Foreign Silver Coins as PM Investments.

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by cuad, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. cuad

    cuad Monkey+


    I understand that the concensus here is that junk US silver coins are the preferred hedge agains severe US dollar devaluation, but I'd be interested to know how many here consider foreign silver coins (other than Canadian) as an alternative or actually a part of their buying strategy.

    I've collected silver coins in the past and always liked foreign silver coins due to the fact that they can be bought at a lower premium than the US equivalent, even when the silver content was the same. Another interesting point is that silver coins from some (if not most) Latin American countries (including Mexico) actually show the weight and actual silver content, which is not the case with US or Canadian coins (with the exception of bullion coins, of course).

    The same train of thought led me in the past to invest (at almost the same rate of American Eagles and Canadian Maple Leaves) in Mexican 1oz. silver "Libertad" coins when looking to invest in bullion. They are also 1 full ounce of .999 silver, but yet I've always been able to buy them at almost melt value regardless of condition. As far as I know they have never had much in the way of numismatic value, unlike the US Eagles.

    Another example are the Cuban silver pesos and the Silver "Balboas" from Panama. Like the US "Morgan" and "Peace" dollars they both weigh 26.73 and contain .900 silver, however unlike the US coins they are clearly marked as to both weight and content. In fairness, the Cuban coins have always sold at a considerable margin over the cost of "Morgans", but I've found that the premium has all but disappeared with the higher cost of silver. The "Balboas" have always traded at a discount (always near melt value).

    Just thought I'd ask if anyone would like to share their point of view on the matter.

  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Just my 2 cents.

    I'm American. I don't know nothing 'bout silver coins from foreign countries. I trust that pre 1965 us silver coins contain 90 percent silver.

    who's going to say that those cuban pesos arent just junk metal, or the balboas? I never heard of them. sorry, i won't accept them in trade.

    I actually know about foreign silver. I sold all of mine and bought American produced silver. I'm playing the devils advocate. If you are closer to the mexican border maybe your local area will understand that their is silver in those Libertads but up here in Michigan it won't work.

    I sold all my French, British, Australian, Swiss, Bahamian, Peruvian and Canadian silver. I had about 25 ounces of foreign. basically swapped it out for ASE's and 90% US coinage. Strictly as a recognition thing. I'm going to have a hard enough time trading 90% silver with cretins let alone having to school them on silver content of foreign coinage post SHTF. The wouldn't believe me anyway.

    Again, just my 2 cents. I think that there is value in foreign silver. It's just not anything that I'm going to carry in my prep larder.

    Falcon15 likes this.
  3. cuad

    cuad Monkey+

    I figured it would be something along those lines (no recognition, lack of knowledge of foreign coinage, etc), but I thought they would hold a bit of an edge against bullion silver round, for example. Those are not very recognized or understood even today. I figured that them being issued by a recognized government and being clearly market for content would carry some weight.

    Not many people (outside of certain circles) even know that US pre '64 coins contain silver, or which ones. So a certain amount of education will have to take place, but I guess that's something that the "market" at the time will have to sort out.
  4. craneje

    craneje Monkey+

    I have a few old foreign silver coins. I do like the way some of the south american coins give their weight and fineness (as did the US trade dollars: 420 gr .900), such as 5 g .875 or 2.5 g .735. It does make it a math problem to calculate value. I don't think one would have much trouble with bullion coin from Canada, England, Australia or New Zealand, or even Austria. I'm not sure even I trust the Chinese, or other Asian countries. I think non-government-minted silver rounds or ingots will as dificult to sell as foreign silver. But they'll sure as schumer be worth more than FRNs!
  5. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Looking at my local craigslist and the number of pawn/coin dealers in my general area. There are probably enough money exchangers around. Heck if the SHTF, I might windup taking the position of money exchanger because i know the content.

    But when i went to sell my foreign coinage locally, no takers. just no market for them. But ebay buyers gladly took it. So if you can not sell it locally to your coin dealer or they want to offer you a ridiculously low price when compared to 90% or ASE or rounds, it's time to swap them out for something else.

    Just sayin' that how it rolls in the hood of the big "D".

    What does your local market look like? Do you have people willing to trade foreign silver for FRN's?
  6. cuad

    cuad Monkey+

    Oh, yes. foreign coins are traded regularly both ways. I'm in South Florida, at considerably lower prices than on eBay.
    VisuTrac likes this.
  7. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Then in that situation, holding foreign silver that is available and readily tradeable would be a good option. Especially if it is available for melt. Very Nice!.
  8. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I have had the same thoughts. I travel extensively and can pick up a lot of foreign silver coins for much less than spot price. But most I have only learned about through research. My PM's are mostly for post economic crash barter. If no one has heard of them then you aren't going to find many who would trade you a box of ammo for it. Just like a FRN, it's only value is what someone will give you for it. Once people lose confidence in it, or never have it, then it becomes worthless.
    VisuTrac and Falcon15 like this.
  9. cuad

    cuad Monkey+

    Excellent point Minuteman! There is still an opportunity there. If you can buy them below spot (depends how much below) and you have a fair dealer in your area, then you should be able to just sell them and buy US coins or bullion.

    My original post dealt more with the fact that some of the foreign stuff is marked, but your point is valid. It depends on perception of those you'd be trading with.

    Oh well, they are still a good value for welth preservation. After all, they are still high content silver.
  10. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I find these in nearly every shop I go into. Many incorporated into cheap jewelry. I could buy stacks of them for way less than spot value for silver. But who would take them in trade? I could maybe bring them back to the US and exchange them for Eagles or some more recognizable coinage but I don't know if it would be worth the effort.

    The Maria Theresa thaler (MTT) is a silver bullion-coin that has been used in world trade continuously since it was first minted in 1751. It was named after Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia from 1740 to 1780.

    Since 1780, the coin has always been dated 1780. On September 19, 1857, Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria declared the Maria Theresa Taler to be an official trade coinage. A little over a year later, on October 31, 1858, the Maria Theresa Taler lost its status as currency in Austria.

    The MTT "began being minted in 1751 and formed a considerable portion of American currency after that date."[1] It was one of the first coins used in the United States and probably contributed, along with the Spanish dollar, to the choice of a dollar as the main unit of currency for the United States.[citation needed]

    The MTT came to be used as currency in large parts of Africa until after World War II. It was common from North Africa to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and down the coast of Tanzania to Mozambique. Its popularity in the Red Sea region was such that merchants would not accept any other type of currency. The Italian government produced a similar designed coin in the hope of replacing the Maria Theresa thaler, but it was rejected.[2]

    The MTT could also be found throughout the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Muscat and Oman, and in India.

    The thaler is 39.5 mm in diameter and 2.5mm thick, weighs 28.0668 grams and contains 23.3890 grams (0.752 troy ounces) of fine silver. It has a millesimal fineness of .833.

    Maria Theresa thaler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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