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Author Topic: gold or silver bars as heirlooms?  (Read 2212 times)
tonto
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January 31, 2012, 05:14:29 PM
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While I can't yet afford gold bars with bitcoins (I'm bitcoin poor at the moment), I was thinking of buying a couple silver bars to give to my kids as heirlooms.  I'm not sure what metal prices will do years down the road, but if your folks gave you a bar of silver (I'm thinking of one ounce bars initially, maybe bigger later) when you turned 18 or 25 or whatever your age is now, would you think that's cool, cheesy, or just "sure cool, whatever"?
 
I'd like answers from several age ranges. Smiley  The idea is not to sell them, of course, but to hold on to them as future heirlooms, or to sell only in cases of dire emergency.

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January 31, 2012, 05:29:46 PM
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I'm 28. I would think it was great if my parents gave me a silver bar.

But I'm from the UK so attitudes might be a bit different here.

Feel free to send me a silver bar as well Wink

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January 31, 2012, 05:39:45 PM
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38.  I wouldn't think of silver bars as heirloom quality, but compared to the more traditional (at least here in the US) savings bonds that people get for young kids, I think silver is cooler, and will probably have a better return on investment.  As a rainy day fund for when the kids grow up, I think it's not a bad idea.

Then again I have a friend who used to get a 1 oz silver bar every year for his birthday from his aunt (dating back to when silver was $5 an oz) and he had no idea they were worth anything.  They are just sitting in his coin jar.

Perhaps proper silverware has more of an heirloom quality to it, but the 20 year old me would probably think my mom and dad were weirdos if they gave me their precious forks and spoons.
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January 31, 2012, 05:43:09 PM
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I believe that when families do tend to gift precious metals, it tends to be in coin-form. Kids don't really appreciate a straight up bar, but a lot of kids do enjoy collecting coins. I think a silver or gold coin could easily be considered an heirloom.

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January 31, 2012, 06:44:51 PM
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I'm 28, and i would be happy if my parents offered me gold/silver (unfortunately they believe it's all a bubble, because that's what main stream medias told them)
Younger, i wouldn't have understand, and probably sold it to party. You need a saving mindset, and basic understanding of economy to understand that it's a really nice gift.



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January 31, 2012, 07:27:56 PM
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"Smart fellow, my dad. If these weren't so heavy, I'd be glad he's dead." (Well... your children may have different feelings.) Was left a bunch of silverware and platinum-lined china. No idea what to do with it. China's too fragile to be practical, and too expensive to break, but they're also expensive to ship properly -- metal's too difficult to extract and melt to be worth selling it at melt value, so gave to brother-in-law (actually... we left it at the house and are telling him we're giving it to him. Doubt he'll be pleased.). Silverware was tarnished, and I have no interest in maintaining the metal utensils I use to transfer TVP+Velveeta into my mouth. That's still with us, but it'll just end up being forgotten in a box in some back-room.

Bars, though, are easy to sell. There's no significant value to them aside from melt value, so very practical. I would be much more pleased to have received silver bars than silver utensils.

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January 31, 2012, 07:47:19 PM
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Any coin shop will buy the silverware.  You could probably even trade it for bars or rounds if you wanted.

I guess I wasn't trying to particularly recommend silverware, but I don't feel like silver bars have either the sentimental or physical value to be genuine heirlooms IMHO.  I feel there's a difference between "this was your great-grand-dad's pocket watch" and "this was your great-grand-dad's 1 oz Apmex silver bar."  I personally don't feel like silver bars have any history to them, they're simply a store of value.  (It might be a different story if you bought coins with numismatic value instead of just bullion.  A rare sliver coin from the 1800's or heck even a roman coin has some history, and will also maintain or improve it's value.)

That's why I would think of generic silver bars more like a savings bond than a family heirloom.  You buy it for the kids when they're young, maybe show it to them when they're old enough, but keep it so they don't blow it on beer.  Then when they're grown up and can appreciate the value, you hand it over and let them know it's for an emergency or a rainy day or the honeymoon they wouldn't be able to normally afford, etc.
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January 31, 2012, 08:23:47 PM
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What about a couple (or 1 if you're talking about 1 ounce of silver equivalent) of shares in a large dividend company like JNJ, KO, XOM or MSFT? That 1 ounce silver bar will always be 1 ounce while investments in things that do something grow. I know some charming tales of older gentleman who received a couple of shares in a big company as a gift from that their father, put it on auto-dividend-reinvestment and when they were older they had a small fortune. This might also learn your kid something.

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February 01, 2012, 06:49:23 AM
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I have a friend who has purchased land for his grandchildren, and planted black walnut trees on it. By the time they're looking to retire, all that lumber will be worth quite a bit.

One of the more novel ideas I've heard, anyway.

As far as the bars go, if you want them to be heirlooms, I'd have a message engraved in them or something. Maybe a handprint? Something to make them not just run-of-the-mill bullion.

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February 01, 2012, 02:04:19 PM
 #10

imho, coins are better in the hierloom department. Coins have a more personal touch since people are more accustomed to handling coins.

Although my completely overbiased opinion would be to say that gems/jewelry make a better heirloom than either Wink

But, ultimately it's the sentiment, not the item, so you should choose something that holds the most value that way Smiley



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February 01, 2012, 04:32:43 PM
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I'm as old as the hills & would be delighted to have inherited any gold or silver in any form & am actively building what I hope is an interesting hoard for future generations, it's down to personal taste of what you enjoy collecting, I would recommend saving an eBay search for silver art bars, over say $50 & at least 2 bids on them, that way you'll get to see the more collectable - sort after ones, maybe collect along a certain theme, for gold I'd start with a nice 1 gram bar or 2, the Pamp Suisse ones with the goddess Fortuna & cornucopia on are nice & symbolic of prosperity & abundance, the UBS hologram ones are very attractive too.

If I was in the States then a sack of pre 1964 90% silver dimes, check completed listings to see the current going prices approx for all the above. I would also go for slabbed (by PCGS or NGC) Chinese silver coins from reputable sellers/dealers

Making a collection of a specific type, date run or around a theme can be fun as you fill in the gaps & can be enjoyed virtually if you add them to a web page, personally though I would set up a Mt.Gox account specifically for BTC long term savings & pay in some $ for every birthday, giftmas etc, to buy a few whenever the price moves 10 - 20% down during the year, I'm setting this up for a friend's kid who lost her father in a tragic accident at 4 years old 2 years ago, I'd also buy Casascius coins

I hope to leave an eclectic mix of goodies as heirlooms when I'm even more ancient

so for now I'll just ask you all politely to get off of my lawn

& to take your dam metal detectors with you  Grin




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tonto
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February 01, 2012, 04:41:58 PM
 #12

By the way, I'm completely pissed at my 10-year old self.  Like really angry at myself.  Back when I was 10, I found a bunch of dimes that my mom had stored away.  At the time, I only saw them as dimes, and took the and spent them on something silly (probably candy).  I think there was a total of like 50 or 100 of them (so I only saw $5 or $10).
 
It's only in my adult life that I realized that they were the silver dimes, and she was saving them (probably to give to my brother and I).  UGH!
 
So this was kind of why I was considering bars... they're enough removed from coins/money that they won't accidentally be spent for face value by someone not knowing their worth.
 

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February 01, 2012, 05:19:54 PM
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this just happened to me a few weeks ago.  I was having dinner at my mom's house and telling her about how i was collecting silver as a way to save money.  she gets all happy and goes into the back room and brings out a 10 oz silver bar! It turns out my grandfather bought it for me in 1978 (FOR 60 DOLLARS!) when i was just a wee little one. He passed away in the nineties and my mom forgot all about it.  it's a great gift and very meaningful to me.  I'm also glad she didn't give it to me when i was younger bc i would have just cashed it in and spent the money on weed. 

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February 01, 2012, 05:42:01 PM
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now that you're older & wiser you can use it instead as seed capital for your very own grow op though  Tongue

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February 03, 2012, 05:46:07 AM
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lol exactly Tongue

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February 06, 2012, 06:35:35 AM
 #16

I have some very rare NORFED silver pieces that are quite collectable beyond simple bullion value if you are interested. The story behind them is quite interesting. I suggest you check them out. I can provide you with something in all price ranges. Please let me know if you would like to know more Smiley
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February 06, 2012, 03:45:44 PM
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I have some silver/Gold and do plan to increase my holdings I do only do it for the bullion value. (well apart from the bitcoin rounds.. i wanted them)

But yea silver/gold is like any investment that can be passed on. But its one of them investments that can go up or down.
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