Episode-540- Owning Silver, Gold and Other Metals — 27 Comments

  1. Great show. Here’s an idea about yard sale jewelry. When your looking at jewelry at yard sales, tell them the person running the sale your wife, kid, or grandkid is allergic to nickel and your looking closely at it to make sure there’s no nickel in it. They won’t know that you’re really checking to see if the jewelry is valuable.

  2. Jack,

    What about Tin (Sn) for a midrange metal. Used to mix with lead for bullet hardness and in pewter creations. Now closing around $2/ounce ($32/pound). Mark

  3. I’ve been hoping you’d do a whole show on this subject for a while, as I’m about to take the plunge and look at investing in some precious metals. I’m also looking at getting something silver for my girlfriend for Christmas which might be a soft-sell into preparedness.


  4. In my opinion, another great way to hold Gold, Silver or Platinum is through James Turk’s Gold Money. You can choose to keep it in three different locations, London, Zurich and Hong Kong.
    You can also change your alocation between the three different metal choices.

  5. Jack,

    Very interesting about Tantalum. I never heard of it before. I found some one gram bars on ebay. I see you can also buy bars in Columbium, Titanium, Nickel & Molybdendenum.

  6. @radar, Tin has a lot of value for lead casting for sure. Decent store of value as well. However if you use wheel weights for lead casting you won’t need it. Those tire shops haven’t been as quick to part with old wheel weights any more though.

    @Brian, I heard about that fund right after I finished this show. I am going to keep an eye on it.

    @Hraz and another I forgot to mention is the Perth Certificate in Australia. Safe, government backed, money outside of the US and NO REPORTING to the KG um, ah, um I mean the IRS.

    Also be careful with those ebay bars in grams and ounces they are a bit over priced in my view like WAY over priced. I am looking into a way to bring some stuff into the gear shop at reasonable prices. Like copper bars at say 8-9 a pound or 19-20 for a big kilo bar.

    Tantalum seems to be a really good idea that no one has made available in quantity yet. It should actually be priced about where silver was in the 80s.

  7. Excellent show, Jack. I busted out the penny jug and was sorting the pre- 1982’s out while I listened. Thanks for all the effort you put into this. Today was filled with a tremendous amount of valuable info.

  8. @RG,

    Remember give 82s a flip, if you here a piiiiinnnnngggg into the copper vat they go.

  9. Hey Jack,
    Wanted to drop you a note about tantalum. I have been working with a Ta product where I work for about 5 years, and for one of the probably largest Ta manufacture in the US, if not world. From what I have been told, the current price for Ta powder is around $150-$200/lb, which is how most industrial companies buy it after it has been refined. So to buy the powder for bullion manufacture, which would have to be more pure than industrial use powder, then sinter it and stamp it into bullion would add more cost. So the price you mentioned in the show I don’t think is grossly high, as you made it out to be. I think $20-25/oz for tantalum bullion would be a decent price.

  10. @Derek, thanks for that update! That is way more expensive then I thought. So perhaps it is more of a metal to see as between silver and palladium rather then between copper and silver.

  11. 1. To either remove or add confusion, if there is a FG after the gold rating and the G is a funky angular type font, this is a manufacturer’s mark and is solid gold. I agree that the GF is plated, but don’t pass up a FG by mistake.

    Found this out by looking at my wedding band and seeing the FG thinking I bought “fools gold”. Link: (read down 4-5 posts)

    2. It may be redneck, but I have access to land to get away with it. I consider my junk cars as a hedge type metal investment. I buy “classic” rusted out cars for scrap value when scrap is low. If times are good, I sell parts and the occasional restoration project. When the dollar is weak, I scrap out a few to fund future purchases. Sure they’re not portable, but I don’t plan to leave unless there is no other choice. I never buy something I don’t like, so some of these cars become projects. A fun way to make some side money. 😉

  12. Jack,
    One type of silver you forgot to mention is .825, commonly known as “Mexican Silver”.
    It is somewhat deceptively marked so you think it is Sterling.
    Lots of people will go to Mexico, buy a piece of jewelry for cheap, only to find out they paid the normal USA price for silver that isn’t Sterling.
    On a side note, I just found a piece of this in the parking lot at work a few minutes ago 🙂

  13. One other thing I forgot to mention.
    When your looking at jewelry at yard/estate sales, take a close look at those tarnished silver pieces.
    A fact most people don’t know is that White Gold does tarnish, unlike yellow gold which does not.
    I bought a white gold ring for .50 cents because they thought it was just silver.
    Made my wife real happy when I gave it to her with some engraving on it 🙂

  14. Concerning the aquisition of pre-82 pennies; where and how would one sell them to reap the copper value?

  15. Pingback:Episode 18 – Retirement Savings | A Moment To Ponder Podcast

  16. I’m a gemologist at a family owned jewelery store and a avid TSP listener and MSB member. If a piece of gold has the letter “P” stamped next to the karat (i.e “14KP; 18KP”) that means it’s PLUMB GOLD.
    “It is a term used to describe gold jewelry that contains the precise amount of gold in the alloy that the karat mark indicates. A jewelry piece with 18kt plumb gold means that the gold will be at a minimum 18 parts gold mixed with 6 parts alloys.”

    Also, when looking for precious metals at yard sales keep an eye out for Hallmark. Some countries use pictograph stamps that correspond to a specific purity of that particular metal.

    This website explains it in greater detail.

  17. As far as jewelry goes, what do you guys think of the gem portion as a hedge for hyperinflation? Specifically, I’ve heard a lot about tanzanite supplies running very low. Say you spend $1400 on a tanzanite gem inside a 14k gold ring – is that a better spend than just spending it on a gold maple leaf?

  18. metaforge: In my experience it’s way easier to liquidate precious metals than finding a buyer for gemstones. As a gemologist I know how hard it is to know for sure what you are buying is what you are getting when it comes to buying or trading gemstones.

  19. Also, if you’re looking for a metal that is very likely going to skyrocket in the upcoming years…take a look at gallium. It’s a major component in LED’s as well as in next gen field effect transistors. It has the plus of being relatively high price/volume, but the minus of being somewhat hazardous (it must be shipped hazmat). Right now the TRUE price of it is sitting at around 4200 RMB ($630) per kilogram for 99.99% pure, but the cheapest I could find for “investors” was 800/kg.

  20. @phillip thanks for the response – makes sense.

    Love the ideal of lithium, taking a look at the ETF LIT now. It would be even more attractive if it paid a dividend. Hopefully that’s in the cards going forward.

  21. metaforge:your welcome. If you have any other questions I’m monitoring this thread so just ask.

  22. You can’t forget to mention the hyperinflation of diamond (and probably most gemstones) prices by the major diamond companies by limiting the supply to market.