Tempted to buy the 2013 1/2 ounce Canadian Silver Polar Bear Coin? READ THIS FIRST!
If you’re thinking about investing in these silver coins, our warnings about exclusive Canadian bullion coins bear repeating: Buyer Beware.
Why? Because dealers are advertising this coin for far too much over the spot price of silver. How much over? We’ve seen 163% markups!
From an investing standpoint, it defies common sense to buy coins at a cost that could be difficult to recoup should you later wish to sell. But that’s exactly what’s happening to many investors.
See why in this article. And find out how to avoid making the same mistake with your money.
Outrageous Markups on the Silver Polar Bear (Bullion) Coin
The polar bear coins are striking—as are all wildlife coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. These 2013 coins are legal tender and contain 1.5 ounces of .9999 fine silver. You may find silver polar bear coins advertised on commercial dealers’ sites.
What’s startling is that some dealers mark up the coin more than 160% over the silver spot price.
Dealer Markups on the 1.5-Oz 2013 Canadian Silver Polar Bear Coin
|Date||Dealer Price||Silver Spot Price||$ Over Spot Price of Silver||% Markup|
|August 12, 2020||$83.14||$25.92/oz||$57.22||105%|
|August 12, 2020||$69.49||$25.92/oz||$43.57||91%|
|June 19, 2017||$164||$16.50/oz||$147.50||163%|
This fact is enough to rule out these coins as investments.
Of course, the rarity of a coin can make it worth far more than the price of its bullion. But this is true of numismatic coins. It doesn’t hold well in the world of bullion coins. The 1.5- ounce silver polar bear is a bullion coin. It is worth only its weight in silver.
You’ll see advertising that certain dealers have exclusive rights to sell the coin. This
purported exclusivity and the coin’s limited mintage (2013 only) is supposed to justify the markup. It does not. This is a sales strategy, not consumer support.
2013 1.5-Oz Silver Polar Bear Coin Design
This silver polar bear coin weighs in at 1.5 ounces. Its silver content is .9999. The coin was originally minted by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) in 2013.
The coin’s reverse features a sleek, attractive profile of a polar bear in a walking stance, testing the arctic ice. On the top of the coin, lettering reads: “CANADA.” Underneath the polar bear image are the words “FINE SILVER 1½ OZ ARGENT PUR.”
On the obverse is the classic image of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt. The queen’s name is inscribed above her profile and underneath is the denomination: “8 DOLLARS,” followed by the year of minting, “2013.”
It is typically marketed as suitable and attractive for first-time entrants into the precious metals IRA arena, as well as for long-term silver bullion investors. You might also come across reviews under the advertising that claim these coins will go up in price every year, which may make the viewer buy right away, or be left with a fear of missing out.
Canadian Silver Polar Bears Are IRA Eligible Coins. But…
Generally, the coin experts at Scottsdale Bullion & Coin advise our clientele on buying bullion coins for a self-directed IRA account. What about in this case?
As a threshold matter, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) do permit these silver coins as IRA eligible investments. Under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997…
- Coins produced by national mints qualify for holding in an IRA.
- The minimum fine silver content for IRA eligibility is .999%.
The polar bear coins meet these criteria for allowable investments in a precious metals IRA.
The 1.5-oz silver polar bear coin may be allowable under the tax codes, and it may be described as a bullion coin, but it does not fit our criteria for prudent, IRA-focused asset protection. And the reason is straightforward: the polar bear coin’s IRA value when traded in bullion is nowhere near the premium prices paid to brokers.
Invest in Silver—But Invest Wisely
The picture is clear for silver as an investment. In 2019 alone, silver’s price went up by 17%. Since then, we have witnessed a flight to safe havens gold and silver due to the economic and financial uncertainty the pandemic has brought.
As of August 12, 2020, gold was up 27.65% for the year at $1,916.39 an ounce and silver was up 44.83% at $25.42 per ounce. Of particular interest to anyone considering investing in silver right now are the mounting expert predictions that silver will outperform gold within the next 3 years.
Self-directed IRAs that permit investments in fine silver and other precious metals support true diversification, and they also anticipate the opportunities when the flaws and vulnerabilities of the securities market are in evidence.
Yet all the powerful, unique advantages of investments in silver are undercut when the buyer purchases bullion that cannot be returned to the dealer or resold on the market at a price anywhere near what the buyer paid.
The bottom line? Invest in silver. But invest in silver wisely.
A Need for Consumer Guidance in the World of Coin Investing
Buyers of RCM wildlife coins might not be aware of the discrepancies between what they are being asked to pay by “exclusive” brokers, and what they could later sell their coins for. To add to the trouble, brokers’ customers might find it difficult to learn more about what they’re viewing because the brokers offering this and similar coins for sale are often the only readily available source of knowledge.
To be clear, the Royal Canadian Mint is not the source of these markups. Yet its website does not offer searchable investment advisories or guidance that people buying these coins from other (self-described exclusive) vendors really need to have. Simply, know this: the 1.5-ounce silver polar bear coin is worth no more than the value of the bullion it’s made of. This is also the case with the 2-oz and 10-oz silver orca coins and a host of other Canadian silver and gold bullion wildlife coins.
Get Help Now
Purchased Silver Polar Bear Coins? Get Help Now
If you have purchased silver polar bear bullion coins from a broker at high prices and need help mitigating your losses, our precious metals experts may be able to assist you. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and available to work with clients anywhere in the United States, we advise investors on the best options for investing in silver. We also manage IRAs for precious metals.
Scottsdale Bullion & Coin’s advisors know that the best silver investment depends on the individual client’s needs, goals and timeline. Contact us to discuss any questions you might have. We are here to offer our knowledge and support. Call 888-812-9892.