I've seen numerous auctions where silver is being sold by the ounce, or by the pound, and the prices people pay is TOO MUCH for the coins being sold this way. BEWARE! If you are buying coins on eBay, please pay attention, because what I'm about to explain WILL save you money by helping you be an informed buyer. If I'm an eBay PowerSeller, then why am I telling you this? Because I don't like competing with other sellers who don't play fair.
Here's the truth of the matter:
The basic measure of weight used in most commerce in the U.S. (including the U.S. Mail system) is regular (also called avoirdupois) ounces, but the measure of weight used to value precious metals such as silver and gold is troy ounces. There are 16 regular (avoirdupois) ounces to a regular pound, and 12 troy ounces to a troy pound.
If you put coins weighing one Troy Ounce on a postal scale, it will
weigh about 1.1 ounces (if your scales were perfect, one Troy Ounce
would weigh 1.0971428576 regular ounces. So one regular pound is equal to 14.583333 troy ounces.
When you do a search for the price of silver and gold listed, it is always in troy ounces, which weighs 9% more than a regular ounce.. If you buy silver coins on eBay by the ounce or the pound, and they don't specify TROY OUNCES or TROY POUNDS, they are hoping you will do the math WITHOUT CONVERTING from regular ounces or pounds to troy ounces or pounds. Let's look at an example.
An auction for "8 oz. 90% Silver" Coins sold for $149.95 on the same day the spot price of silver varied between $16.80 and $17.30. So someone probably thought they were paying $149.95 / 8 * .9 = $16.87 "per ounce" (which would have been a decent deal for silver), when in reality they were paying $149.95 / 8 * 1.0971428576 * .9 = $18.50 per troy ounce (which is a good deal only for the seller).
So my suggestion is to simply avoid any auction that only sells silver coins by the ounce or by the pound. You'll probably be outbid by someone who hasn't read this eBay Guide. Instead, look for auctions that specify the weight in troy ounces or troy pounds, or list the face value of the silver coinage you'll be buying.
And if you appreciate the help on buying silver, please take a second and click on "Yes" below, because I need your help to be a Top 1000 reviewer! Thanks.
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