Buying precious metals: a beginner guide

San Diego Coin & Bullion | Michael McConnell

Buyer education is an important step in the precious metal purchasing process.

By Michael McConnell

In our current climate of economic uncertainty, many people are buying precious metals for the first time; and while some are succeeding in buying items that they want, others are ending up with purchases they don’t understand. As experienced San Diego precious metal and rare coin dealers, we hope to educate our new and returning customers — and to make what may be an unfamiliar process easier for first-time buyers. Whether you’re a hobbyist, an experienced bullion buyer or a complete novice, the following tips will help you get acquainted with the process of purchasing precious metals – and ensure that you find the products you are looking for at a fair price.

Gold and silver coins and bars are popular products for new buyers. But before making any precious metal purchase, it is important to understand the products and vendors you’ll be dealing with.  Consider the following as a “crash course” for beginning buyers:

  • Choose established dealers: Don’t launch your purchasing trip on a whim. It’s important to work with licensed, legitimate and well-established precious metals dealers who possess proper insurance and enjoy a good reputation in the collector community – so do some research, check the Better Business Bureau, and don’t hesitate to even ask dealers up front about their licensing and expertise. Most of all, consumers should feel comfortable with their chosen dealers: take the time to find a good fit, and you’ll be that much more likely to come away satisfied with your purchase.
  • Educate yourself on precious metals: A good dealer will be a wealth of information, and an invaluable resource throughout the buying process. But in order to make a successful purchase, each consumer should make it a priority to learn the basics.  Online articles, historical data sites and dealer resources are a good starting point.
  • Make informed choices: There is a significant difference between simply purchasing precious metals as a hedge and pouring money into premium collector items as a hobby. By identifying your goals before choosing a dealer, you can focus your energy on finding the items you really want – and avoid the possibility of buying something that only benefits the dealer. For example, low premium bullion items with no collector value are an ideal selection for those simply seeking to own precious metals; however, collectors may be willing to pay a higher premium for coins with substantial collector value. Knowing the difference between low premium bullion items and high premium collector coins is the key to successful purchasing.

Established expertise from San Diego’s most venerable precious metals dealer

At San Diego Coin & Bullion, we take pride in educating our customers and helping them make smart, affordable choices; and as one of the city’s oldest, largest and most well-established dealers, we guarantee custom service and budget accommodation for all our collectors and clients. We specialize in fair, honest and expert dealing – and now, we’re pleased to announce our new ownership of the historic La Jolla Coin Shop, where we hope to continue our tradition of excellence for years to come. To learn more, stop by the shop or visit us online:

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Sep 27, 2011. Filed under Columns, Michael McConnell, Sponsored Columns, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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