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1700 Rockville Pike, Suite 400

Rockville, MD 20852


1-800-831-0007 (Toll Free)


9 am - 5 pm EST

Monday - Friday


Frequently Asked Questions

Precious Metals

Can I specify what coins I want in my bag of junk silver?

ASI does not take contingent orders on denomination, though we will try to accommodate a client’s request. The most common junk silver bags contain either dimes or quarters. Half dollar (50 cent piece) bags are also available, though they come with a higher premium because of their lack of circulation. Our favorite pre-1965 coins are quarters.

Why is $100 Face Value (FV) bag of 90% 'Junk' silver Not $100?

This is a common question, especially for clients buying 90% 'Junk' silver. When we, and the rest of the industry, use the term 'Face Value' (FV), we are referring to the denomination on the coins itself (dime = 10¢, quarter = 25¢, half dollar = 50¢). This means that $100 FV is either 1,000 dimes, 400 quarters or 200 half dollars. A $100 FV bag weighs about 5.5 lbs and contains an industry accepted standard of 71.5 oz of silver. Therefore, the $100 FV term denotes the number of coins in the bag, but the value of the bag is determined by the 71.5 oz of silver and the current silver price.

Is a 24k gold coin better than a 22k gold coin?

We would not say better, we would say slightly different. The term 24k and 22k, refers to the gold purity of a coin. A 24k gold coin (like the American Buffalo or Canadian Maple) is 99.99% pure, while a 22k gold coin (like the American Eagle or South African Krugerrand) is 91.67% pure. The remaining amount is copper (5.33%) and silver (3%). This mix gives the coin more durability. The key is the amount of gold in the coin. All of the 1 oz gold coins ASI deals with, whether 24k or 22k, all contain 1 oz of gold.

Can all types of precious metals be put into an IRA?

Unfortunately, no. The IRS has laid out specifically which precious metals can and cannot be held in an IRA. This is why it is important to deal with an experienced company when placing precious metals in your IRA. ASI has decades of experience assisting clients with IRA approved precious metals. Feel free to speak to one of our representatives today on what you can take advantage of in your IRA.


Can I have my order shipped to my home?

Yes, many clients choose home delivery. We do caution our clients to only take delivery for metals they are comfortable with storing themselves. Our primary method is the U.S. Postal Service. For over 30 years, ASI has had great success using USPS. All packages are fully insured and will need to be signed for. If needed for your specific order, we can ship UPS or FedEx.

If I don’t want to have the metal in my home, can you ship it to a storage facility for me?

Yes, and in many cases we may be able to transfer your metal from our account to yours, if you are storing at a facility that ASI also has a storage account with. Feel free to speak to a representative on the various options for storage, or how we can ship to your specific storage facility.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Fax: 301-881-1936
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm EST
1700 Rockville Pike
Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852

How long will it take to receive my order?

Shipping times will vary depending upon several factors. The two biggest factors are cleared funds and product availability. ASI will not ship any order without cleared funds, regardless of whether the products are available for immediate shipment. With this in mind, we strive to ensure every order is delivered in 2-3 weeks, however, many orders are shipped out within a few days of being placed. If there is a product delay from one of the Mints, or otherwise, our representatives will let you know at the time of order. Even though an ASI representative will contact you when your payment is received and when the order is shipping, feel free to give us a call if you would like an update on your order.

What shipping methods do you use?

Whether it be to your home, business or storage facility, our primary method is the U.S. Postal Service. For over 30 years, ASI has had great success using USPS. All packages are fully insured and will need to be signed for. If needed for your specific order, we can ship UPS, FedEx or armored car if the amount of metal calls for it. In all cases, your order is insured and will need to be signed for. You will be notified within 24 hours of your shipment being sent out.


What is meant by Allocated and Unallocated storage?

Allocated storage refers to storage of client precious metal on a segmented (segregated) basis. The precious metals stored at the Perth Mint are recorded on the Perth Mint Certificate. In this type of storage, the client's precious metal products are stored separately in a sealed, safe deposit box that is specifically assigned to the client via the Perth Mint Certificate. There are annual storage fees charged for allocated storage as well as fabrication fees. Unallocated storage refers to a specific quantity of precious metals on an unsegmented (unsegregated) basis, which are owned by the client, but is part of a larger pool of precious metals stored at the Perth Mint. This quantity of precious metals is recorded on the Perth Mint Certificate. Perth Mint has an obligation to deliver the recorded amount of precious metal upon request of the client with two weeks prior notice. A fabrication fee is applicable at the time of delivery.

Do you deal with precious metal storage facilities in the U.S?

Yes. ASI not only works with several storage locations in the U.S., but we also have metal stored in some of these facilities, meaning you order could be transferred at the facility to an account you can open in a matter of days. Feel free to contact a representative to find out storage options in the U.S.

Do I have the ability to store metal outside the U.S?

Absolutely. ASI has relationships with storage facilities around the world to help you meet your needs. Whether it be the Perth Mint Certificate Program, our online platform, ASIPMDirect, or a simple purchase and store application, ASI is ready to help you with storage options around the world. Storage locations include: U.S., Canada, U.K., Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

If I have precious metals in my IRA, can I choose where they are stored?

That all depends on the IRA Trustee. Most Trustees already have storage relationships with a secure facility and your precious metals will be stored in that facility. However, there are some IRA Trustees that give you a choice of where the precious metals can be stored or allow you to choose the storage location. Feel free to contact a representative on storage options in an IRA, but know that the options will ultimately come down to what the IRA trustee allows.


Why are some coins never 'circulated?'

Proof coins are made for collectors and generally not for use as money. Therefore, they were never intended for circulation. In addition, Pre-1933 larger denomination coins (like $20-gold pieces) were mostly for banks to use in their vaults and thus rarely made it to the public as they were an impractical sum for most transactions. Some coins intended for circulation are set aside by the general public or collectors, never being circulated, even though that was the intention by the mint.

How are numismatic coins priced? Is there a standard?

Numismatic coin pricing is determined by the date, the mint mark, and the condition of the coins. The standard today is based on grading by an independent grading service such as PCGS or NGC. The third party grading services are determining two things, the authenticity of the coin and the grading of the coin. PCGS and NGC were established in the late 1980’s and now bring over 20 years of experience to the industry. Their grading is now nationally and internationally accepted. Each grading service provides historical grading data referred to as “population reports” (POPS). The grading services have kept meticulous records since 1986 regarding all of the coins they have seen and graded. This is a very useful tool for the dealer, for the collector, and for the investor.

What is the difference between a numismatic coin and an old coin?

In most cases, there is no difference between an old coin and a numismatic coin. The technical definition of a numismatic coin is one that is worth 100% of the metal it contains, so it all depends on the coin.

Perth Mint Certificate

Is the metal I purchased actually at the Perth Mint?

Yes. It has always been and remains the policy of the Perth Mint Certificate Program to cover all metal sales to clients with immediate and like purchases from counterparties. At no time has the Perth Mint Certificate Program’s metal liabilities to depository clients exceeded its metal assets.

What if I lose my Perth Mint Certificate or it gets destroyed?

Certificates are replaced by filing a Lost Certificate Declaration Form. Please contact you’re ASI representative at 800-831-0007 (U.S. and Canada) or 301-881-8600 for assistance.

Who audits the Perth Mint?

The Perth Mint is subject to an annual audit by the Auditor-General of Western Australia as well as rigorous audits by its internal auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Can I surrender a portion of the precious metals on the Certificate?

Yes. This flexible option is one of the distinct advantages of the Perth Mint Certificate Program. Owners can surrender a minimum of a $5,000 portion of the Certificate as long as they continue to meet the established minimums for the remaining portion of the new certificate. With payment of an additional Certificate fee, a new Certificate will be issued for the remainder of your precious metals in storage.

Is the Perth Mint Certificate hard to liquidate?

The Perth Mint Certificate is easy to liquidate, especially when you have ASI hold your certificate for you. The mint can buy back the metal on your certificates based on the current market price of the metals, minus the commission or the owner can take physical delivery of the metals represented on the Certificate after paying fabrication costs.

How do I know my precious metals are actually stored at the Perth Mint and that the metals stored are actually what I purchased?

The Perth Mint warrants the precise unit or interest in precious metals that is assigned by each certificate. The Perth Mint warrants the quantity and authenticity of the bullion coins, and warrants the hallmark, purity and weight of bullion bars. Finally, the Perth Mint verifies the receipt of the specific unit or interest in a pool of precious metals (for unallocated storage) through the issuance of a certificate showing exactly what precious metals are stored on your behalf. The precious metals represented by the Perth Mint Certificate are obtained directly from the refinery for bullion bars, and are produced right at the Perth Mint in the case of diverse Australian bullion coin products.

What is meant by Allocated and Unallocated storage?

Allocated storage refers to storage of client precious metal on a segmented (segregated) basis. The precious metals stored at the Perth Mint are recorded on the Perth Mint Certificate. In this type of storage, the client's precious metal products are stored separately in a sealed, safe deposit box that is specifically assigned to the client via the Perth Mint Certificate. There are annual storage fees charged for allocated storage as well as fabrication fees. Unallocated storage refers to a specific quantity of precious metals on an unsegmented (unsegregated) basis, which are owned by the client, but is part of a larger pool of precious metals stored at the Perth Mint. This quantity of precious metals is recorded on the Perth Mint Certificate. Perth Mint has an obligation to deliver the recorded amount of precious metal upon request of the client with two weeks prior notice. A fabrication fee is applicable at the time of delivery.

What are the fees associated with the purchase of a Perth Mint Certificate?

In addition to the 2.25% purchase commission of the precious metals, there is a U.S. $50.00 certificate fee regardless of the size of the certificate and $10 shipping ($20 outside the U.S.). For allocated storage only, there is a prepaid storage fee of 1.5% for allocated gold and platinum, .95% for pooled silver, and 2½% for silver per annum. The only other fee is the ASI’s commission.

What precious metals are available under the Perth Mint Certificate Program?

The Perth Mint Certificate Program offers investors the option of holding all the major precious metals: Gold, Silver and Platinum. Precious metals storage in coins or bars MUST be on an allocated basis.

Rare Coins

I don’t know anything about rare coins. Why is this for me?

The Rare Coin Program is part of an overall strategy for your portfolio. It would be impossible for you to learn everything about the rare coin market to make informed decisions without amassing years of experience first. The strength of this program is your ability to team up with ASI and Doug Winter, an industry expert who has developed the knowledge and the experience for you. Let us help you. This non-correlated asset is the perfect strategy in today’s economy for wealth preservation and profit potential over the long term.

Why would I consider the Rare Coin Program in addition to bullion?

While precious metals bullion products acquired as wealth insurance should be included in your portfolio - many advisors suggest 5-10% of net worth for wealth insurance - they are only part of your portfolio. Rare coins contain precious metal (usually gold and silver), but their values are virtually independent of bullion market prices. Truly rare coins are a non-correlated asset. This gives your portfolio an extra layer of diversification. You will be diversifying into a market generally immune from the ebbs and flows of other more traditional assets, as well as providing you great long-term potential for appreciation. This non-correlation to markets and other assets is extremely attractive in this current environment.

How will I know there will be a market for my coins when I want to sell them?

Another advantage of acquiring truly rare coins through the RCP program is these are some of the most highly sought after rare coins in the collectibles world. When you deal with coins that are one of only a handful known in the world, the demand in the rare collectibles market for your coins should be easy to come by no matter your time frame. The PCGS Key Dates and Rarities Index chart we referenced earlier depicts the appreciation for rare coin demand over the last 40 years and has shown no signs of slowing down. After all, these coins are only becoming rarer as time goes on.

Why should I consider ASI’s Rare Coin Program service? Can’t I buy these coins myself at a coin show/auction?

Using Doug Winter and ASI is imperative to help you make non-emotional, informed decisions about purchasing the right coin at the right price. It is our experience and expertise which allows you to acquire the RIGHT coins for your long-term success. Of course, you can go to a coin auction and spend a large sum on a really great coin but… Do you know what the outlook on that coin is? Do you know how many of the same coin exist in better or similar condition? Do you know which dealers are out there to go to for the best deal? Do you know the auction history of that coin and other similar coins? The answer is probably ‘no’ to all or most of the above - at least not as well as Doug and ASI. With our connections throughout the rare coin community and Doug’s 30 years of hands-on experience as one of the world’s foremost experts on rare pre-1933 U.S. gold coins, you already have the expert working for you.

What is my exit strategy? I’m not a “coin collector,” so how will I know when and to whom to sell them?

Another benefit of the Rare Coin Program is: just as we will assist you in acquiring the coins for your portfolio, we can assist with the liquidation for you as well. Gone are the days of wondering how to find the correct buyer to get the most out of your rare coins. Let us arrange it for you. Our knowledge of the market and all the sources available so you receive the most competitive price when selling your coins is an important reason to trust your hard earned money with this program.

Do you have options available to store my coins?

While many of our clients prefer to handle the safe-keeping of these historic coins themselves, we know many of our clients are looking for storage options for their valuables. ASI uses Diamond State Depository for all of our precious metals. This is a well-known, highly-rated, reasonably priced and secure private storage facility in Delaware. We would be happy to send you the required paperwork to arrange for your RCP coins to be stored at Diamond State Depository, fully insured against loss, theft or damage.

Rare Stamps

Are rare stamps a good addition for my portfolio?

Stanley Gibbons monitors the performance of the best stamps, and their value, constantly. The top 250 Great Britain stamps over the last 10 years make up the GB250 Index as listed on Bloomberg (STGIGB25 Index). Since 1991, this index has shown a compound annual growth rate of 13.4% and has not dipped in that time. With a steadily growing number of prestige collectors and investors both in the UK, the US and unsurprisingly in the BRIC economies, and a limited supply of investment-grade stamps, prices have risen consistently.

Who determines the values and how?

The value of any stamp is determined the same way as the value of everything else in your portfolio: by what it sells for. Stanley Gibbons consistently monitors what investment grade stamps sell for in auction sales around the world. Also, as the world's premier rare stamp merchant, they take into account their own trade and closely monitor price movements through a worldwide network. All this knowledge feeds into key catalogues which they publish annually to give the market and collectors a guide. With their reputation and stringent quality standards, they set prices based on stamps in 'fine' condition or better. Stamps of poorer quality trade constantly at lower levels around the world, which occasionally brings about the accusation that Stanley Gibbons are 'expensive'. When you're talking investment grade stamps, however, the old adage, "you get what you pay for" has never been truer. All of their catalogues are based on third party auction prices and actual traded values. They therefore report the values, they do not determine them.

What if the market collapses?

No purchase will survive a collapse of every market but some are more closely linked to the broad economy than others. They are 'correlated' to other institutions, assets or investments and we probably all saw this in 2008/09 when “safe” asset allocation went down when the rest of the markets crashed. We are connected to the point that events in China affect what happens in the U.S., which affects what happens in Europe. It always has. But not within minutes or even split seconds as is now the case with computerized trading. This is just one of the reasons behind the current worldwide financial chaos. All the banks are linked to each other, and to the governments, which in turn are linked to each other. But stamps are not related to anything. They are an investment on their own. Prices are not governed by the rest of the economy, but by affluent and committed collectors competing for the best items. Governments can print more money. Miners can mine more diamonds. But nobody can print more Penny Blacks. They steadily rise in value - because they are rare, historical and still sought after. They say the internet and the rise of social media will kill off stamps, but it actually makes the argument for holding a basket of heritage, rare stamps even stronger - they become even more of a rarity.

What fees do I have to pay?

The good news about fees is - there are none. Unlike many other 'regular' investment products, there are no management or transaction fees and there are no annual charges for you to pay. As a further benefit, Stanley Gibbons even fully insures and stores your stamps for you in secure vaults in Guernsey free of charge (keeping these prestige, heritage assets in optimum condition is in our long term interests). So, how do we make our money? We simply charge you a performance-related commission on exit, typically a 80/20 split of any profit (you get 80% of any profit, Stanley Gibbons gets 20%), depending on the product you choose. So we rely on picking the right portfolio for you and the continued strength of the market. When you win, we win.

Do I need to be a stamp expert to invest in them?

In a word, no. Philatelists buy stamps for the pleasure of collecting. Our investors are primarily interested in money, though many are pleased to be owning something tangible and historical rather than a virtual unit. Many of our clients - perhaps most - have no fundamental interest in stamps. They are interested in securing their capital and in their returns. Stanley Gibbons has a department of investment stamp experts who can help you select the stamps with the potential for the highest returns. You can be as hands-off or hands on as you like. We can build and manage your investment stamp portfolio for you or you can select your own investment stamps from those our experts believe will deliver the best returns.

Where are my stamps stored?

Stanley Gibbons vaults are based offshore in the Channel Islands. Your portfolio will be insured and stored free of charge, in climate controlled vaults specially designed to preserve your collection. You also have the option to open and store your rare stamp portfolio in Stanley Gibbons’ Hong Kong vaults. Your collection is available for viewing at any time, by giving Stanley Gibbons a few days’ notice.

Rare Strategic Metals

How does the Rare Strategic Metals program work?

ASI assists in the acquisition, shipping, and storage of rare and strategic metals. We give our clients the opportunity to convert their devaluing cash into the physical ownership of the most globally sought after Rare Strategic Metals. The metals are stored privately in ultra-secure vaults in the tax-free zone outside Zurich, Switzerland.

Which metals are offered?

We focus on offering commonly used, but scarce, rare and strategic metals which are purchased individually to build your own portfolio. Industrial gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and ruthenium granules are also available.

The prices are primarily determined by supply and demand factors, and costs such as packing, shipping, insurance, handling and tariffs from the mines to the vaults in Switzerland. To find the full listing of metals, download our guide or call us at 800-831-0007.

Are there additional charges outside of the cost of the metal?

We apply a 5% surcharge to cover operational costs and commissions on orders. The storage depot in Zurich charges 1.25% per year in storage fees, based on the initial purchase price of the metal. The storage fee covers the value of the metal and at least 100% insurance. ASI collects five years’ worth of storage upfront.


If you sell the metals before five years, unused storage fees are returned with the liquidation proceeds on a pro-rated basis. ASI does not charge a surcharge on liquidations in this program.

Why would someone want to own Rare Strategic Metals instead of normal Precious Metals?

Diversification in your portfolio is key. While Rare Strategic Metals perform many of the same functions as gold and silver for your portfolio, they are used in many more applications and products; everything from air travel, to medicine, to military armaments uses these metals. 95% of all items produced today require these metals.

They are also a defensive position for your portfolio. Since they are critical to modern life and any future advancements humans make, they insulate yourself from inflation and volatility in many other markets. The threshold for being a ‘rare’ metal is less than 20,000 tons of production per year; many of these metals have less than 1,000 tons of production per year, and are byproducts of mining other metals. This means you cannot simply go out and produce more of them, as production of the base metal must increase measurably first.

These metals are extremely safe, too. Holding Rare Strategic Metals keeps your money outside the fiat system, and you will sleep soundly knowing you own intrinsically-valuable hard assets. The vault itself is administered by Swiss customs officials, separate from the Swiss government and inside a tax-free, VAT-free, duty-free zone you are able to visit at any time.

While Rare Strategic Metals are a defensive position, they have incredible upside potential. When holding physical metals, beating inflation (officially at 2% per year) is goal: if you do this, you're already better off than with paper currency. The "icing on the cake" is additional appreciation beyond that 2%. Take hafnium, for example. Within the first 10 months of 2015, hafnium prices exploded by 60%, and analysts project prices couple reach two to three times current levels in the coming years.

What drives price increases in these metals?

Many factors are at play in this market. Private industry consumption makes the Rare Strategic Metals market function on strict supply and demand fundamentals. However, governments are also aware of the critical need for these metals in the future, and are stockpiling accordingly.

At current levels, production is meeting demand in many of these metals, with perhaps a small surplus year over year. What happens when vast swaths of new consumers enter the marketplace, and want to consume all the goods and services normal to us? Companies must produce more than their current amounts of products to meet demand, or raise prices on a finite number of units. A price increase in one component of a product, however, does not deter consumers from buying. Take for example a normal good quality laptop or flat screen TV, priced today at $800. If the indium or gallium in these products increases in price by 30%, this may only result in a $50 increase in the price of the product overall. It probably would not stop consumers from buying it, or they would consider a cheaper option... which still requires the same metals! But, as owners of those metals, you have done quite well!

Can I visit the storage warehouse? Why wouldn’t I simply take delivery outright?

Yes, you can visit in Zurich at any time, provided you give 24 hours’ notice. Simply call us and schedule your visit. You will need a valid passport and your original deed of ownership.

Since this is a Customs facility, you will be accompanied by up to three authorized personnel, who will take you to your specific metals.

As these are your assets outright, you are free to leave with them or take delivery upfront. There are compelling reasons why storage is the best place for them, and this mostly concerns resale.

Upon entry into the customs facility, your metals have evidence of the complete chain of custody, including assay figures and shipping manifests. Down the line, when a shortage requires a manufacturer or producer of products to look elsewhere for a supply of these metals, Swiss Customs can provide all of these details and ensure a smooth, hassle-free purchase. However, if you take delivery, assay, shipping, and investigation costs may fall on you. Additionally, companies do not buy individual kilos of these metals, but large, regular traunches.

Why can't I simply buy these metals on my own?

Before 2009, the main barrier to entry was cost: buying these metals would require hundreds of thousands of dollars, signing a regular purchase contract, finding a reputable source, paying shipping, assay, packaging, and storage fees, and dealing with customs duties and/or import and export taxes.

Our solution takes care of all those hurdles, streamlines the process, and provides an individualized approach to building your Rare Strategic Metal portfolio.

What is the minimum for purchase?

The stated program minimum is $25,000, and average portfolios comprise three to five metals totaling between $75,000-$150,000.

Naturally, different metals vary in price, but also vary in terms of the industry-standard lot sizes.

What are the prices of the metals? Why do I find different prices online?

Please contact us at 800-831-0007 for pricing on these Rare Strategic Metals.

Many places online list prices of various metals, but it may be impossible to know what this price encompasses. Do you still have to worry about assaying the purity? Exporting or importing the metals? Packaging against oxidation? Once you take delivery, how do you sell your holdings later?

The prices we quote all all-inclusive and provide you with a turnkey solution when buying and selling!

Contact ASI

1-800-831-0007 (Toll Free)

Fax: 301-881-1936


8AM - 5PM EST, Monday - Friday


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