We are dealers in gold, silver, and platinum metals including the following:
Gold: US Eagles, US Buffaloes, Canadian Maple Leafs, South African Krugerrands, Mexican 50 Pesos, Australian Nuggets and Austrian 100 Coronas.
Silver: Pure bars ranging from 1 ounce to 100 ounce in weight, as well as pre-1964 US silver coins in all quantities, US Eagles, and Canadian Maple Leafs.
Platinum: US Eagles, Isle Of Man Nobles, Canadian Maple Leafs, and Australian Koalas.
All bullion transactions must be done in the store. Payment may be made with cash, local cashier’s check (made payable to us) or personal check. Personal checks must clear your bank before merchandise is delivered.
No charge cards may be used for precious metals transactions.
(Please note that these metals prices are transmitted to us from an outside source and may not be valid for transaction purposes.)
Frequently Asked Questions about Precious Metals
Please Note – We offer the following information as a free source of help. Although we have been in business for many years we do not believe we always have the best answer. If you come up with better answers, please share them with us. If you have a pertinent question which is not answered below please contact us and we’ll do our best to help you.
1. Q: What does bullion mean? A: In our industry bullion means precious metals – most usually gold, silver, and platinum.
2. Q: What is a bullion coin? A: This is a coin that has no collector value and has a market price based largely on the actual price of the metal it contains.
3. Q: What does Spot Price mean? A: This is the price at which a metal is traded on the current day.
4. Q: What should I pay for gold, platinum, and silver relative to the spot price? A: Generally most popular gold and platinum coins should be a few percent over the spot price. Silver is a little more complicated. Because of higher shipping and storage costs the percentage markup for silver is greater than for gold and platinum. Market conditions are always changing for silver, however, so we suggest you contact us by phone to determine the current situation.
5. Q: Will we ever need to use gold and silver to do business transactions? A: We don’t see that happening any time soon in the US, but we do know that there have been countries in the recent past where it was very advantageous to have some precious metals on hand to make certain purchases. It just makes good sense in our opinion to have some precious metals on hand just in case there is some economic turmoil.
6. Q: How much of my portfolio should I invest into precious metals? A: If you are in a position to comfortably invest 10% of your net portfolio into precious metals we feel this is sufficient. Keep in mind that buying precious metals is not considered an investment in the common meaning of the term.
7. Q: Why gold and silver as a protection, but not platinum? A: Good question. We like gold and silver better simply because they have such a track record of being accepted all over the world and throughout history as stores of wealth and as mediums of exchange.
8. Q: Where should I store my precious metals? A: Many people use safety deposit boxes at banks, and we personally believe this is quite safe. For those who are afraid of bank closures and/or government seizures of assets held in these boxes there are a couple of widely used methods that are effective but that have inherent risks. One solution is to put a safe into your house and keep the metals there, and another is to bury your treasure where you can dig it up later.
9. Q: You accept credit cards for other purchases. Why can’t I buy precious metals with my VISA card? A: Precious metals have a very small profit markup. Our store pays VISA about 2.7% for using their service. Currently our profit on a one ounce gold coin (not including shipping to us) is five dollars. Obviously, if we have to pay about seven dollars to VISA to complete the transaction we wind up not making any money. In fact we actually lose money. All major charge cards have costs similar to VISA. We are not singling them out to be picked on.
10. Q: What if I agree to pay a little more for my gold coins, say three percent, can we just add that onto the the price of the coins and then put them on my card? A: Sounds good, but we have found out the hard way that this is not a good idea. As you may know there is such a thing known as Credit Card Fraud. It comes in a variety of forms, but one of the most common is to use someone else’s card to make a purchase. As gold coins have such a small markup, a person committing such a fraud can purchase gold coins from one dealer and then take them immediately somewhere else and cash them in for almost as much as the purchase price. Potentially the poor selling dealer becomes the victim, even if he gets an authorization code from the charge card company.
11. Q: If I can’t use my charge card, then what do you accept as payment? A: If you want immediate possession of the precious metals you can pay with cash or a cashier’s check from a local bank. The check must be made out to our company and not to yourself. You may also pay with a personal check. If you pay with a personal check we will not deliver the merchandise to you until ten working days have passed. You will own the metals at the time of payment. Fluctuations in the precious metals market will have no effect on your taking delivery once the holding period is over.
12. Q: I have heard that all large cash transactions must be reported to the IRS. Is this true? A: By law, any cash purchase of over ten thousand dollars is reportable. According to the IRS this requirement is to help discourage illegal drug trafficking and money laundering. There is certainly nothing illegal about buying more than ten thousand dollars worth of metals and paying with cash, but we do have to report it when that happens.
13. Q: Do I have to pay sales tax on my bullion purchase? A: The state of California does not require that sales tax be collected on purchases of over one thousand, five hundred ($1,500) dollars. Amounts lower than that are taxable.
14. Q: Why does silver have so much of a greater price difference percentage-wise than what a dealer will pay me for it and he will sell it to me for? A: Silver is much lower in price than either gold or platinum; hence much more of it is required (weight wise) to have the same value as gold or platinum. As you can readily see, it is much more expensive to store and ship silver than the same dollar amount of gold or platinum. Storage and shipping costs are what drives up the cost of ownership.
15. Q: How do I know I am getting genuine merchandise and not worthless junk.? Do you give certificates of authenticity with what you sell? A: First and most important, deal with a reputable dealer! There are small scales and measuring devices available to determine the genuineness of gold coins. One popular brand is marketed under the name of Fisch. To locate them we recommend doing an internet search for their address. A word of caution: do not use one of these scales to verify the genuineness of collector coins. Gold US counterfeit coins, for example, almost always will pass the test. The reason is simple – they are made from real gold. They have been counterfeited from real gold because their collector value is greater than their metal value.
No, we don’t give out certificates of authenticity – and for a very understandable reason. What if you buy a genuine coin from us and we give you a certificate. Later on you sell the coin but have misplaced the certificate (no matter to us or any other dealer because the only concern is that the coin itself is genuine). Someone else finds the certificate, takes it along with a piece of phony gold and sells it to another person. Now we have a bad situation. Our certificate is with a counterfeit coin. We don’t want that to happen.
16. Q: What do I need to test gold for .999 fineness? A: This is not practical for anyone other than a refinery or an assayer. A laboratory scientist using a spectroscope can test gold to .9999 fineness. If you are interested in testing “pure” gold coins to see if they are not counterfeit, the little scales mentioned above seem to be quite accurate.
17. Q: How many ounces of silver are in a $1000 face value bag of 90% coins? A: Approximately 715 oz.