Saturday, November 5, 2011

Silver Eagles and Round Premiums Shrinking!


I am not a silver round type of guy. I've always believed that US Junk Silver coins (pre 1965 circulated dimes, quarters, halves, and dollars) along with the American Silver Eagles (world's best selling bullion coins), were the best overall investment. The coins have a lot going for them. They're minted by the trusted US Mint, and are among the most purchased silver coins in history. In a future economic disruption trading scenario, they'd also be the easiest to explain to the average non-savy person. On the other hand, I shrink at the thought of having to explain just what the heck the above pictured silver round is and what it's worth. I know it's one ounce of fine silver by a trusted company, but to the average American in a strange new world it's just some weird slug that he's never seen or heard about before. Indeed, ask the average man on the street what privately minted money is, and he'll say counterfeit 9 times out of 10!

In the past, however, silver round enthusiasts have been able to claim the only advantage available to their precious metal choice -  the round was markedly cheaper per ounce than the American Eagle and junk silver coins. Even that advantage is now disappearing, and the following prices from speak volumes:

Cost per each American Silver Eagle 1 oz. 2011 (Qty 500+)          $37.18            $3.05 per coin premium

Cost per 1 oz 90% American Junk Silver    ($500 face value)           Spot to +5%   0 to +5% premium

Cost per 1 oz. Sunshine Minting Silver Round 2011 (Qty 500+)    $36.18             $2.05 per round

So, what we're looking at now is only one dollar difference between a bullion COIN minted by the US Mint and currently the single best selling bullion product in the world, and a private company ROUND product unkown to the vast majority of Americans. To make matters worse for the round adherents, presently junk silver is selling at anywhere from spot to spot +5%. A great bargain for coins that were once used in everyday commerce, and whose likeness to the present nickel/copper drones requires only quick instruction to bring a trading partner up to snuff!

To sum up, in my book a buck difference between a silver round and a coin that is legitimate US money is just too insignificant to make its inclusion in my economic distress portfolio worthwhile. Of course, silver round boosters are notoriously hard-headed types (although I truly do love you guys). They'll probably hold onto their rounds until the cows not only come home, but also after they're milked and slaughtered for hamburger! They may even take some perverse joy at having to explain their trading medium to every single person they seek to do business with. For my part, I'll just fork over my junk silver and an occasional ASE and be on my way!

Rick - Buy Gold & Silver

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