Frequently Asked Questions
Why do the bullion coins cost more than the current spot price of the metal?
The Mint does not smelt their own metal. Instead, it purchases the metal blanks (planchets) from an outside vendor. This purchase creates the first cost component in what we call the coins 'premium', that is, the cost of the coin over spot. Then the Mint needs to manufacture the raw planchets into coins. This manufacturing process then creates the second component of the coins premium. The American Gold Eagle and the Silver Eagle bullion coins are not sold directly to the public by the United States Mint. In order to provide effective and efficient distribution the Mint utilizes a network of Authorized Purchasers to distribute the coins. Authorized Purchasers must order a minimum of 25,000 coins which they then sell to secondary retailers that sell them, in turn, to the public. This purchase, storage and distribution of the coins by the Authorized Purchasers and retailers then creates the third cost component to the coins premium. On average, an end purchaser can expect to pay anywhere from $150 - $175 premium above spot for the 1oz Gold Eagle and from $5 - $7 over spot for 1oz Silver Eagles. The coins premium is a natural component to take the precious metal from its raw form to an end product in the hands of the consumer. Keep in mind that this premium is usually recovered at the time you sell your coins to the next owner as all coins will carry a premium over spot.
What is the proper way to handle and store bullion coins?
Although gold is almost impervious to tarnishing or damage from handling, we do recommend only handling the coins with cotton gloves to avoid any smudging or scratching. Unlike gold however, silver will tarnish. When handling silver coins, be sure to always use cotton gloves and we recommend that the coins be stored in air tight mint containers. These mint containers are available for purchase from us for a small fee.
What are these white spots / stains on my silver bullion coins and how did they get there?
The spotting is random and can appear as a single spot, multiple spots or in large blotches on a silver coin. These spots are referred to as milk spots as the color of the spots resemble white milk. Rest assured, these are not caused by anyone in the distribution chain or by any mishandling by you. This spotting phenomenon seems to have something to do with the way the planchets are prepared or washed before striking at the Mint. The Mint is aware of this issue and is working to avoid this issue with future mintings. The spots in no way effect the value of the raw silver in the coin, it is simply a cosmetic flaw.
Can't I just buy my precious metals on-line cheap?
You can. But of course you take all of the risk. There have been multiple on-line bullion dealers that require your money up front and then have filed bankruptcy or simply have not been able to deliver your metals timely. Check the news headlines on the web and then check the BBB complaints that rack up on these companies. They seem to follow a similar pattern, first the delivery times get longer and longer until they eventually fold completely. Read about the horror stories of those who thought they were buying precious metals only to discover later that they were only gold or silver plated and not real bullion. Do you want to put your money at risk in the hands of people you have never even met?
At Matlyn, we assay each and every coin to assure 100% authenticity when it arrives in our offices and then we seal and safely store the coins until they are delivered to you in person. When you buy from Matlyn Gold and Silver, you can be assured that what you are putting in your safe is authentic.