Why did you create this website?
I’ve been studying silver and the other precious metals for years, and wish to share what I’ve learned with others. I grew weary of all the websites about silver investing which give very little actual useful information, and try to dupe people into paying for their investment advice or newsletter (usually delivered with a healthy dose of targeted spam). My website is 100% free and I will never ask you to pay me for information that is available to anyone. Do your own research, and keep an open mind as you read the ideas presented on this website. There is minimal downside to owning silver – it will never be worth zero, and the fundamentals of silver are as strong as they have ever been in human history.
What is fiat currency and why is it so bad?
Fiat currency is money declared by a government to be legal tender, which is neither legally convertible to any other thing, nor has any intrinsic value. The US dollar was taken off the gold standard in 1971. Since then, the dollar is backed by nothing but debt. We live in unprecedented times in that every major global currency is fiat; backed by nothing. Every fiat currency in the history of the world as eventually become worth ZERO, with an average lifespan of only 40 years, and no one fiat currency has lasted as long as 100 years — they all fail. In 2011, the fiat USD turned 40 years old.
I heard that the federal reserve is not part of the US government. Is this true?
Yes, this is completely true – the Federal Reserve is no more a part of the US government than Federal Express. The Federal Reserve is a private entity, whose shareholders are powerful private banks who control the money supply of the US, and by default the whole world (because the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency – for now). (watch as former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan admits the Fed is above the law and answers to no one.)
Is it true that silver is actually more rare than gold?
Yes, and no. In terms of actual silver deposits in the earth, there are varying estimates, but most agree there is about 10-20 times more silver than gold in rock deposits on Earth. However, most of the silver that has been mined has been used up in industry or other non-recoverable forms. In terms of physical silver investment bullion and coins, silver is much more rare than gold, and is becoming more so every day as silver bullion is melted for industrial use. The World Gold Council estimates around 4-5 billion ounces of investment gold bullion exist in the world today. Per the Silver Institute and other sources, about 0.5-1 billion ounces of investment silver bullion exist above ground today.
Where should I store my precious metals?
A safety deposit box at your local bank can be a safe place to store precious metals. Beware however that metals stored in this manner are subject to government confiscation. Silver is also not as dense a storage of wealth as gold in terms of value per square foot of storage space, so you may run into storage space issues in a safety deposit box. Many choose to keep their silver at home in a safe. Some even bury their metals like modern-day pirates, stuffing it in water-tight containers and burying it several feet deep “50 paces east of the dead-man’s tree on the back 40.”
Is silver a liquid asset? How easily will I be able to sell my silver if I had to?
Yes, silver can easily be converted into fiat currency from almost any coin dealer or pawn shop in the world. You can also sell it to large online bullion dealers, or on eBay. Coin and bullion dealers will gladly buy your silver so they can turn around and sell it to the next guy who comes in for a small profit. You will want to get as close to spot price as possible when you sell your silver. People throughout history have fallen back to silver as money in times of fiat money collapse, and they will do so again. Perhaps you will never have to “sell” your silver, but simply “spend” it to buy what you need, much as you do currently with paper money.
MrSilverAG – I’ve also answered dozens of silver-related questions on Yahoo Answers. You can see my answers marked “Best Answer” by askers of many silver related questions by checking my Yahoo answers profile. Below are a few examples I’ve re-posted.
How do I go about selling physical silver?
I inherited a “monster box” silver set from a relative. Silver is currently (as of 4/14/2011) at roughly $40.00 an ounce, which, I think, makes this worth around $20,000. Im curious how one would go about selling this.
Of course I would suggest you hold onto it, because this bull market in silver has only just begun. I expect triple-digit prices for silver in the next few years, and higher than $50 this year.
But if you must sell, you should probably sell to a reputable dealer who will give you proper value. If you take it to a shady pawn shop or coin dealer he might try to pay you less than melt value for your coins, and silver eagles command a premium over spot.
Apmex, for example, will pay you nearly $2/ounce over spot for your eagles.
How to buy silver on paper(non physical)?
You can invest in silver ETFs like the iShares SLV or Eric Sprott’s physical-silver backed funed PSLV.
Just be warned that some ETFs like SLV probably are not backed completely by physical metal.
Gold or Silver – Which one is better performing in the future, and why?
Silver has outperformed gold by a large margin in the last year+, and I believe this will continue. The gold/silver ratio has plummeted from the 80s, down through the 50s and now is in the high 30s. This means it is taking less and less silver ounces to buy 1 ounce of gold.
The historic ratio is 16 to 1, where it stayed for hundreds of years. It is only in the last 150 years or so that demonetization and manipulation of the silver market has led to this being out of whack. Many precious metals experts like myself, David Morgan, Mike Maloney, Peter Schiff and others believe the gold silver ratio will continue to drop back to the historic 16 to 1 ratio, and may in fact surpass it.
Silver may one day be valued higher than gold, like platinum is today. This is because the world is running out of silver. Silver, unlike gold, is used in countless consumer electronics products and other industrial uses and is discarded. The US geological society said we are on pace to run out of silver by the year 2020.
How can you tell if a Tiffany sterling silver candy dish is real?
Sterling silver is generally marked ‘925’ or .925 somewhere on it, which yours is. This indicates it is a solid piece of sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) – not just cheap metal that has been silver plated.
Tiffany & Co is a well known and respected producer of sterling silver pieces. I would not worry about your piece’s authenticity. If you are still suspicious, an antiques appraiser, jeweler or pawn shop could verify with a nitric acid test, but this involves scratching the piece somewhere to break through any possible silver plating and expose the base metal, if any.
Whats the physical appearance of the element silver?
Silver is highly reflective – in fact its the most reflective of all materials, which is why it is used to make mirrors.
Natural/elemental silver is sometimes found in crystal-like formations.
What would happen if we don’t have silver?
The world as we know it would not exist ! All electronics use silver. Here is just a few of the uses of silver just in your car alone :
- starter switch
- braking system
- power steering
- electronic door locks, windows, mirrors, seat controls
- satellite navigation
- window defrost
- stereo system
- other electronic accessories and components of the engine
Now think of all the silver in every cell phone, ipod, tv, solar panel, etc.. It is everywhere, and the world is running out of silver! That is what makes silver a great investment, and its why silver is hitting 31 year highs in price.
Why does some silver sound different?
While most silver will give a distinctive “ring” tone, the process that was utilized to create one particular bar or another is different, and the physical characteristics will change the specific tone each one may produce. Older poured bars may have air pockets which can affect the sound they make when tapped.
Also some large bars like the 100 oz Royal Canadian Mint bars are known to not make a ping sound like most silver, despite being .9999 pure silver. Here is a video of this in action –
Here is a video of a Johnson Matthey bar which doesn’t ping, but when cut in half was revealed to be pure silver –
If you’d like to ask a question for addition to this page, please contact Mr. Silver or ask in a comment below.