The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook page.

Investing in Gold Coins vs. Coin Collecting: What’s the Difference?

October 8, 2019 07:00
Investing in Gold Coins vs. Coin Collecting: What’s the Difference?

Is investing in gold coins and coin collecting the same thing? In a nutshell, no. While they each have value, collectors tend to buy coins as a hobby, selecting ones that are valued for their rarity. Investors, meanwhile, are generally investing in gold coins as a hedge against the economy.

Collectors and investors, however, have one thing in common: their appreciation for gold coins.  To understand the draw, let’s look at the history of gold coins in the United States.

The History of the Gold Coin

Foreign coins were once legal tender in the United States. While under the control of Great Britain, early American colonists used both gold and silver as legal tender, also known as known as a bimetallic system. Coin shortages, however, created a need for different types of commodity money. Natives and colonists, for example, often used tobacco, beaver skins and wampum (small beads made from shells) as currency when dealing with each other.

But hard coin was still necessary when dealing with foreign merchants. Foreign gold coins in circulation at the time included the English guineas, gold ducats from the Netherlands, and the Spanish gold doubloon.

That was the case until 1792. Shortly after the United States government was formed, Congress passed The Mint Act, which established the United States Mint and made the United States dollar the country's standard unit of money. The Mint also began striking U.S. coins, which were required to be made up of certain amounts of gold, silver or copper.

Unfortunately, a shortage in silver and gold at the time didn’t make the transition from foreign currency to a U.S.-based one easy. As a workaround, the government allowed Spanish coins to still be legally recognized—until Californian Gold Rush of 1848.

That influx of gold eventually paved the way to the Coinage Act of 1857, which officially demonetized all forms of foreign currency. Going forward, only gold coins produced in Philadelphia, Dahlonega, New Orleans and San Francisco would be legal tender in the United States.

Coin Collecting Begins

"If a date could ever be chosen for the explosive beginning of popular coin collecting in America, May 25, 1857 would be a likely candidate," CoinWeek's David Thomason Alexander explains in 10 Great Moments That Shaped American Coin Collecting. That was the year the copper-nickel Flying Eagle cent was introduced to replace the pure copper large cent. Although it was unpopular, news of the large cent’s demise lead to an interest in finding and saving the coin.

Nowadays, coins are collected based on all sorts of values, including rarity, design, metal type, denominations, date of issue and mintmarks.

Did you know there are more than 400 American Numismatic Association (ANA) member coin clubs across the country? Coin clubs allow people to discuss the history of coins and currency, as well as the role they play in society.

Collecting vs. Investing

Collector and bullion coins are both commodities that aren't meant for circulation as payment for goods. But while collector coins are valued for their rarity and condition, bullion coins like gold are usually valued for their metal content.

Since bullion coins are a lower value investment, they are a good option for small and first time investors. If you decide to buy gold coins, make sure to buy them from a reputable dealer, like Manhattan Gold and Silver.

Our catalog of gold bullion coins features unique designs from mints all around the world. The gold coins we have available for sale include:

  • American Buffalo
  • Gold American Eagle
  • Australian Kangaroo
  • Austrian Philharmonic
  • Gold Maple Leaf (Canada)
  • Gold Krugerrand (South Africa)
  • Gold Britannia (U.K.)

Bullion coins are available in sizes ranging from 1/10 ounce to 1 ounce--so you can choose how much or how little you want to invest in physical gold.

Happy investing (or collecting)!

Ask MGS: Gold Recycling Payouts & Processes

October 1, 2019 07:00
Ask MGS: Gold Recycling Payouts & Processes

MGS prioritizes customer service--and we want you to have as much information as possible so you feel confident coming to us with all of your precious metal recycling needs. Below are the answers to the most common questions we get from customers who visit our storefront. If your question is not answered here, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.                                       

How much do you pay?
A: Generally our payout on gold comes out to around 98.5% of your lot’s melt value, as determined by the London fixing. You can get a specific dollar estimate for your lot by using our estimator tool, or by contacting us for a free quote.

Q: How long until I receive payment?
A: For most types of scrap of any size, we pay you the same day we receive your precious metals.

  • Polishing materials, your payout can be ready within 4 weeks.
  • Large stone removal lots, 2 weeks for the stones and 4 weeks for the settlement

Q: What if my scrap contains gemstones?
A: We can safely remove the gems via a chemical process and have them ready for you within 10 business days.

Q: Can I be paid in bullion?
A: Yes. At your request, we can substitute all, or a portion of your cash payout with investment-grade bullion. We offer our own certified gold bullion bars in 1 ozt. and 1 kg. sizes at wholesale prices, as well as fine casting grains or platinum products. Visit our online bullion shop for a variety of products and vault storage services.

Q: Can I watch you weigh, assay and melt my precious metals
A: Of course--our refining process is completely transparent, and we allow our customers to watch how we handle their scrap from beginning to end.

Q: What if can’t bring my precious metals to your refinery?
A: You don’t need to visit our location in-person; we accept shipments. You can begin the shipping process through our payout estimator, and we will contact you immediately to confirm logistical details and offer you discounted rate with our preferred carrier. We send your payment the same day your shipment is received. To ensure that your shipment arrives safely, read our article on secure shipping tips.

Q: What types of precious metal scrap do you accept?
A: The only items we cannot accept are electronic devices, alluvial gold, and uncertified mined materials from Africa and South America. Otherwise, we accept gold, silver, platinum, and palladium scrap in almost any form, such as:

Choosing a Precious Metal Recycler or Bulk Buyer

September 24, 2019 07:00
Choosing a Precious Metal Recycler or Bulk Buyer

Whether you’re offloading broken jewelry and accumulated scrap, or cashing out lots of bullion, there’s much more to choosing a refinery to sell your precious metals to than just finding a willing buyer. It’s important to find a trustworthy business partner who has a vested interest in your success. When searching for a precious metal refinery (or any bulk buyer, really) to sell to, here are the qualities you should look for:


“Cash4Gold” shops and similar buyers may frequently open new locations. Unfortunately, many of these businesses operate in a fly-by-night manner to make a profit at the expense of their customers, then close up shop and move on. A gold buyer that doesn’t treat customers well or pay them fairly never stays in business for long. A longstanding refinery is a strong indicator of credibility and expertise. Here at MGS, we have been a family-owned and operated refinery since 1985.

Reputation & Customer Service

Before working with a refinery, read reviews online from places like Google Maps,, or the Better Business Bureau to learn what previous customers liked or didn’t like about their experiences. MGS is focused on customer satisfaction and maintains an A+ rating from the BBB.


Trustworthiness is extremely important when dealing in precious metals. The industry is full of scams to watch out for--from crooked scales to inefficient smelting. At MGS, our refining process is completely transparent. We allow our customers to watch their precious metal scrap go through the entire process of being melted, weighed and assayed--and we’re happy to answer all your questions along the way. We value honest transactions, and are eager to prove it. You don’t need to watch our every move to get the best payout--but you can if you want.


Naturally, you want a fair valuation and high payout for your precious metals. MGS offers a range of assay services to ensure you get the most accurate estimate possible. We will pay up to 99 percent of the melt value of your precious metals, according to the latest London Fixing. Payments can be made to you usually the same day. Since most other refineries take a week or longer to process payouts, we take pride in the accuracy and speed that makes us a leading precious metal refinery.

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