Buying gold coins for maximum points-generation

Old Apr 22, 16, 2:26 pm
  #1  
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Buying gold coins for maximum points-generation

Hi, I'd like to accumulate 20-50K USD in investment-grade gold coins. No particular rush, although I intend to start soon and finish in less than a year. I just want them to sit on, let's say diversification.

How would you go about doing this for maximum intrinsic coin or bullion value and maximum points generation as well? Is the US Mint the only legit game in town?

I'm sitting on an Amex Gold 75K / 5K targeted mailer I can knock back this way. I suppose I could do that with a few other opportunistic signup bonuses as I see them throughout the year. So then 5 effortless $5K spend signup bonuses over a year is the best idea I have. Is that the best I can do with 25K, possibly 50K of spend? It might be nice to mentally check out on every high-spend signup I do this year.

Buying coins on Amazon or eBay in these quantities sounds sketchy but if anyone knowledgeable has done it I'd love to hear about that (e.g., opens up Staples/Ink gift card play). I can't find anything so far from reputable retailers on AA or Alaska rewards mall, for example.

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 2:34 pm
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quite a bit of fake bars out there, US coins not as often.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 2:40 pm
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Use JM Billion, APMEX, or a similar reputable precious metals/coin dealer.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 6:46 pm
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I've seen the occasional good deal on eBay from dealers. The trick is buying at a good price. For 1 ounce coins that would be around 3-4% over the spot price of gold. Anything higher than that and I would not buy. Canadian Maple Leafs tend to have the best prices and are a good coin to buy.

I have not pulled the trigger on any deal yet because I have been able to meet minimum spend in other ways and I live outside of the USA most of the time so it's less convenient for me to do.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 7:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post
quite a bit of fake bars out there, US coins not as often.

Buy a high strength magnet to take to a dealer if buying gold coins. All you need to do is pull it out of your pocket then there is little chance they will try to pawn a fake coin off on you. Gold plated tungsten is magnetic, pure gold is not. That's more difficult for large bars as they tend to have a thicker layer of gold over the tungsten core. Read up on other methods to test gold and silver for authenticity.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 7:12 pm
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Yeah I'm thinking Buffaloes, Eagles, maple leafs, and / or krugerrands. I see apmex has an eBay store. Still feels like I should be able to generate more than just 200k worthwhile (UR etc) miles here per 25k in gold. So is ink signup / staples / eBay / apmex the best move?
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Old Apr 22, 16, 9:17 pm
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You're going to pay a bit amount over spot price for metals. So anything you buy is likely a loss from the start, then you're going to be watching currency and futures risks. Gold can easily rise and crash a few percent in a matter of minutes.

due note that full american eagles are US face of $50, if you're planning to sit on the coins for investment purposes, the best bet is likely buying futures or etf/etns that relate to the pricing.
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Old Apr 22, 16, 11:09 pm
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Originally Posted by philip0 View Post
Hi, I'd like to accumulate 20-50K USD in investment-grade gold coins. No particular rush, although I intend to start soon and finish in less than a year. I just want them to sit on, let's say diversification.

How would you go about doing this for maximum intrinsic coin or bullion value and maximum points generation as well? Is the US Mint the only legit game in town?

I'm sitting on an Amex Gold 75K / 5K targeted mailer I can knock back this way. I suppose I could do that with a few other opportunistic signup bonuses as I see them throughout the year. So then 5 effortless $5K spend signup bonuses over a year is the best idea I have. Is that the best I can do with 25K, possibly 50K of spend? It might be nice to mentally check out on every high-spend signup I do this year.

Buying coins on Amazon or eBay in these quantities sounds sketchy but if anyone knowledgeable has done it I'd love to hear about that (e.g., opens up Staples/Ink gift card play). I can't find anything so far from reputable retailers on AA or Alaska rewards mall, for example.

Thanks for any ideas.
what is buy - sell price diff? the point cost and whats point value for your specific point use?
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Old Apr 23, 16, 1:05 am
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OP, don't do it dude. Please, don't do it.
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Old Apr 23, 16, 7:33 am
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I started collecting coins many years ago. The ones I bought from ebay are the NGC graded presidential spouse series when there was a discount going on then and average amount I paid then was $375 to $400 each (their prices have more than doubled now depending on their rarity). I have a business contact in HK who also collects coins and I've sold some of my duplicates to her when we went there on vacation. Without discounts on ebay, I buy the graded buffaloes, maple leaf, krugerrands, etc from a reputable local dealer. If you notice, I buy the graded ones mainly for the numismatic value, the metal value is just secondary to me.
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Old Apr 23, 16, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by traveler9020 View Post
OP, don't do it dude. Please, don't do it.
Ya OP, what is your math?
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Old Apr 23, 16, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by davef139 View Post
You're going to pay a bit amount over spot price for metals. So anything you buy is likely a loss from the start, then you're going to be watching currency and futures risks. Gold can easily rise and crash a few percent in a matter of minutes.

due note that full american eagles are US face of $50, if you're planning to sit on the coins for investment purposes, the best bet is likely buying futures or etf/etns that relate to the pricing.
Originally Posted by traveler9020 View Post
OP, don't do it dude. Please, don't do it.
Originally Posted by prasha11 View Post
Ya OP, what is your math?
The logic here is to own a touch of gold in physical form. I'm not looking to flip it next time the market ticks up, I'm looking to hold it for portfolio diversification (and liquidity diversification) for probably 20-30 years. I am intimately familiar with the futures and ETP markets but I don't want paper exposure, I want physical gold as bullion or its equivalent.

IRA-eligible bundles sell for a modest premium over spot; I would still be crossing the spread if I bought a bunch of GLD instead; the small % dealer premiums don't bother me because of my time horizon.

With the advantage that I'm in no hurry and don't see gold prices tripling overnight for any reason, the ability (constraint, maybe) to accumulate a retail-sized position in small increments, and no expectation of a profit in the near future, I figured generating a few hundred thousand points for my trouble would be a fun perk.
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Old Apr 23, 16, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
I started collecting coins many years ago. The ones I bought from ebay are the NGC graded presidential spouse series when there was a discount going on then and average amount I paid then was $375 to $400 each (their prices have more than doubled now depending on their rarity). I have a business contact in HK who also collects coins and I've sold some of my duplicates to her when we went there on vacation. Without discounts on ebay, I buy the graded buffaloes, maple leaf, krugerrands, etc from a reputable local dealer. If you notice, I buy the graded ones mainly for the numismatic value, the metal value is just secondary to me.
Thank you, this is very helpful feedback. I collected coins as a kid but for this purpose I have no ability or inclination to break out a numismatic component of the coin valuation. To the extent that coins sell for a small premium over spot or brick bullion I view that as a convenience fee, rent on a Mint's brand goodwill, future liquidation advantage. I think I like the Buffaloes/Maples/Krugerrands even more by your logic because the numismatic premium over metal value isn't outrageous. The CC payment premium over bank transfer is pretty much identical to the coin's metal premium over spot.

How easy do you find it to travel with coins? My girlfriend laughed at me when I told her it would be way easier to travel with 100K in gold coins than a stack of paper currency. "What are we, 19th century gypsies sewing coins into our clothes?"

Nice pickup on the first spouse sets! How often do those promotional discounts come up?
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Old Apr 23, 16, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by prasha11 View Post
what is buy - sell price diff? the point cost and whats point value for your specific point use?
I should have been clearer. This isn't a Mint arbitrage. Consider my request rephrased this way: I have 20-50K in natural but entirely discretionary spend I intend to use for points generation. Modest inefficiency is OK due to the nature of the transaction. Due to the cards my household doesn't already have, I would be looking at some combination of Chase Ink, AmEx Gold, and miscellaneous other TBD higher-spend card signups. Perhaps something from Citi, where I'm underweight. Are GC and related strategies worth employing here to bump up the signup bonus earning rate? I prefer UR or MR points but AA, AS, UA, Hyatt, and Marriot are also desirable.
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Old Apr 23, 16, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Typhoonpilot View Post
I've seen the occasional good deal on eBay from dealers. The trick is buying at a good price. For 1 ounce coins that would be around 3-4% over the spot price of gold. Anything higher than that and I would not buy. Canadian Maple Leafs tend to have the best prices and are a good coin to buy.

I have not pulled the trigger on any deal yet because I have been able to meet minimum spend in other ways and I live outside of the USA most of the time so it's less convenient for me to do.
Thanks, yes, this is consistent with what I've seen elsewhere. Also a totally new idea for me, it just so happens owning a little gold makes sense for me right now and coins are a pretty ideal way to get the exposure. It's only dawning on me now what a big difference shrewd coin selection can make, though. I was only thinking of it as more of a convenience premium than even a minor upside kicker.

The way the dealer and Mint pricing tiers work, it seems like it makes the most sense to buy like 4-5 each of Eagles, Buffaloes, Kruggerands, Maple Leafs, wait around opportunistically for discount programs, and then decide where to concentrate the rest of it.
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