Two More Letters Re: How to Buy Silver?

Regarding your reply to Jerry T., who was interested in purchasing junk silver… For those of us who can’t afford (or don’t wish to purchase) $1,000 bags, there is an alternative: eBay. Search for “silver dime roll” (or a similar search phrase for other denominations) and you’ll find tons of them for sale. To simplify the bidding process, use eSnipe ( The usual caveats of buying on eBay apply: always check the seller’s feedbacks [number and ratio of positives], and things that sound to good to be true usually are, etc. However, I’ve done a number of silver transactions and have so far never had a problem. (He said, knocking on wood). The up side is that for each buy, except one that I’ve made, the cost, including shipping and insurance, has been less than the spot price of silver for the content of the roll. Being a frugal sort, I like that. – The Freeholder


I feel you have helped give us all a heads up on how to go about, and who to contact in regard to precious metal investing. I have one looming question.
Let’s say we purchase our silver at a price far less than the anticipated high. What, when, or how should we consider selling, what would be the strategy? Do we “cash out”, or do we actually just ride the wave? I think there are several answers to this question that I would love to hear. In the scenario of a dollar collapse,…. I find it hard to find value in selling at a high when the dollar will only lose it’s value on the other side of the collapse. Any insight would be valuable.
Thanks, -The Wanderer

JWR Replies:  I recommend that you use two methodologies to purchase and maintain two distinct hoards of silver, and that your do not co-mingle them:

1.)  Your designated “barter” silver stockpile. The barter portion of your silver stockpile should be in small divisible units, ideally pre-1965 90% U.S. silver dimes.  (Or the country specific equivalent, for our foreign readers.) That “barter” silver should be considered a core holding, and never sold for the sheer sake of profit. If you don’t ever have to use it for barter, then count you blessings and just pass it along to your children or grandchildren so that they will will have something to use for the same purpose.  As previously mentioned, if you can afford it, I recommend buying one $1,000 face value bag for each member of your family.

2.)  Your designated “investment” silver stockpile.  The best way to buy this–with the lowest dealer premium per ounce–is serial number stamped 100 ounce bars, from a well-known maker such as Englehard, A-Mark, or Johnson-Matthey. This stockpile is designed as a time machine to protect your wealth from one side of an currency crisis to the other.  You buy it in current day dollars. After a currency collapse has come and gone, when a new stable currency (hopefully backed by something other than hot air) is issued, then you can convert part or all of your investment silver stockpile into the new currency.  Odds are that most if not all of your original purchasing power will be preserved by this method.  Leaving your money invested in dollar-denominated investments –and I do mean any dollar-denominated investments–for the next 30 years will be disastrous. This is because the currency unit itself represents the biggest risk. In the long run–like all other un-backed fiat currencies–the U.S. dollar will end up like the Zimbabwean dollar–inflated away to nothing  Call me old-fashioned, but I put my trust in God and I invest my money in tangibles. (Such as productive farm land, gold, silver, and durable tools like guns.)

The old “wait until it doubles and then sell half” strategy is sound, but look at the long term “big picture.”  If the currency unit itself is doomed, then you may want to wait a long time before you sell the other half of your investment silver.