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    United States
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    California, USA
  • Stacker/Collector

My Precious Metals

  • Metals I am interested in
  • I am interested in
    Collectible bullion & Semi Numismatics
  • My current Stack/Collection is mainly
  • What I am collecting / Investing in
  • Whats in my stack/collection
    Bars: 1 oz and 10 oz
    Coins: 1 oz Eagles, Maples, Britannias, Kangaroos, Philharmonics
    2 oz Queen's Beasts
    Rounds: 1 oz Engelhard, Sunshine Minting, various American generic rounds

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Bimetallic's Achievements

  1. I also wanted to comment that the thread title is false. This guy wasn't banned from Reddit. He was banned from that creepy Wall Street Silver subreddit, by some weirdo. I sympathized with this Speg character, and was appalled by the Reddit creep's behavior. However, I thought it was poor form for Speg to mock the Reddit guy's physical appearance in his initial video. That's crossing the line. Speg's behavior overall is a bummer. He totally failed to document and investigate the issue properly. There is no closure, no real explanation. He just gave up and acted strange, claiming results but not saving those results or reporting them. To raise the issue and then mishandle it so badly, failing basic empirical standards, is so disappointing.
  2. This is frankly absurd, and hard to understand. He raised the issue of possibly bad bars, and when he has the chance to document a second bar he doesn't keep the results? Why would anyone make such a bad decision? And then he says he didn't bother with a fire assay simply because SilverGoldBull reported that all its tests were good? What? This is so bizarre. Why did he raise the issue if he was just going to punt in such a craven way? His behavior is hard to understand. Burying all the info in ridiculously long videos is also perplexing. Who is going to watch an hour-long video? The parts I saw had far too much meaningless filler content, a lot of non-substantive fluff about the "community" this and that. It's like he just enjoys talking. I can't imagine watching an hour-long video about a possibly bad bar. Five minutes is plenty of time to provide the info.
  3. It's not about people wanting 999 silver – the commodities exchanges like COMEX are also basing everything on 999 silver. That's in their standard 5,000 oz. contract. The retail silver market is small. Premiums are a given compared to spot price. Spot price is a futures price, I think maybe a month out. Volume is huge and transaction costs are tiny. It's all electronic (not "paper" like a lot of people grumble about). Spot is the minimal baseline. Any kind of retail product is going to be higher, always. Retail silver introduces massive costs. Tiny volumes like an ounce or two or ten. Fancy manufacturing and finishes. Government mints, with all the standard incentive problems, excessive job security, apathy, and entitlement issues that make government organizations consistently inefficient. Shipping heavy physical products hither and yon. Losses from theft, fraud, and insurance against theft and fraud. Etc, etc, etc. A commodities market has none of those costs, and its purpose is primarily price discovery. I don't know about the "greed" idea someone posted. Market prices are driven by market conditions. Some level of greed is almost always present in individual actors at some level of analysis, but greed doesn't matter independent of market conditions. Sellers don't get to arbitrarily dictate high prices because they feel like it, because they're feeling greedy or whatever. If the demand wasn't there, all the greed in the world would be irrelevant. I'm surprised that so many humans still lack a basic grasp of markets and economics in the 21st century. Believing that simple "greed" can explain a sudden increase in the prices of a good, as though it could happen at any time just because greedy sellers feel like it, is basically believing in magic or superstition. And it's logically incoherent, since prices would just rise to some crazy, infinite level, for everything, and they clearly don't.
  4. Silver spot isn't based on 400 oz bars – gold comes in 400 oz bars, not silver. COMEX silver futures contracts are based on 5,000 troy ounces. It's nominally five 1,000 oz bars, for the rare traders who want to take physical delivery. (Silver's terminal bar size is 1,000 oz, and gold's is 400 oz.) Retail silver premiums are higher than normal, and have been since the pandemic got into full swing. Demand exploded. I'm not sure where demand is now, though Biden's fiscal policies should scare people. Premiums have come down a bit since the peak, at least in the US. Right now, we can get new Britannias for $29.90, which is a 20.5% premium over spot. This is a good baseline for new coins from a major world mint, from the lowest-priced dealer in North America, which is Silver.com. Link. Britannias tend to be among the cheapest of the major government-minted coins in the US market. Eagles are much more expensive, and Maples are usually in between. It's a good reference price for a VAT-free context. Some states will charge sales tax of 7-9% on bullion, but many won't and the listed price is before any sales tax is applied. So our premiums are much lower than in the UK probably. That's impressive since those Britannias had to be shipped across the pond.
  5. Spot price is based on trades using predefined contracts on the exchanges, not 1 oz or 20 oz retail pieces. COMEX is based on 5,000 oz contract unit. (It's five 1,000 oz bars of 999 silver according to their settlement rules.) It's a uniform unit of silver – it doesn't vary, only the number of units varies. It's the same on the gold exchanges. I think they go with the 400 oz LBMA bar specifications, or I vaguely recall some of the Asian exchanges using 1 kilo bars as the unit. Retail products are not the relevant units for commodities exchanges.
  6. You're just making stuff and going off on tangents that aren't relevant to anything here. You don't know what any dealer's feed is based on. That's an empirical question, and a specific one. You'd have to go find out, investigate. I don't know why you keep repeating these generalities. They're not useful. If you want to know what any feed is based on, you can't just guess – you'd have to go find out. The impact of volume is irrelevant to the question of what a spot price feed is coming from. The fact that businesses add margins is also irrelevant. Cars are irrelevant. The only issue here is where a feed is coming from and what it's based on. In most cases, with dealer tickers, no one knows.
  7. The issue is that no one knows which exchange a given spot price is from. It doesn't mean anything to say "the exchanges". That's not anything.
  8. The point is that we don't actually know why dealer-quoted spot prices are so inconsistent. Or why they're consistently inaccurate in the direction of inflating spot. We would have to investigate in order to know. You're just asserting that they pay for feeds and post those feeds unaltered, but you have no way of knowing that without investigating. Since their spot prices are consistently inflated, your assumption is probably incorrect.
  9. Also, it's important to note that the explanations for why dealer-quoted spot prices don't agree with each other is just speculation. We don't actually know why these dealer tickers don't match. We can't possibly know something like that without investigating it. It's the kind of thing that you just have to go find out what the causes are, and if you don't go find out then you simply won't know. Especially if the starting proposition is something like: "Different PM dealers are quoting different spot prices at the same second in time." If that's all we know, then that's not anything. There's far too little information in that observation to do anything with. At that level, we don't even know the pattern of disparity. For example, we don't know if dealer-quoted spot prices tend to err on the side of inflated quotes, compared to non-dealer sources like SilverPrice.org / GoldPrice.org, the World Gold Council, raw COMEX feeds, etc. When I checked, there was in fact a pattern – of inflation or overstating the spot price. Fraud is as good an explanation as anything, certainly as good as the speculation about random differences in latencies and feed providers. Dealers would obviously benefit from overstating the spot price in order to make their premiums seem smaller. I just did a quick check, and I see the same pattern as last year. The dealers are all higher than SilverPrice.org, and APMEX is again leading in overstating the spot price. They're consistently 6 or 7 cents higher than SD Bullion and JM Bullion, and 23 cents higher than SilverPrice.org. Note that APMEX is the most expensive of the major dealers in North America, so they would stand to benefit the most from inflating the spot price. (These should all be the Ask price, not the Bid, though SilverPrice.org is not clear about what they're reporting, other than that it's COMEX.)
  10. You're missing the point. The question is which market. Everyone knows it's based on orders. The issue is that no one knows where these spot price quotes are coming from. When I say "where", I mean which exchange or market. It has a name. It always has a name. Your statements about banks, Reuters, etc. are obfuscating the issue – banks don't generate the spot prices for PM (except for the London fixes). Reuters isn't an exchange. They don't have a spot price. They're just messengers. If Reuters wanted to offer a silver spot price product, they could, maybe called Reuters Silver or something. But they would probably have to explain what it was, what it was based on, how it was computed. Otherwise they're just reporting specific exchanges like COMEX. I don't think they have their own spot price product, something they compute or transform.
  11. What do you mean? Where is this "World Spot Price"? Which feeds does it consolidate? What does "consolidate" mean here, mathematically? Simple average? That wouldn't be smart. I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as "World Spot Price", anywhere. If it existed, it would have to be defined somewhere, and there would have to be feeds for it, but I don't think it exists.
  12. Does anyone know what spot price Bullion By Post uses? i.e. where they get their spot price? An underexposed and annoying issue with "the" spot price is that no one seems to know what price they're talking about, or where it's coming from. There is no such thing as the spot price for gold or silver, as in a worldwide spot price independent of any specific market or exchange. The only spot prices that actually exist come from specific exchanges like COMEX, Shanghai, etc. I have no idea what is normally used by British dealers. There might be an exchange in London – I'm not sure. (I mean for up-to-the-second spot price, not things like the LBMA gold fix that happens twice each weekday.) I posted about this last year, asking where people were getting their spot price, meaning which market or exchange. As I recall, no one knew. Even the owner of this forum didn't know where his spot price was coming from, the one displayed at the top of the site – he said it was the World Spot Price, but that doesn't exist. The spot price feeds on different dealer websites differ significantly, and I've never figured out why that is. There was a 42 cent difference at one point between APMEX and SilverPrice.org, and that was when silver was under $15.00 per ounce, so it was a huge disparity.
  13. This is an underexposed way to save on shipping. It makes a lot of sense for an ounce of silver or a gram of gold. In the US a big obstacle is a persistent myth that a bubble mailer is a package, or that a rigid mailer is a package. This matters because a package costs a lot more to ship than First-Class Large Envelope (or "flats" in US Postal Service parlance). Padded and rigid mailers will almost always pass the USPS requirements for large envelopes, but people repeat the myth all the time, including postal employees. They also pass Royal Mail requirements. In the US they can be up to ¾ inches thick, with no more than ¼ inch of variance in thickness. In the UK, they can be up to a full inch thick. The downside in the US is that no tracking is provided, unlike First-Class Package Service, at least not by the USPS – third parties can offer a sort of tracking based on the barcode scans.
  14. So the ultrasound tester is one-sided? I guess I thought maybe it would bracket the workpiece on both sides, maybe normalizing the opposite surface at least. Does it matter what sort of surface or material you have the workpiece on? (The silver bar in this case.) I would measure more than once with the calipers given an irregular messy object like that TSF bar. Which reminds me – variance is a property of a distribution. (I'm a social scientist and statistician, maybe too pedantic here.) The mere difference between two measurement methods, just one vs one, I would call a deviation or just a difference. Well, if one measure is viewed as correct, the benchmark, like the calipers here, I'd probably call the difference on the ultrasound its error. I wonder if there's potential for a simple device with two-sided thickness measurement. That ultrasound is far too sloppy, too far off the true thickness. Almost a half millimeter on an 8 mm object is absurdly inaccurate. It's the 21st century and this is the best they can do? I would accept maybe 0.05 mm error at most, 1/20 mm. I wonder if there's a technology that could do better if it had both sides of the object. Maybe ultrasound, possibly a different kind of inference or algorithm, like bounceback from a tailored opposite surface, or interfering signals coming from opposite sides. Maybe even audible sound waves, an advanced version of the ping test. Or a combination of radio and sonic.
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