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90% Silver Still Being Melted; Interesting Experience At Two Shops In Florence, Italy

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 15 / Views: 696Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community

Italy
556 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  06:06 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Roma2021 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello everyone,

I was in two shops this weekend in Florence, Italy. One was a coin shop that sells exclusively on ebay (it's a separate thread, but the owner was comically arrogant; lists at 30-50% above retail and refuses to negotiate). The other shop was a higher end antique shop that deals primarily in silver items.

Both shops told me that they buy U.S. 90% silver (and other world coins) and send bags to the refinery up to three times a week. The comically arrogant owner said all 40 and 90% Kennedy halves are melted; he said, basically, any and all u.s. pre 64 that came in was melted; some is kept for numismatic resale, but a lot is melted.

The antique store owner said she sent everything in inventory was melted when the price went up.

I thought that was interesting. When I've brought this topic up before on the forum, it was fairly universally agreed that nothing like that was still being melted.

From the way the comically arrogant guy was talking, he melts A LOT.

Thought that was interesting...

R.



Pillar of the Community
United States
2063 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  06:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mrwhatisit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If only you (or us) could buy up a fair amount of those coins and sell them back to us collectors to keep them preserved and around for future generations. This is how some coins become rare, they go to the melting pots or get lost somehow.
Pillar of the Community
Italy
556 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  06:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Roma2021 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@mrwhatisit, I buy up all the u.s. coins I can here. I have a few dealers I buy from; but, some dealers price things stupid high (ie common, cleaned Franklin half for 15). I posted a few recent finds under other threads.

I was just surprised to hear material is still being melted at the volume the two dealers implied.
Pillar of the Community
United States
788 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  07:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add livingwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I wonder if these dealers have considered selling the 90% silver overseas to USA dealers, they may make more money even with shipping costs because the demand and premiums in USA are pretty high for 90% silver now.

There's still a lot of 90% around, billions of them were made and a lot of dealers usually have some in stock for sale. It would be stupid for USA dealers to melt them currently.

You'd think there would be some buyers in Italy that would pay more than melt for the 90%.
Edited by livingwater
11/27/2022 08:05 am
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United States
41925 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  08:00 am  Show Profile   Check nss-52's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add nss-52 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The refineries might not be actually melting them...
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Pillar of the Community
United States
788 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  08:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add livingwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good point nss-52, the refineries I assume would get more money selling them to dealers rather than melt them.

If Roma2021 could find out the name of the refinery it might be interesting to try and contact them to see what they are doing with the 90% USA silver. With the original post I had contacted The Silver Institute, several dealers and a refinery or two, none thought 90% silver was currently being melted due to it being more profitable selling to stackers.
Edited by livingwater
11/27/2022 08:24 am
Pillar of the Community
Italy
556 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  09:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Roma2021 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi everyone,

This is an interesting topic for me. I am not friendly enough with a dealer to ask which refinery they send to, nor price, etc. And, those type things aren't really discussed openly here.I sell some coins in Italy that don't fit my collecting interest to other collectors and the price for non numismatic is usually around melt rounded up to the full euro. For instance, I sold some 40% Kennedy halves at 2.50 each. The comically arrogant dealer said he gets more than that.

A few weeks ago, I bought 15 or 16 walkers and BF halves at 8... Approximately $8 at the time. That was from a dealer. I imagine "bullion grade" coins aren't seen as numismatic here as much as in the u.s. "Old" or "historic" is also much richer here. Italians fervently collect ancients, U.S. half dollars... Not so much.

I am looking at 33 Mercury dimes a dealer has... Some with full lines, dated 30s/40s. He's asking 99 for them...about $102. There are a few $5-10 coins in the lot.

A silver bar collector/stacker in the u.s. did tell me that Italian bars, ingots, etc. Have been readily available with minimal supply issues the past two years.

Looking forward to keeping this going.

R.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2278 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  10:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add trdhrdr007 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The refineries might not be actually melting them...


I'm not sure what refineries in Europe might do. I doubt the refiners in the states take the time to sort through a bulk lot of scrap to pull out the odd coin. Having said that, I'd be very surprised to find out they throw a bag of junk silver coins into the melting pot when they could easily ship them to any number of places that would pay a premium over melt.
Pillar of the Community
Italy
556 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  12:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Roma2021 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's part of what I'm trying to figure out. There are no silver bullion shops here; there are gold shops and numismatic coin shops. The impression I got from the two owners in Florence was... If it's not numismatic it's melted. The one shop had four 40% Kennedy halves that came in before I did and were going to the refinery in two days. The refinery picked up earlier that day. Are these being picked out by an employee at the refinery, repackaged, shipped to someone and everyone is profitting off that? He said he was getting more than 2.50 euro a coin.... which is about melt.
Edited by Roma2021
11/27/2022 1:25 pm
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
20605 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  5:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I always take these sort of coin shop owners allegations with a grain of salt.

The primary fault with this sort of allegation is that they have a large and continuous supply of US silver coins in Italy, that are sent for melting.
I find such stories very hard to believe.
Hence the grain of salt.

It is most probably an untruthful explanation as to why they have little or no inventory to show you.

For this reason, I very rarely visit this sort of dealer, and then with caution.
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United States
629 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  5:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Hondo Boguss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't see how the refinery would pay them melt value for 90% Ag coins. It costs money to melt and refine them, and the resulting product is worth spot.
Offer them spot or 5% over for their next batch and see what they say.
Inordinately fascinated by bits of metal with strange markings and figures
Valued Member
United States
52 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  8:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Windmiller to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Are they selling to the refinery? I'm not seeing a path to profit on this.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2681 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  9:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Years ago a Florida dealer let me dig in his refiner melt sack and buy anything I wanted for spot weight plus a small premium. There were no US coins but lots of UK sterling and a fair amount of French .835 silver. I remember buying a lot of XF-AU three pence....plus this Trade dollar.



I have the impression that coin dealers dispose of everything except their national coin. I've flipped through a lot of international boxes and notebooks, and it's always obvious that there is little local collector interest.

"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Edited by thq
11/27/2022 9:03 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
788 Posts
 Posted 11/27/2022  9:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add livingwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I did a quick Google search and found several refineries in Italy. If someone is really interested it wouldn't be difficult to email or call them, simply ask if they get much 90% US silver and what they do with it. I don't know if they will respond, but better to try than just wonder and speculate.....I already did this in USA for Roma2021's prior post about this, the dealers and refineries that responded said NO they don't melt, they sell them. Years ago they were melted according to long time dealers I've seen interviewed on Youtube when there was little or no premium for them.

If any of it is being melted somewhere in the world it's an insignificant small amount. I can easily find some for sale online and my local coin store has them in stock. When he sells out he's been able to get more, at least so far.
Edited by livingwater
11/27/2022 10:22 pm
Pillar of the Community
Italy
556 Posts
 Posted 11/28/2022  3:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Roma2021 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok. So I went to a "cambio" today; I've been to these before and I've bought some semi-numismatic coins (worn 18xx 5 French and Belgian francs, etc) I bought a 1964 Kennedy for 7 and the dime below for 3. Last week, he didn't have any american coins.
"Cambio" shops are a mix of money exchanges, coin shops, and other tangential things.
I also sold the guy a 1975 .800 papal annual medal. I bought it with a large set of coins, sold some and kept some... I was probably 10 into the medal. He bought the medal for 15. I sold it just to see what he did and what he offered. He, literally, tossed it in a bag with about 50 of the same. Printed a ticket and tossed it in the bag too. I asked what he does with them. He said they get melted; I asked about any other quarters, dimes, halves, even 500 lire coins. He said he melted (infusione) them all when the silver price was 'high.'
Here's the Merc I got for 3 and the medal.




Edited by Roma2021
11/28/2022 3:53 pm
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
20605 Posts
 Posted 11/29/2022  12:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Cambio's strategy seems to apply to world scrap silver coins generally, which also happens to include US coins.

I have about a half kilo of World scrap silver coins myself, but I have no intention of having them melted.
They may? at some time in the future, end up being sold as a numismatic job lot on eBay.

Obvious strategy perhaps, but such an option is available to any hoarder of scrap silver coins, in any free market in the World.
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