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Old 05-09-2011, 06:37 PM
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Default Sterling Silver

I know there is another thread about gold and silver here, but it does not answer my questions.

I need some teaching. I have some sterling silver pieces that I thought I would sell. I went to a coin dealer that I had been told was the best around to sell to. A buddy had sold some gold jewelry and some pre-1935 silver dollars to them and was well pleased. He got $22 per silver dollar. I think coin silver is about 90% silver. By the way, silver closed at $38/troy ounce when he sold.

Now, what I think I know. Sterling silver is only 92.5% silver. Silver is sold by the troy ounce which is approximately 31 grams. I realize that the buyer is in business to make a profit. Lets do some math.
A hypothetical 800 gram piece of sterling x .925 = 740 grams silver
740 grams silver / 31 grams = 23.8 troy ounces
23.8 troy ounces x $37.75/ounce = $898.45
I know refining cost money (don't know how much), I know the coin dealer is going to make a profit.

Now, what I was told. This buyer said that they only pay between $8 and $12 per ounce with the higher amount going to larger amounts sold. He stated that while sterling does contain 92.5% silver, during the refining process, you LOSE another 20-25%. I've never heard of this!!
Lets go back to the hypothetical example.
23.8 troy ounces - 25% (5.95 ounces) = 17.85 troy ounces
17.85 troy ounces x $12/ounce = $214.20

$898.45 vs. $214.20 = Holy rip-off Batman in my book!!

And back to the silver dollar part. If my buddy was paid $22/silver dollar which contains .773 troy ounces of silver. That equates to $28.46/troy ounce (if my math is correct). Why would they pay over $28/ounce for coin silver vs. $12/ounce for sterling?

I am not a mathematician so I may have royally mess this up. But .........................what can you experts tell me.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:00 PM
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I think I know less about buying/selling/refineing silver then you do. I also think someone is hopeing you know even less then that.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:47 PM
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All I know is that silver dollars go for a BIG premium over melt value at gun shows and sometimes on Ebay depending on condition, date and whether Morgan or Liberty. I would do some homework. Even sterling flatware goes for a premium on Ebay. Some folks will buy anything!

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Old 05-09-2011, 08:16 PM
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I have a 100 oz. silver bar that I bought with my brother quite a few years ago. It was lost in storage for a long time, but I found it recently, and we have considered selling. A local dealer will buy it for $1.50 an ounce off the spot price. If he judges the market is in a steep decline, he will take $2.00/oz. That's all I know.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshwheeling View Post
I have a 100 oz. silver bar that I bought with my brother quite a few years ago. It was lost in storage for a long time, but I found it recently, and we have considered selling. A local dealer will buy it for $1.50 an ounce off the spot price. If he judges the market is in a steep decline, he will take $2.00/oz. That's all I know.
But that bar has already been refined taking that process out of the equation. I wish I was in that position.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:29 PM
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Melt value today (May 9) for a silver dollar is 29.19. It was higher last week when silver peaked (for now).

The difference in what the dealer pays you and melt value is his profit.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:36 PM
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The "value" is like anything else. It is "worth" only what someone is willing to pay for it.

You see it all the time in this forum: I found a '83 Whizbang w/ two magazines. What is it worth? Again, it is worth what someone will pay for it.

To silver- The run up has been both astronomical and a bubble. No dealer wants to be holding thousands of ounces of silver at $45 because he/she knows it is a bubble and it will pop as all bubbles do. So it might be "worth" less than spot price to him and I don't blame him.

Sterling silver is something like the numismatic value of coins to which someone referred earlier. The problem is that grandma's silver might be a run of the mill pattern that does not demand a premium. Here, again, the dealer does not want to be stuck w/ thousands of pieces of run of the mill silver at $45/ounce.

Silver rounds (usually 1 ounce coins) follow the same pattern. The usually sell for 5% over spot and will be bought back for about 5% under spot price. (For you gold/silver bugs, you're starting down 10% + sales tax right out of the gate) Here, again, the dealer does not want to be caught w/ 1000's of ounces of silver at $45.

Sorry, but the short version is still that it is worth what someone will pay for it.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:00 PM
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Investment grade silver is a commodity and there are buyers that will buy at a stated level. It has nothing to do with collecting, it is all business.

Today, silver rounds are $37.41, and US Silver eagles are 39.39.

These are Buy prices, not sell. And these prices are well above melt prices.

When the market is hot, there are plenty of folks that will buy at the top, else no sales would be made.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1gunner View Post

When the market is hot, there are plenty of folks that will buy at the top, else no sales would be made.
You are correct, sir. That is what makes a bubble a bubble.

The "stated price" on silver varies from one buyer to another based loosely on spot price. And, yes, rounds always demand a little premium vs. ingots.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:06 AM
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You are lucky. I was dumb enough to “invest” in some diamonds. At least you don’t have as much money tied up in yours. Now I have learned to invest in ammo. At least it has a legitimate use besides being shiny. As previously stated, there seems to be only two major ways of investing in precious metals. There is the more business like side where they deal more in bulk and you have to figure melt vs. volume and everything involved in that and then there are the collectors. Collectors will go most often for the numismatic graded coins such as those graded by PCGS. This is as hard to figure value as the other. MS ratings, who graded the coin, rarity of the coin, mint errors, and more can drive the price of collector coins. Now that I have dumped my money into a few of these they strike me more as yet another of the rich man’s games. Neither one is going to get you as much money as you think you should. And really at the end of the day they still feel like (IMHO) they have such a minimal real world value for use that I wish I had never bothered at all with any of it. Sorry to be such a downer.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:30 AM
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My precious metals investment counselor is G Gordon Liddy.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:41 AM
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Default What a refiner will pay for your silver

Most of the buyers of scrap gold or silver will eventually send it to refiners. Coins will be sold at spot price or higher to those wanting to hold for investment.

Silvertowne is a highly respected refiner. I know three buyers who ship their SCRAP to silvertowne. Better jewelry and sterling table ware is first offered for sale in the shops, at a premium.

These shops NEVER send undamaged coins to a refiner.

The buying policy for scrap from the silvertowne web page is pasted below. You will have to contact them about buying policy for bars and coins.

Bekeart




Silver

Silver Content: 80% or higher

Payable: 94 % of silver price

Settlement Time: 10 working days

Incoming Weight Charge: 25 cents per troy ounce

Assay Charge: $65.00



*****

Gold

Gold Content: 40% to 99.99%

Payable: 1-20 pure ounces 98%

20-up pure ounces 98 1/2


Settlement Time: 10 working days

Incoming Weight Charge: 25 cents per troy ounce

Assay Charge: $65.00

Advancement: 80% based on SilverTowne discretion


Silver Towne Numismatics, Coins, Gold & Silver Eagle Dollars
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boykinlp View Post
I have some sterling silver pieces that I thought I would sell.
You will probably get more for them by selling them on ebay. People there will buy almost anything. Include photos and don't forget to tack on a big shipping charge.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:45 PM
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Its a big business these days, and its populated by every order of scammer and thief. Be very wary.

Around here, the more reputable companies buy for 75% of the spot price. You can find that at Kitco - Gold Precious Metals - Buy Gold Sell Gold, Silver, Platinum - Charts, Graphs, Prices, Quotes, Gold Stocks, Mining Stocks, bullion dealers and its updated continuously. Anyone paying less than the 75% is probably a crook and should be avoided. You quoted somebody trying to steal your goodies at 33% of spot. Its his right to try to steal/scam you out of your silver. Your job is to find someone more honest to deal with.

Most of us prefer to deal with someone who pays cash.

There are some pitfalls in all this. Silver knives often have stainless blades, so you won't get much for them. The hollow handles are also weighed with pitch to hold the blade in. Standard practice seems to be they'll pay you 1/2 ounce for the handle.

Silver hollowware are the serving pieces. Cups, platters, pitchers, salt and pepper shakers, the list is endless. Some of those items are weighted with sand or pitch. No body buys filler at spot price, so be reasonable.

Experienced buyers (and sellers) can tell silver or gold by touching or handling it. There seems to be a lot of folks trying to pass silverplate off as sterling. Good luck with that.
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