of most sovereign coins is usually a matter of public record. So long as you are certain of its authenticity, you can be certain of its purity percentage.

    If it isn’t, there are home tests to determine purity. However, the best thing to do is visit a jeweler, coin shop, or even pawn shop that you trust. They can drill through or shave off a piece of your item and assess its contents professionally.

    Please don’t do this with coins, though, as it can severely affect a coin’s value.

    Step 3 – Learn the market

    We already hinted about this aspect of selling your gold or silver in the previous section, but let’s get a bit more specific. You need to understand the precious metals market before you embark on a sales journey.

     

    Bars/rounds vs. coins

    The first element to understand about the market for precious metals is that their format matters. Generally speaking, a bar or round is going to sell for less than a coin because, as stated, the only value of the bar or round is its metal content.

    That statement is not meant to disparage purchasing bars or rounds, however. The primary element is to know beforehand that you’re probably not going to get the same amount for a bar or round than you are for a coin. Coins are minted by sovereign governments and come with unassailable assurances about both their value and their content.

    Popular items

    The other aspect to understand relates specifically to coins. Not to put too fine a point on things, but not all coins are created equal.

    The list below is a few of our favorites when it comes to vehicles for gold and silver. If you want more detail about the gold pieces, along with other ideas, click here . If you want more detail for silver, click here.

    Some of the most popular gold and silver instruments for collectors include:

    • The American Gold Eagle – One of the US Mint’s official bullion pieces, it is guaranteed by the federal government to contain 91.67% gold and, interestingly enough, 3% silver.
    • The American Silver Eagle – The silver counterpart to the Gold Eagle, the Silver Eagle is likewise minted as one of the US Mint’s official pieces. Each Silver Eagle is 1 troy ounce of 99.9% fine silver.
    • The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf – The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is the Canadian counterpart to the American Gold Eagle. Each Maple Leaf, which is available between 1 gram and 1 troy ounce, is minted with 99.99% fine gold.
    • Australian Lunar Silver Coins – These silver coins are official products from down under and are certified to be 99.9% pure. Each successive annual minting of these coins features a different sign from the 12-year Chinese Zodiac. So, they are collectible as actual sets – two series have already been completed, and the Perth Mint is into Series III right now.
    • “Junk” silver – Several US coins over the years have been minted with 90% fine silver. They are called “junk” because real silver vehicles will have 99% silver or better, not because they are anything resembling trash.

    Step 4 – Find a reputable buyer

    After all this research and learning, it’s finally time to sell that gold or silver. So, either ask around or use Google to find nearby coin dealers or other purchasers of precious metals.

    What you want to get is the bid price for gold or silver, not the ask. The bid prices are the amounts that the dealer is willing to pay.

    You can do this in one of two ways. The first way is more time-consuming, but may also give you a more customized number. You can simply go to multiple stores for an appraisal and bid.

    The other thing to do is call around to the various stores and ask for an apples-to-apples comparison of their bids. So, call and ask what they’d pay for a Gold Eagle, for instance.

    Once you’ve settled on a dealer, be vigilant about how they choose to do the transaction. Even if you choose to receive cash, you should insist that there be paperwork and that you get an itemized receipt.

     

    We’re happy to buy your gold or silver!

    One last thing to mention is that we are more than happy to buy your gold or silver here at JM Bullion. Our transactions are discreet, secure, and safe.

    We can offer you some of the best bids for your metals of any dealer, online or otherwise. We can advise you on how to send your gold or silver securely via courier to us, and we can likewise work out the best way to send your money to you.

    Make the choice that is most comfortable to you, of course, but we’d love to have the opportunity to work with you. Reach out to us if you’re interested!

    Add link with Top 5 Gold pieces when/if published.

    All Market Updates are provided as a third party analysis and do not necessarily reflect the explicit views of JM Bullion Inc. and should not be construed as financial advice.