If you are interested in buying gold, silver, platinum, or any other precious metal there are a few things that you should know.
First of all, is where to buy your precious metals. Some banks sell precious metal but most, in smaller areas, don’t keep precious metal on hand. There is always the option of buying precious metals from larger mints. For example there is Sunshine Mint Inc., but if you cannot afford to buy a truck load or do not have a large group of friends who are interested in buying precious metals, a minting company will probably not be able to sell you small amounts of precious metal. Also most minting companies charge a fee for their refining process and certified assay notice. An assay notice is a certified card with a serial number which states that the precious metal is real and how pure the precious metal is. There is always EBay. If you are like me, and live in a small town, this may be your only source for precious metals. You can find anything on EBay, and sometimes you can find good deals on precious metals, especially silver and gold.
Second, the value of precious metal goes up and down every day. I check the prices often, and use a web site called CNN Money. There are other sites for checking the price of gold and silver, but I like this one because it also has information on commodities, currencies, bonds, stocks, and financial matters in general.
Third, do not be fooled by the troy ounce. Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum are measured in troy grains,grams, ounces, pounds, and so on. There are several different troy amounts and it can be rather confusing, see the chart below for more information:
1 troy ounce = 480 grains
1 troy ounce = 1.097 ordinary ounce
1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams
1 troy ounce = 120 carats
1 troy ounce = 155.52 metric carats (diamonds, precious stones)
12 troy ounce=1 troy pound
14.583 troy ounce =16 avoirdupois ounce (1Pound)
32.15 troy ounces = 1 kilogram (Kilo)
32,150 troy ounces = 1 metric ton (1,000 kilos)
1000 troy ounces = 31.1 kilograms
If buying gold, I have to buy in troy grams. If buying silver, I buy in troy ounces and pounds. Don’t believe any seller when they try to tell you about the price of precious metals; look for yourself and check the price of precious metals often.
If you’re buying, gold use the example price below.
Gold ($US per troy oz.) $596.40
Take $596.40, which is the current price of gold at the time this article was written, and divide it by the weight you are trying to buy. Such as, 480 grains or 31.1034768 grams this would make gold $1.2425 a grain or $19.174705253529727583380646371984 a gram. The gram is my favorite way to buy gold and I usually just use 31.103 in my math.
With silver, there is really no sense in buying anything less than a troy ounce and a troy ounce equals a troy ounce but remember a 1 troy pound equals 12 troy ounces. So use the example price below:
Silver ($US per Troy oz.) $11.97
Take $11.97, which is the current price of silver at the time this article was written, and multiply it by the weight you are trying to buy. Such as, $11.97 times 12 troy ounces this would make a troy pound of silver $143.64.
The same can be used for any precious metals such as platinum or copper.
A Couple More Tips
You can also buy hand poured precious metal, but you will only have the person’s word as to whether or not it is a pure precious metal. Some tricks people like to try are pouring copper inside their silver bars or silver inside their gold bars. If they are using similar weighted precious metals, it is very hard to catch. So, when buying precious metal, that is not processed and assay certified, only buy from people you know, trust, or are really well known.
You will, over time, learn what a bar or round of your precious metal of choice should look or feel like. Start by looking at a bar that has been assayed and get used to the size and weight of your round or bar of choice. If it is a one inch bar, be wary if it is lighter or heavier than it should be.
Older silver and gold coins may sell for more than what the current cost of silver and gold is because of their rarity. Some coins, like the African gold Krugerrand, sell only at the gold value regardless of their age.
I hope that by reading this, you are will now be armed with the information you need to start buying precious metals for fun and investments. I suggest starting out by collecting either silver or gold, because these precious metals can easily be found on EBay. Happy buying