Old Silver vs. New Gold

In these days of metal volatility – especially gold and silver, it’s interesting that, with the exception of Silver Eagles, people want old silver and new gold.

Some of the larger dealers who sell bags of silver refuse to buy modern silver coins in bulk from other dealers. They claim their customers only want old silver.

The US Mint made many coins over the years of 90% silver with a few at 40% silver. In recent years, the silver coinage consists of Silver American Eagles and the variety of commemorative coins.

But, when customers want a “bag of silver” to diversify their investment portfolio, most of them want old silver coins and do not want any modern silver commemoratives. With the recent increases in silver prices, some modern silver coins – a few uncirculated and a few proof versions – have more sales value as silver than they do in the coin marketplace.  (This is a general commentary. Both silver and gold values pulled back this week but are expected to increase again.)

However, even though the newer coinage is heavier and most likely contains more silver than a bag of old silver coins with their inherent wear, people still want the bags of old silver for their investment in silver.

Conversely, for the retirement investment accounts, the investors want nice Silver American Eagles each with their full complement of protective capsule, velvet holder, outer box and certificate of authenticity. For legal reasons, the investors do not “touch” these coins, but their investment brokerage must make sure the coins are government issued silver coinage.

Yes, some people also admire and collect the beauty of the Silver American Eagle, but this discussion focuses mainly on investments in silver and gold.

As for gold, most investors want the newer gold in the form of American Eagle or American Buffalo Gold Bullion coins. Though some people do like the gold commemoratives and foreign gold as well.

With the many varieties of old gold along with less consistency in the coining processes of yesteryear, the old gold coins are difficult to determine their authenticity. Plus, old gold such as Dahlonega gold has a premium over the price of gold bullion.

As a result, for investment diversification purposes, people prefer to collect the newer gold with the appropriate papers and boxes.

The interest in new gold is certainly understandable. But the desire for old silver still remains somewhat of a conundrum.