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Gold and Silver ethical question


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As a collector or numismatist would you ever consider consigning a precious metal coin or medal to the melting pot? If so what would justify that act in your mind?

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Yes and no. Even if it was a mangled quarter eagle, I'd keep it. If it was a modern bullion coin or even a foreign bullion coin from an earlier age (early 20th century sovereigns), I'd melt it down if I wanted to make a ring or some kind of meaningful jewelry with it.

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For me, no.

 

Reason being they are still probably going to hold a higher value as a coin versus being melted down. If I'm going to melt something, I darn well better get more out of it melted than as it was before.

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No. I don't even like the idea of coins/medals being melted. There's plenty of scrap gold, silver, whatever around without damaging something that may have value that we don't yet understand.

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At what point does copper become "precious"? If it ever were, than yes. With 900+ lbs. of 95%, I'd be the 1st in line.

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I already have a few times. I'm pretty sure the 40% kennedy halves I traded in as partial payment for the 1885 cc gsa morgan I picked up went to melt. I have traded in a few other times "bulk" silver that probably made it also.

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This is really an irrelevant question, since anytime you sell a coin, it could end up being melted. For those of you who have ever sold a modern gold commemorative, those are melted by the truckload! To me, if I am done with a coin and I sell it, I could not care less what the buyer does with it. I've sold coins that have been polished and placed into jewelry, bent up and shaped into rings, and drilled to make a key chain. If it's truly a rare or historical coin, and you're selling it for melt, then either you have done something terribly foolish, or metals prices are an order of magnitude higher than they are currently. Remember, almost all coins were produced to be money, and money is spent, and eventually money is worn out and is melted down to make new money. Or in the case today, it's melted to make electronics or other consumer products.

 

Keep in mind, my comments refer to free market transactions, since I could not see myself selling all my bust halves for 12x face to be melted into a silver bar. Now, if the government passed some edict requiring me to sell all my bust halves and every other coin for 12x face to JP Morgan Chase so they could finally cover their grotesque naked short position in silver, I'd be vehemently opposed!

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I can't see why melting coins is unethical, unless specific law in your country says no. Because melting is a devalue process rather than an add-value one. No gold or silver coins are priced under the value of the metal they contain. The real problem is when someone decides to duplicate a coin using gold or silver to sell for a higher price. That is the ethical issue we should discuss about.

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I'd have no problem melting a coin as long as it doesn't have significant numismatic value. It seems wrong to melt a historic or uncirculated/proof coin.

 

Now, if it weren't for the fine, I'd melt most of my 30+ pounds of copper pennies in a heartbeat. Every coin that is destroyed makes the survivors more valuable. Let's face it: I'd be shocked if 1982 pennies weren't still in circulation 50+ years from now.

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