Precious Metals Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
|Q||Do dealers buy bullion back at the same price they sell it?|
|A||No, the “spread,” or difference between the buying and selling prices allows dealers to stay in business and is much the same as when banks charge more interest for loans than they pay for savings accounts. The precious metals bullion business is a very competitive one, and the profit margin, or spread, is very small compared to almost any other inventory business. Northwest Territorial Mint is determined to provide the narrowest spread possible for the bullion-buying public.|
|Q||Will I pay duty if I purchase from Canada?|
|A||Precious Metals that are .999 fine shipped to Canada are not subject to Duty or NAFTA fees or GST. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Canadian purchase questions. Here are some documents that may assist you:
Canadian Customs Tariff - Schedule (pdf) This publication from the Canadian Border Services Agency contains the section that contains the tarriff rates on precious metals products.
BC PST tax document (pdf) This publication from the BC Ministry explains taxation status for bullion.
NAFTA Certificate of Origin (Word) This is the official NAFTA publication provided for convenience.
NAFTA Certificate of Origin (Word) This is a completed sample with explanations and instructions.
|Q||Will you buy back my bullion if the market price goes way up?|
|A||Absolutely. When bullion prices go up, that just means that bullion demand has increased and prices are higher relative to the dollar. We buy bullion at those higher prices because our customers will be paying us higher prices. The bullion markets are very simple: prices are simply re-adjusted in terms of how many dollars will buy an ounce based on the supply and demand in the world market. Every day, each precious metal is traded for dollars, and conversely, dollars traded for the precious metal. Price is the balance between the two.|
|Q||Where do I send my payment, or if selling, my metal?|
|A||For where to send your payment, see "Buying from Us."
For where to send your metal, see "Selling to Us."
|Q||Are bullion coins legal tender?|
|A||Yes, if they are government issued bullion coins with a face value. This nominal face value allows the coins to travel across national borders without the taxation or fees otherwise imposed by many countries on bullion itself.|
|Q||Do bullion coins come with a certificate of authenticity?|
|A||Yes, a maker’s mark and statement of weight and fineness is stamped directly onto the bullion, whether coins or ingots. The bullion itself, in effect, bears its own “certificate” from whichever mint or refiner produced it. Gold, specifically, is an element with a unique specific gravity, and other attributes which are easy to test for authenticity. The ancient Egyptians pioneered the “acid test” for gold, and any jeweler or pawnbroker can demonstrate the basics of gold.|
|Q||Do you recommend European Gold Coins?|
|A||We recommend British Sovereigns as an alternative to gold bullion for those customers seeking low-priced “bulk gold.” They offer the benefits of modern gold bullion and are priced by their gold content.|
|Q||Was gold illegal to own at one time?|
|A||Yes, in this country, from 1933 to 1974 U.S. citizens could not legally own gold bullion without a special license. In 1975 these restrictions were lifted and gold can now be freely held without any licensing or restrictions.|
|Q||Can I put bullion in my IRA?|
|A||Yes. You do need a custodian, a qualified third party such as a bank, to actually hold the qualifying bullion in your name. Some qualified depositories will do IRA storage of physical metals for you. Annual storage fees are usually involved, and an initial fee to set up the account.|
|Q||What are the limits on how much gold I can own?|
|A||Private gold ownership in the United States has no size limitations. You are limited only by your budget and common sense.|
|Q||Are bullion transactions of $10,000 or more reported to the government?|
|A||Only if they involve cash or cash instruments such as cashiers checks which total over $10,000. No report on transactions involving single checks or bankwires are required. Currency regulations involving amounts over $10,000 were designed to thwart money launderers and drug dealers. More details here.|
|Q||Do I have to report my gold coin purchases to the Government?|
|A||No branch of federal, state, or local government has specific interest in how much gold you might own. The U.S. Mint, a division of the Treasury Department, strikes the gold Eagle bullion coins, and supports their sale with national advertising, sales brochures, gift boxes, and so on, but they do not keep track of who is buying it from their dealers.|
|Q||Do I have to pay taxes if I sell my bullion coins for a profit?|
|A||Yes. If you hold precious metals bullion as an investment, and later sell it at a profit, you will have either a long-term or short-term taxable gain,|
|Q||What is the best way to store bullion?|
|A||For anyone new to bullion investing, the question of how and where to store precious metal bullion coins and bars can be a perplexing one. When making this decision, investors should consider the following three factors: size, security and liquidity.
|Q||What sizes do gold bars come in?|
|A||Gold bars, like other precious metal bars, are typically measured in units of weight as opposed to their linear or physical dimensions. Precious metal bars are "assayed" or evaluated by professionals to determine their exact weight, and this value is generally stamped on the obverse or front of the bar itself.
Although the metric system is commonly used to identify denominations for gold bullion bars traded throughout the world, the Troy ounce is a widely recognized standard unit of measurement. One Troy ounce is equal to approximately 1.1 ounces. Standard denominations for retail gold bullion bars are 1,5, and 10 Troy ounces. Smaller gold bars (weighing less than 1 Troy ounce) are often measured in grams.
|Q||How much are my old silver coins worth?|
|A||The value of circulated U.S. silver coins, such as Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars, is determined by several factors, including their silver content, their overall physical condition or "grade," and the rarity of the specific coin.