Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Hoard of Silver Dollars

Having joined the ranks of "Hawkers of Gold," I decided that I should take the plunge and buy a precious metal coin. I cannot afford a gold coin; but a silver dollar is still within my reach.

Anyway, two cull grade dollars from I prefer "cull" to the collector quality coins as I prefer coins that were actually used in trade. I have little interested in the coins that have been hoarded by collectors or banks in unciculated quality.

I received a 1925 Peace Dollar and an 1879 Morgan Silver Dollar in the mail yesterday. The average of the two dates is 1902. It is so cool to have coins that have been around for a hundred years.

My pocket scales says the Peace dollar weighs 26.61 grams and the Morgan 26.46. The Morgan Dollar lost a percent of its mass in its life as a coin. The Peace Dollar lost half a percent of its mass.

These aren't the first two silver dollars I've seen, but they are the first I've owned.

Because I own the pieces, I feel free to flip them. I should have bought three ... then I could juggle coins.

As for the purchase: I liked the selection of coins. I found their interface a bit confusing. It took me several minutes to find the section of the site that allows me to buy individual coins. I love the way they divide the silver dollars into the categories of below cull, cull, almost good and good.

My biggest complaint with the APMEX was the shipping costs. The shipping and handling costs for my two coin order was $12.95. More outrageous than the fact that they charged $12.95 to ship the coins, they spent that much shipping the things. The coins arived in an oversized box stuffed with expensive packaging.

To the web site's credit, APMEX's primary market is folks spending thousands of dollars on coins. Small fries like me are a nuisance.

Of course, a person who matters might be aquiring coins in small quantities ... or might run a test order before a real order.

If I were running shop selling coins online, I would have a path for selling packets of one or two coins to appease the rabble ... even if my primary market was people who could afford a whole roll of coins.

The US Mint charges $4.95 to ship a packet with 10 quarters. So it should be possible to reduce the shipping cost on small orders.

Because of the high shipping costs, my investment in two silver dollars will not return a profit until silver tips $55 an ounce. Assuming I have to pay shipping to sell the coins, my investment won't realize a profit return until silver hits $60.00 an ounce.

Excessive shipping fees aside, I am having fun owning two silver coins.

The next challenge is figuring out how to dispose of them. My goal is to become a "hawker of gold" ... not the owner of gold.

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