San Pedro Jewelry and Watch Repair - 6738A San Pedro Ave, San Antonio Texas 78216 - 210.451.1212
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What about silver rounds, what are those?
Silver rounds are simply one ounce, 99.9% pure silver coins minted in the United States. They are made by various private refineries and are not just round “blanks” of silver. They all have varying pictures because the companies that mint them have varying production runs using different designs. Regardless of the picture on their front and back, all silver rounds we sell state clearly on their face, “1oz. silver, 99.9% pure (or .999 fine).” We sometimes recommend silver rounds instead of 90% silver coin because premiums (not our commission—the premium is the percentage over the spot price that you pay for a coin) on both coins fluctuate for a variety of reasons. Since we consider it our duty to sell you liquid coins for the best price, sometimes our recommendations change.
Why do you recommend gold coins like Krugerrands, Austrian 100 Coronaes, and Mexican 50 Pesos, and what are they?
We recommend these foreign coins because they cost less per ounce and give you more gold for your money than the American Eagle gold coin series (which is minted in the United States today). All of these coins are well known in the industry and any dealer will readily buy them. The 22 karat South African Krugerrand gold coin contains exactly one troy ounce of fine (pure) gold. The American Eagle copied the Krugerrand’s specifications, and is minted to exactly the same weight and fineness. The Austrian 100 Coronae is an official re-strike from the Austrian mint. It is 20 karat (90% pure) and contains exactly 0.9802 troy ounce fine gold. The Mexican 50 Peso is an official re-strike from the 400-year old Mexico City mint. A 20 karat coin, it contains exactly 1.2057 troy ounce of fine gold. These three coins take turns as the cheapest on our price sheet.
What about the purity of the Krugerrand, Eagle, 50 Peso, and Austrian 100 Coronae? Will they be worth less later since they’re not 24 karat?
Purity is largely irrelevant among gold and silver dealers. Coins and bars are bought and sold based on their weight, not their purity. Unless you’re going to melt the coins down, it’s just not an issue and doesn’t affect the price.
Why do you recommend older-issue, foreign fractional gold coins instead of modern issues or American Eagle fractionals?
Modern issues like American Eagles, Maple Leaves, Philharmonics, and Nuggets include half, quarter, and tenth ounce coins: the smaller the coin, the higher the cost per ounce. With the smallest coins, premiums over the gold content approach 15%. That makes no economic sense because gold is gold. British sovereigns (containing 0.2354 troy ounce fine gold), French 20 francs (0.1867 oz.), Swiss 20 francs (0.1867 oz.), German 20 marks (0.2304 oz.), Netherlands 10 guilders (0.1947 oz.), the whole series of Mexican peso coins, and a number of other gold coins offer lower cost per ounce and good liquidity. Not recommended are gold coins so infrequently seen in this country that you will suffer a big discount when you sell them, such as Iranian pahlavis (0.2354 oz.) or Saudi guineas (0.2354 oz.). If you can’t sell them, they’re not a bargain.
Nowhere in your recommendations do I see anything about pure gold coins like the Canadian Maple Leaf or Austrian Philharmonic. Why not?
Gold is one of the softest and most ductile metals. Pure gold coins scratch and scar very easily unless handled with extreme care. Throughout history gold coins have generally been alloyed with copper or silver, hardening them to withstand circulation. Customers often unwittingly damage pure gold coins and therefore receive up to 5% less for them when they sell. In our opinion the purity of 24 karat gold confers no benefit and in fact often creates drawbacks.
What is reported when I buy or sell gold or silver?
Everything is exempt from reporting when you buy gold or silver, unless you pay more than $10,000 in cash. Even then it's not your gold or silver purchase that must be reported, only the cash transaction. Contrary to the scare stories, very few things are reportablewhen you sell. Under 26 CFR 1.6045-1 and Rev.Proc. 92-103, dealers need only report customer sales of 25 or more (but not fewer) Krugerrands, Maple Leaves, or Mexican Onzas, five bag lots ($5,000 face value} of US 90% silver coin, kilo gold bars, 100 oz. gold bars, 1,000 oz. silver bars, or 50 oz. or 100 oz. of platinum. If you sell lots smaller than these, the dealer reports nothing.
What about government gold confiscation?
We expect it more likely for you to be abducted by aliens than for the Federal Government to attempt gold confiscation. First, gold no longer forms a significant part of the monetary reserves in this country, as it did in 1934 and therefore, confiscation makes no sense. Second, the folks who tell you about government confiscation are generally trying to sell you overpriced coins that will line their pockets and empty yours. For more information, read our article on numismatics.