What would you do with some bulk silver?

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texasdiver
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What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:20 pm

Not sure if this is a "personal investments" or consumer question.

My parents are downsizing in prep for moving into a retirement community and my dad showed up the other day with a box of some bulk silver. Some silver bars and some plastic tubes of old "junk" silver dollars that he bought a LONG time ago when holding silver was a "thing". He wants to pass it down to my kids.

Other than toss it into the safe and forget about it I'm not sure what to do with this stuff. It's maybe 10 lbs total, although I haven't weighed it. Some small bars and maybe 50 old silver dollars.

Any suggestions? My inclination is to cash it out and drop it into their 529 plans. But I'm not even sure how to do that.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by moehoward » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:24 pm

I inherited all my parents Silver and eventually sold it. IMHO, sell it and put into a 529.

Whakamole
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Whakamole » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:27 pm

You could take it to a local coin store, but chances are they will pay under spot.

There are some old bars/coins that are collectors items due to the mint going out of business or no longer producing (Johnson Matthey), or just because older dated coins can have premiums like older American Eagles. The local coin store will probably not pay you any more for these, but they'll certainly mark them up.

For that much silver you can try one of the online coin stores like Apmex who will probably pay you closer to their actual value.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Mike Scott » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:36 pm

What does "pass it down" mean to dad? It might mean holding the stuff as is to pass on or it might mean cashing it out and passing on the money.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by livesoft » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:47 pm

Ah, the ol' parents gave me an albatross to hang around my neck.

Your dad is an adult. Tell him to sell the silver or donate it to charity. You don't want it and you don't need it. He's got to man-up and get rid of it himself, so if you've got it now, give it back to him.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Ged » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:48 pm

Did he have records on how much he paid for it? Profits on the sale of precious metal are taxable.

If not it might be better if it was passed to you as part of his estate which would re-set the basis.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by PVW » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:50 pm

10 pounds of silver is worth about $2000, depending on purity. If your dad wants your kids to have the actual silver, then just keep it. Might not be the best investment, but it satisfies the wishes of the giver and tangible wealth like coins might serve to increase your kids' interest in learning about investing.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:56 pm

How old are your kids? If old enough, it might be a fun and educational project for them to do some online research of the individual pieces, and determine what they are worth.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:01 pm

How close is grandpa to the kids. Maybe he wants the kids to have something to remember him by. Old folks have done stranger things than give silver for remembrances.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by prudent » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:04 pm

Morgan silver dollars (1878-1921) should bring $12-$14 each, or more if they are in better condition ( = less wear, no damage). Peace dollars (1921-1935) around $10 each. Of course if there are any rare dates, the price will be higher.

Silver bars will sell for maybe $1-$2/ounce under spot price.

Don't use pounds when referring to weights of precious metals because it can be too confusing. Precious metals use troy pounds which are 12 troy ounces, not 16 like almost everything else. An ounce of silver is always 1 troy ounce. It's just that it's never clear what someone means by "pound of silver" - is that 12 or 16 ounces?

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by 123 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:05 pm

I'm interested in this thread. I've got a metal tin with maybe 100 pretty worn out silver dollars from the 1920/1930's that my parents asked to give to their grandchildren. I've yet to go through them and see if there are any numismatic gems, but I doubt it. I'm very tempted to just hold onto a couple of the best looking silver dollars as a remenbrance and sell the rest and invest the proceeds for the grandchildren in a Total Market fund. The kids looked at the coins for 5 or 10 minutes when they were in their early teens and then lost interest, it seems nobody is interested in collecting "things" anymore, likely just as well.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:06 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:36 pm
What does "pass it down" mean to dad? It might mean holding the stuff as is to pass on or it might mean cashing it out and passing on the money.
There's no sentimental value. He got caught up in the silver craze in the early 80s (or whenever that was) and bought a bunch. Since then it's just been in a box in the closet and he wants rid of it. He knows it was a stupid investment now and is more or less a boglehead although he doesn't read this forum. But he's all in Vanguard index funds now. He's not going to care one way or the other and if it goes towards their college education even a little bit so much the better. Girls are MS, HS, and college age now. None of them are particularly interested in silver as an investment or educational opportunity.

Giving it to the granddaughters is just an easy way to be rid of it and avoid having to track down a legitimate place to sell it.

The 10 lbs is just a wild guestimate of what the box weighs if put on a kitchen scale. So maybe 150 ounces give or take.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Mike Scott » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:10 pm

Then take the lot to a couple of coin dealers to see if any of the coins are interesting and pawnshops for buying quotes and sell to the highest offer.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Whakamole » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:17 pm

You could also take photos and post it to forums - not here, but there's Reddit (Silverbugs), plus a lot of forums primarily for gold fans but who have silver forums as well. You might even get a few offers.

Something similar happened to me once, it was a curious "what is this?" and after getting flooded with offers to buy it, figured something was up.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:17 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:10 pm
Then take the lot to a couple of coin dealers to see if any of the coins are interesting and pawnshops for buying quotes and sell to the highest offer.
I seriously doubt that there are any coins that are rare or have numismatic value because I know for certain that he bought them all back in the 80s as "junk" silver dollars from local coin shops, so someone had already culled out anything that was unique or had other value. These aren't coins that my grandfather squirreled away in the 1930s or something like that. Just ordinary silver investment coins that my dad bought for that purpose in the early 1980s or late 1970s...back whenever everyone was buying silver.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:22 pm

I've sold junk silver to a local bullion and coin dealer and to a guy I found on craigslist. I looked into selling to Apmex but was too concerned about sending $1000 worth of coins in the mail. If you do decide you want to sell to Apmex, you need to sell them a minimum of $1000 worth. If you tell them the approximate weight of the bars and the face value of the 90% silver, they'll give you a price over the phone. That's nice in that you can always use that as a backstop and then just go to local coin dealers.

I tried coin shows and dealers there paid the absolute least (asked 20 different dealers) of anyone. Where I could get (at the time) $11.50 per $ face with the craigslist guy, my bullion dealer paid $10.50 and the best a coin show guy would do was $7.50.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:26 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:20 pm
Not sure if this is a "personal investments" or consumer question.

My parents are downsizing in prep for moving into a retirement community and my dad showed up the other day with a box of some bulk silver. Some silver bars and some plastic tubes of old "junk" silver dollars that he bought a LONG time ago when holding silver was a "thing". He wants to pass it down to my kids.

Other than toss it into the safe and forget about it I'm not sure what to do with this stuff. It's maybe 10 lbs total, although I haven't weighed it. Some small bars and maybe 50 old silver dollars.

Any suggestions? My inclination is to cash it out and drop it into their 529 plans. But I'm not even sure how to do that.
I agree with the advice above. Take the time to make sure some of the older coins aren't worth more than their inherent value in silver weight, then sell off whatever is left and invest it for your children's future needs.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by wstrdg » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:31 pm

Prices vary wildly among silver dealers, so phone ahead for a current quote and compare. Pawnshops and coin collectors tend to pay less than bullion dealers.

Grandma left her sterling silverware set to our daughter. Grandpa left her several generic silver coins (one-ounce pieces). We took the whole lot to a local bullion dealer and left with several hundred dollars. It was a fun afternoon -- the dealer was entertaining and willing to teach us as he tested and weighed the items. In fact, it was so much fun that we were inspired to sort through the family coin jar for mercury dimes, old quarters, etc. We made a second trip to our friendly bullion dealer and left with enough cash to buy lunch for three (ramen noodles, but still)!

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by One Ping » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:32 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:56 pm
How old are your kids? If old enough, it might be a fun and educational project for them to do some online research of the individual pieces, and determine what they are worth.
I think this is a great idea!

When I was a kid I collected coins and found it fascinating to think about and investigate what was going when the coins were minted. Kind of a self-paced study of history.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Peter Foley » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:38 pm

If he retained a receipt for purchase he could potentially sell them for a loss.

Otherwise I would sell it all except for a couple coins to pass along to the kids as historical pieces. I like the idea of having the kids do the research and holding on to a couple the most valuable. A good educational exercise.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by oldmotos » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:54 pm

That is a nice gift for your kids!
My Dad worked for the March of Dimes Foundation in the late 1960's and I used to sort through the dimes and quarters and buy the 1964 and older 90% silver ones. In the 80's a local guy was paying 20 times face value for silver coins so I brought him a box full but he had just lowered his price to 18 times face value. I still have that box of silver!

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by One Ping » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:00 pm

oldmotos wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:54 pm
In the 80's a local guy was paying 20 times face value for silver coins so I brought him a box full but he had just lowered his price to 18 times face value. I still have that box of silver!
I remember those days when the Hunt's were trying to corner the silver market. Have not seen prices like that since then!
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:47 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:36 pm
What does "pass it down" mean to dad? It might mean holding the stuff as is to pass on or it might mean cashing it out and passing on the money.
+1. It means most likely to hold it and give it to them one day so they remember their grandfather.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:59 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:47 pm
Mike Scott wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:36 pm
What does "pass it down" mean to dad? It might mean holding the stuff as is to pass on or it might mean cashing it out and passing on the money.
+1. It means most likely to hold it and give it to them one day so they remember their grandfather.
I looked at silver prices and they seem pretty mediocre right now. Since it's not an enormous amount I think what I'm going to do is just put their names on it and stick it back in the safe and then some day years from now when one of them comes to me for this or that need I can say..."hey, remember that silver your grandfather left you? Let's pull it out and see what it is worth today" If silver was up to $50/oz or something like that right now I might feel differently.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:02 pm

If he wants you to keep it and treasure it forever and pass it on to your kids so that they can do the same, that falls under the category of "hoarding by proxy" and you should hand it back to him.

If he is ok with selling it, but just can't muster the energy to get it done, then you can thank him for the gift and start doing the research to sell it, and include your kids in the process. Maybe keep a coin or two for the stories, but sell the rest and put it in their 529s. Finding out how much work it is to sell collectibles might help them avoid collecting stuff.
Last edited by NotWhoYouThink on Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Watty » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:11 pm

Peter Foley wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:38 pm
If he retained a receipt for purchase he could potentially sell them for a loss.
If he has a loss he can deduct up to $3,000 a year in these capital losses against his ordinary income and cary any additional losses forward to use then in future years.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:17 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:11 pm
Peter Foley wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:38 pm
If he retained a receipt for purchase he could potentially sell them for a loss.
If he has a loss he can deduct up to $3,000 a year in these capital losses against his ordinary income and cary any additional losses forward to use then in future years.
I would be astonished if he had receipts going back that far. He was a teacher and not a sophisticated investor so most of his current income is teaching pension, social security and RMD from IRAs. I don't think it's even worth the effort to mess with. Their current income with both their pensions, social security and RMDs is about double what they actually spend so they are just saving a big chunk of their retirement income because they have nothing to spend it on.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by climber2020 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:00 pm

I sold some gold and silver recently to Midwest Refineries. Heard about them here on bogleheads and had a good experience.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Rwsawbones » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:01 pm

If you have a friend who collects coins you should have that person look at the coins. Some even well worn silver coins have significant numismatic value. One of my most valuable coins is a well circulated 1893 S $ which is a high 4 figure coin. Of course rare coins are rare but a collector can spot them for you. Dealers make most of their money on their purchases since they often buy from people who do not know the value of their coins but sell to knowledgeable collectors.

After ascertaining the value of the coins you could do worse than handing down the coins with a black and white photo of your dad and of you your grandchildren when they are old enough to appreciate family history.

Some of the above post is the answer to which weighs more a pound of silver or a pound of feathers. A Troy ounce is close to an avoirdupois once but clearly a pound of feathers weighs more than a pound of silver by about 4 ounces

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:16 pm

I have collection of pure silver audio wires. They makes me happy when I listening to music through them.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:43 pm

I have heard that APMEX will give a quote on the phone, but then when they receive the metal will call you with some excuse about how it’s damaged and they can’t give you as much, and you can either pay for postage to get it back or take the reduced amount. Even the slightly reduced rate will still be better than the scammy coin dealers or pawn shops. I’ve sold to Midwest Refineries (http://www.midwestrefineries.com/silver.htm) a number of years ago and would recommend them.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by alter » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:05 pm

FlyingMoose wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:43 pm
I have heard that APMEX will give a quote on the phone, but then when they receive the metal will call you with some excuse about how it’s damaged and they can’t give you as much, and you can either pay for postage to get it back or take the reduced amount. Even the slightly reduced rate will still be better than the scammy coin dealers or pawn shops. I’ve sold to Midwest Refineries (http://www.midwestrefineries.com/silver.htm) a number of years ago and would recommend them.
I would honestly just put it up for auction on ebay before selling it to APMEX. You'll get a better price from someone who actually wants to buy it to keep it, rather than a reseller.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Kenkat » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:35 pm

I’d stick it in the safe and forget about it, but as my kids would tell you, I ain’t quite right when it comes to coins.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by welderwannabe » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:37 am

FlyingMoose wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:43 pm
I have heard that APMEX will give a quote on the phone, but then when they receive the metal will call you with some excuse about how it’s damaged and they can’t give you as much, and you can either pay for postage to get it back or take the reduced amount. Even the slightly reduced rate will still be better than the scammy coin dealers or pawn shops. I’ve sold to Midwest Refineries (http://www.midwestrefineries.com/silver.htm) a number of years ago and would recommend them.
I have bought and sold to APMEX over the years and they have been nothing but honest. The check they sent me has never diverged from their initial quote.

Bear in mind I was selling bars and Silver Eagles and not a bunch of old coins, so that might make a difference.
I am not an investment professional, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:52 am

alter wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:05 pm
FlyingMoose wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:43 pm
I have heard that APMEX will give a quote on the phone, but then when they receive the metal will call you with some excuse about how it’s damaged and they can’t give you as much, and you can either pay for postage to get it back or take the reduced amount. Even the slightly reduced rate will still be better than the scammy coin dealers or pawn shops. I’ve sold to Midwest Refineries (http://www.midwestrefineries.com/silver.htm) a number of years ago and would recommend them.
I would honestly just put it up for auction on ebay before selling it to APMEX. You'll get a better price from someone who actually wants to buy it to keep it, rather than a reseller.
This *might* get you the most money. But beware of the usual eBay crap. My bullion dealer tells me that he does this with numismatic coins and gets scammed out of 10% of his sales regularly, so prices accordingly. If you're doing just one sale, be ready for a buyer to open the box from the bottom and take out the coins and then fill it with rocks......then video'ing unboxing from the top, filing a claim with eBay and paypal and winning. Buyers pretty much always win.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:50 am

This is a reply I meant for this thread that I erroneously put in a different thread a couple days ago. Some of you might have already seen it in the other thread...

"This is the second thread in the past 2 or 3 weeks where a father or grandfather has given directions of what he wants done with his money or materials, and the person entrusted to carry out his wishes comes here to seek out other options. Why not just do what he asked you to do period. You don't have to agree with it, just do what you've been entrusted to do."
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:03 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:50 am
This is a reply I meant for this thread that I erroneously put in a different thread a couple days ago. Some of you might have already seen it in the other thread...

"This is the second thread in the past 2 or 3 weeks where a father or grandfather has given directions of what he wants done with his money or materials, and the person entrusted to carry out his wishes comes here to seek out other options. Why not just do what he asked you to do period. You don't have to agree with it, just do what you've been entrusted to do."
Um....my Dad doesn't give a rip if we keep the silver or sell it and put the proceeds in their college funds or whatever we want to do. These aren't family heirlooms. Just some junk silver he bought back when it was more of a thing and wants to be rid of the easiest way possible which is pass on to his grandkids. He's got tons of old tools and other stuff he's starting to unload on Craigslist as well. I didn't want any of the tools (got too many of my own) but am happy to take the silver off his hands on behalf of my daughters.

Now my mother-in-law and her collection of heirloom china passed down from her mother and grandmother? That's a whole different conversation. My wife has already informed me that we will need to buy a display cabinet and put it in our house someplace as that is pretty much going to be a condition of getting my mother-in-law to downsize and move into a more appropriate living situation when that day comes.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:12 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:03 pm
cheese_breath wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:50 am
This is a reply I meant for this thread that I erroneously put in a different thread a couple days ago. Some of you might have already seen it in the other thread...

"This is the second thread in the past 2 or 3 weeks where a father or grandfather has given directions of what he wants done with his money or materials, and the person entrusted to carry out his wishes comes here to seek out other options. Why not just do what he asked you to do period. You don't have to agree with it, just do what you've been entrusted to do."
Um....my Dad doesn't give a rip if we keep the silver or sell it and put the proceeds in their college funds or whatever we want to do. These aren't family heirlooms. Just some junk silver he bought back when it was more of a thing and wants to be rid of the easiest way possible which is pass on to his grandkids. He's got tons of old tools and other stuff he's starting to unload on Craigslist as well. I didn't want any of the tools (got too many of my own) but am happy to take the silver off his hands on behalf of my daughters.

Now my mother-in-law and her collection of heirloom china passed down from her mother and grandmother? That's a whole different conversation. My wife has already informed me that we will need to buy a display cabinet and put it in our house someplace as that is pretty much going to be a condition of getting my mother-in-law to downsize and move into a more appropriate living situation when that day comes.
You might consider revising this statement in your original post: “He wants to pass it down to my kids”. I read that in a specific way also, but as I said, I am a coin guy.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:47 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:20 pm
Not sure if this is a "personal investments" or consumer question.
This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (collectible).

I purchased 25 oz of silver bars as a 25th anniversary gift to my husband (silver is the 25th). It's worth less today than when I bought it. My husband is a coin collector and loved the gift very much. Those bars will not be sold.
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by RootSki » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:51 pm

“Junk” silver really isn’t junk. It’s just a term applied to money that had real silver in it.

Make sure you get ~90% of silvers spot price when you sell it.

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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by bhsince87 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:51 pm

You might also consider having a few turned into rings for the children. Google "coin rings" or check etsy. It's amazing what skilled folks can do with those coins!
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Re: What would you do with some bulk silver?

Post by obgraham » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:17 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:47 pm
texasdiver wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:20 pm
Not sure if this is a "personal investments" or consumer question.
This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (collectible).

I purchased 25 oz of silver bars as a 25th anniversary gift to my husband (silver is the 25th). It's worth less today than when I bought it. My husband is a coin collector and loved the gift very much. Those bars will not be sold.
Interesting. Wife did that for me also, 25th anniversary, 25 years ago.
This year is our 50th.
We are looking to sell the silver off!

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