Should you sell your silver to a pawn shop or broker?

junk silver coins
A box of constitutional silver.

For one reason or another the time has come to sell your silver and a whole new series of decisions arise for you to navigate. The choice to sell can be a difficult and intimidating process in a ways that buying silver is not.

You still want comfort and security but most of all achieving maximum return on your investment would be the optimum outcome. How do you sell silver and know that you are getting the best deal? That’s the question that I recently helped someone answer and I thought it would be fun to share the results of our quest.

  • Take inventory of what you’re selling.
  • Consider what you paid for each item.
  • Consider how much your silver will cost to ship and insure before selling.
  • If you’re pressed for time a quick local sell might be best, otherwise selling by selling on eBay you will get the best return possible.

Things to consider

OptionsAmount of workReturn on investmentShipping/Insurance cost
Pawn ShopEasyLowestNo
Online BrokerMediumMediumYes
Coin ShopEasyLowNo
Coin ShowHardHighNo

What are you Selling?

First you need to take inventory of what you’re selling and take the time to look the prices up yourself. There are several different types of silver that you could be trying to sell. It’s important to know that the values of these products varies.

  • Silver Coins
  • Silver Rounds
  • Silver Bars
  • Junk Silver
  • Silver Jewelry

Silver Coins

Government minted silver coins are almost always going to provide the best return on your money. These coins a .999 silver and if kept in the right condition can fetch premiums far over spot price. Take the time to look each of these up individually before selling, this step is extremely important.

Silver Rounds

Silver rounds are often produced by private mints. Popular rounds, like Buffalo’s are generally widely accepted across the industry. One important thing to keep in mind when selling your rounds is that you will generally be quoted a price near spot as opposed to over spot like government minted Silver.

Silver Bars

Bars are similar to rounds in that you will generally receive an off that is near spot price depending on where your selling.

Junk Silver

Junk silver like old coins that contain silver also known as constitutional silver is most often the cheapest way to purchase silver in large quantities. So you should expect to be quoted a price several dollars below spot when selling these old coins.

Silver Jewelry

Selling silver jewelry can be a tricky process. It’s usually not going to return you more than you paid for it. But if you do have some that you was wanting to get rid of than eBay is probably a better route than a pawn shop. Be mindful that some silver jewelry contains real diamonds and other precious stones so these pieces should return more.

Ways to sell

There are numerous ways to sell your bullion including locally, shows and even large online brokers that will purchase your silver.

  • Pawn Shops
  • Large brokers like APMEX
  • Auction sites such as eBay
  • Local coin shops
  • Coin Shows

Pawn Shops

When collecting pawn shops can be one of the best places to acquire silver. With that in mind it makes sense that they are also equally as bad to sell to. Pawn shops often deal with only the spot price when buying and selling metals. So you should expect an offer of 20 percent or more below that.

Online Brokers

Selling to online brokers can be an easy process but does take a bit of preparation. First take the time to write down every piece of silver in your collection. Check the spot price to be sure that your are making a satisfactory profit. Also consider that you will be paying to ship the silver to the broker and this will be expensive. Another optional cost would be insuring your package, this is highly recommended if your are selling over a couple of hundred dollars worth. Most brokers like APMEX will pay you near spot price and even over for high quality gold pieces like American Silver Eagles.

Auction Sites

If you have the time or are just wanting to realize a maximum return on your investment then eBay might be the right choice for you. This process can be time consuming especially when you have to list every item, communicate with potential buyers and ultimately ship the silver. However, by doing the leg work yourself you can often receive top dollar for your silver.

Local Coin Shops

Selling to local coin shops is another good option they generally will pay you less than your silver is worth as well because they have a business to run, but you can expect better returns on government issued silver at these shops. Make sure that you know what you have before going into a coin shop so you can negotiate if needed.

Coin Shows

Selling silver at a coin show can be a great way to receive a fair price for your investment. ther are two ways you can sell at coin shows. One of which is by attending and walking from dealer to dealer and selling your bullion. This is essentially the same as selling to a shop though. However, if you take the time to rent a booth and sell your bullion yourself you could essentially buy and sell as a shop at current market prices.


Like anything else in life you get out of this hobby what you put into it. If you sell quickly at places like coin or pawn shops you will receive less in return. If you take the time to auction your bullion or sell at a coin show you will receive the best return on your investment. Most Online brokers are decent options as well and will generally pay more than a local shop.

Hopefully your better prepared and more confident in your ability to sell your silver. If you’re enjoying our content check out another article- Silver coins, rounds or bars which is best to purchase?

Silver coins, rounds or bars which is best to purchase?

I’ve often wondered whether it really matters if a person buys silver bars, coins or rounds? Considering that the three products usually contain .999 percent pure silver, it can’t be that big of a choice can it? When you really start to dig a little deeper you will see that depending on your collecting strategy, the choices you make can be critical.

I’ve spent the last several hours digging up data from a few different perspectives. Hopefully this article provides some clarity for you when making your decision.

Things to consider

  • Premium over spot price
  • Privacy
  • Accepted and recognized brands
  • Counterfeits
  • Stacking or collecting
  • Long term value
  • Liquidity

Comparing Silver Coins, Rounds and Bars

Premium over spotHighMediumLow
Privacy when buying/sellingYesup to 1,000 ouncesup too 1,000 ounces
Brand recognitionHighMediumLow
Ease to counterfeitLowMediumMedium
Projected valueHighLowLow
Liquidity HighMediumMedium

Silver Coins

When purchasing coins like American Silver Eagles for example you know that you are getting a quality piece of silver that is widely recognized and accepted. This fact alone comes at a premium that is generally far more expensive than that of your average bar.

For the extra money you get the brand recognition and trust associated with government mints. You also receive state of the art security fearures like the new ones being implemented by the U.S. Mint in 2021.

Silver Rounds

A round is basically a bullion coin that has been struck by a private mint. Like bars, rounds are generally struck with their melt value in mind. Rounds hold no monetary value in the sense that government minted silver does.

Silver Bars

Silver bars that are stamped from reputable mints are generally easy to sell around the world. But keep in mind that there are hundreds of brands on the market not every shop is familiar with all of them. The premiums are also far smaller when dealing with bars as opposed to coins.

Government mint versus private mint

When purchasing coins minted by governments you get the peace of mind that the silver is pure and that your actually getting what you purchased. Most private mints offer the same quality but when it comes down to collectability and long term value the bullion stamped by governments will perform better.

Silver coins are also usually legal tender in there respective nations, although it isn’t advisable to use pure silver coins in this manner. For example, one American Silver Eagle will cost you about 25 dollars and can only be redeemed for one dollar worth of goods if spent commercially. Several governments around the world mint their own metals including:

  • U.S. Mint
  • Canadian Mint
  • Austrian Mint
  • Swiss Mint
  • Chinese Mint
  • Mexican Mint
  • New Zealand Mint
  • Australian Mint

Popular Government Issued Silver Coins

Some of the more popular government minted silver coins are:

  • American Silver Eagle
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
  • Austrian Silver Philharmonic
  • South African Silver Krugerrands
  • Mexican Silver Libertards
  • British Silver Britiannia

Popular Silver Round Products

Some of the more popular silver rounds include:

  • 1 ounce Buffalo Rounds
  • Ampex 1 ounce fine silver rounds
  • Monarch Silver Rounds

Popular Silver Bar Brands

Some of the more reputable names that produce silver bars include:

  • Sunshine Mint
  • PAMP
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Engelhard
  • Metalor
  • Perth Mint

What should you buy coins, rounds or bars?

In the end it all comes down to you and the goals you set when building your precious metals portfolio. Expect to pay more upfront when purchasing coins. But with proper care you should recoup this initial cost and then some if the time comes to sell.

A good rule of thumb is if your acquiring metals strictly for the silver value then collecting rounds and bars are probably the best way to go. However, if your collecting silver for monetary and future value of each piece, then the easy choice is acquiring coins. Whatever you decide make sure you take precautions with your bullion and the time to research how to properly care for, store and secure your investment.

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- Can you store gold and silver together?

Can you store gold and silver together?

When accumulating gold and silver sometimes we encounter issues that we didn’t even know we should have been prepared for. Today, I’m going to cover one of these issues in depth. Hopefully this article equips you with ways to protect your investment well into the future. So, can you store gold and silver together? Let’s examine the question.

When accumulating precious metals It’s important to understand that the similarities can stop at the shine. Characteristics and most importantly care varies between all metals even non precious ones.

  • Gold is a very soft metal that is easily damaged but does not tarnish in it’s purest form.
  • Silver is harder than gold but scratches and tarnishes easily
  • Gold and Silver do not react chemically when stored together.
  • Gold and silver could damage each other physically when stored together.
  • Gold and silver have specific care instructions.
  • Gold and silver should not be stored together.

Active Metals

An active metal is the name given to a group of metals that quickly react with other substances. Not to get too scientific, but when looking at the periodic table of elements the most active metals are to the left of the chart. Metals listed towards the bottom left of the table are more ‘active’ than elements towards the top.

Properties of gold

Gold is an extremely soft and malleable metal, making it perfect for jewelry. Gold is not an active metal meaning it hardly reacts with anything. Although gold falls in the same column of the periodic table as silver it’s almost impervious to reacting with other elements, similar to platinum. Gold in it’s purest form does not tarnish meaning 24 karat gold will not tarnish.

Properties of silver

Silver is almost white in it’s purest form and is actually the best known conductor of electricity, but would be to expensive to use. Silver is far more easily oxidized than gold but is not chemically active. However, silver does tarnish relatively easily and quickly, especially if it’s stored or handled improperly. Silver is not an active metal but nitric acid will attack it.

What happens when gold and silver are stored together?

Over the course of several months (possibly years) silver will oxidize and turn black. Some fear that this process might transfer minute amounts of tarnish to other metals if they are in contact with the deteriorating silver, however gold does not tarnish and should be safe in that regard.

Some also worry that if you store silver in contact with a gold coin or bar for a period of years it could possibly cause redish spots to form on the gold. But when researching for this article, I had a hard time finding anyone that this actually happened to.

Others think that gold jewelry could develop a smokey white or possibly even a bronze or black cantina when stored with silver. However, the consensus among people actually in the industry is that the two could be safely stored together without reaction issues. But should you?

Should you store gold and silver together?

In the end if your in a jam, storing gold and silver together for a short period shouldn’t cause you to lose sleep, but it’s not advisable. The more important point is that it’s best to invest in individual protection products for each of the metals in your possession. The objective is to properly take care of each of your metals and by storing them together they could scratch each other and cause undesirable marks on the surface.

Gold is soft and should be wrapped in a fine cloth specifically designed for handling gold then placed in a coin box, jewelry box or a ziplock baggie before placing it in a safe.

While harder than gold, silver has it’s own flaw in that it easily scratches and tarnishes, and should always be stored accordingly. Stored silver should always remain free of moisture and should not be bundled with rubberbands or stored in containers made with pvc. Boxes made especially for silver are lined with a fabric specifically designed to keep your silver free of tarnish.

If your metals are stored in products specifically made for each, then storing them in a safe together should be fine. By following the care instructions for all of the bullion in your portfolio, you can ensure that your investment will return the most possible if the time ever does come to sell.

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- Eight ways to buy American Silver Eagles at cheap prices.

Eight ways to buy American Silver Eagles at cheap prices

Now that you’ve done your research (link to our article on everything Silver Eagles) you’re feeling confident and prepared to make a purchase. But you’ve come to yet another crossroads. What is the best way to buy American Silver Eagles and know that you’re getting the best deal? Don’t worry, I have you covered. I spent several hours compiling the safest and cheapest methods for purchasing American Silver Eagles.

  • 1. Use introductory offers from reputable online bullion dealers.
  • 2. Buy in Bulk if possible
  • 3. Buy ‘culled’ American Silver Eagles.
  • 4. Use eBay and other auction sites.
  • 5. Look for promo codes before checking out.
  • 6. Most online retailers offer free shipping when spending around $100 minimum.
  • 7. Barter and trade unused items that still have value.
  • 8. Browse yard sales and selling apps

Use first time offers

Several reputable dealers like JM Bullion offer special deals for first time buyers. These introductory offers are usually limited to one per household, but offer amazing value. A good example: JM Bullion’s introductory offer is usually 10 Buffalo Rounds for $150 dollars with free shipping.

Buy in bulk

By buying in bulk you can shave up too a few dollars off of the price of each Silver Eagle. Simply put, the larger the order, the larger the discount. In 2020 demand for silver is so high that most online outlets have completely sold out of bulk Silver Eagle products. But once the current boom subsides this option should be available again.

Buy culled American Eagles

Buying ‘culled’ Silver Eagles can be a good way to get them for closer to spot price than you would otheriwse. These Eagles have some imperfections that make them less desirable for collectors. Imperfections range from a fingerprint that has aged poorly to coins that are scratched or have been dropped. These coins are less desirable to harcore collectors but make perfect value options for silver stackers. There are several reputable places to purchase ‘culled’ American Eagles online.

Ebay and other auction sites

By using auction sites like eBay you can get a better deal as long as you dont get too set on any one particular Silver Eagle. By following mutiple auctions closely you can ensure that you are spending the least possible on each piece. Make sure to check the reputation of the seller before making a bid, trust is the key here.

Another useful tool on eBay is the filter tool. When searching for items apply the ‘completed’ and ‘sold’ listings filter. This should give you a really good idea of what people are paying for American Silver Eagle’s over the past 30 days.

This process can be time consuming and sometimes bit stressfull but will save you some money while building your collection.

Look for Promo Codes

Once you’ve placed a precious metals order online, most reputable dealers will later email you special and promotional offers. These offers vary but taking advantage of them can save you hundreds of dollars over time.

You can also search online for promo codes. Before checking out with a metals vendor do a quick google search, sometimes the company has active promotions that aren’t displayed on the pages you’ve happened to visit. A perfect example of this: I was recently checking out online and spending 100 dollars but found a 15 dollar off promotion offer by searching google, before checking out. Sometimes these offers are old or expired but searching for a few minutes usually provides positive results.

Free shipping

Most of the major bullion dealers offer free shipping, but with a catch. Generally if you spend around $100 (this varies by company) the order will be shipped out free of charge. A good way to ensure you’re able to take advantage of these offers is by placing larger orders, less frequently as opposed to smaller orders more frequently. The free shipping price threshold is listed below for several of the most trusted bullion sources.


Believe it or not there are oppoutinities to barter for American Silver Eagles. Places like Pawn Shops and Flea Markets provide the perfect oppoutinity to swap items you no longer use for bullion. For example, a power saw you bought when building your kids playhouse and you haven’t touched it since. Sort through your garage, spare bedroom or storage unit to find items that have value, but you simply don’t use anymore.

Yard sales and selling apps

Buying silver from a complete stranger is not a tactic that I would recommend to just anyone. Once your a seasoned bullion buyer and know the distinct characteristics of the products you purchase regularly, then you might want to spread your wings and see what you can find on your own.

This option isn’t for everyone. But, by thinking outside the box sometimes you can find the best deals. Browse neighborhood yard sales on nice days it’s good exercise, and a chance to get to know if any of your neighbors are collecting or selling silver.

Use apps like Letgo to see if anyone locally is listing American Silver Eagles for sale. Often times you can get them for closer to spot price when dealing with someone in your area. You can also find people who might have bought the bullion as an investment but fell on hard times and is trying to sell it fast at a cheaper price.

A few important things to keep in mind when buying bullion from a person is:

  • Always meet in a public place.
  • Always inspect the silver before purchasing.
  • Unless your an expert do not buy products your unfamiliar with.
  • It’s best to only buy products that are easily recognizable such as American Silver Eagles.
  • Always file the proper paperwork when purchasing precious metals in large quantities.

Now you know

In the end there are several methods for buying American Silver Eagles at cheap prices. The choice is yours to make, some of the above options (like eBay and bartering) are time consuming, but offer a chance of achieving value that you wouldn’t find otheriwse. Other options like reputable dealers do provide value but the premiums are higher.

Hopefully this article helped you learn about safely purchasing American Silver Eagles at cheap prices. Enjoying our content? Check out another article- How to properly label a 2×2 coin holder.