Gold and Silver FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions on gold and silver. We also answer many many others on our Gold and Silver Blog. Or you can search the knowledge base at our Help Centre.

Otherwise if you have any others just visit our Contact page and ask away! We’re happy to answer your questions over the phone, via live chat or by email.

What does the spot price of gold (or silver) mean?

In simple terms the spot price is the cash price of a commodity like gold or silver, at a given time and place. It relates to large bars of metal stored in certified warehouses where usually just the receipt of ownership changes hands not the physical metal.

However, realize that when buying smaller bars and ingots, the spot price doesn’t include other costs that may be involved such as: manufacturing and minting costs for bars, ingots or coins; seller mark ups; storage costs; or delivery and insurance costs.

So this is why prices are quote as “spot + 3.5%” for example.

(If you wanted the pedantic answer it would be that spot doesn’t actually exist. There is only “The Bid” – what someone is prepared to pay. And “The Ask” – what someone is prepared to sell for, and one has to meet the other. The spot price is just a theoretical price midway between the 2).

Or for more detail see this article: What Does Gold Spot Price (Or Silver Spot Price) Mean?

Also bear in mind that the spot price generally reported in the media is usually in US dollars. So when buying precious metals here in New Zealand the “spot price” is first converted to NZ dollars using the prevailing USD/NZD exchange rate and then the premium of say 3.5% for example is added to that. Here’s an article we wrote discussing this topic:

Avoid worrying about the NZD/USD exchange rate when buying gold

And you can track the NZ dollar gold and silver price on our prices page.

Plus there’s also historical charts of both on there too.

I'm new to this whole precious metals scene and would like to learn more, but your websites blog has so many articles and videos. What should I read first?

Here’s a list of articles we’ve written with a focus on buying gold (and silver) in New Zealand.

If you read them in the order written it should given you a pretty good grounding in precious metals.

Some help working out when to buy: When to Buy Gold or Silver: The Ultimate Guide.

Understanding exchange rates when buying.

Choosing between coins and bars.

Valuing NZ housing in gold and looking at past trends when doing this to see when gold might be overvalued.

And the same for silver: NZ Housing to Silver Ratio.

Indicators to track to determine when to sell or exchange gold for another asset.

Some simple methods to determine lower risk times to buy: Gold and Silver Technical Analysis: The Ultimate Beginners Guide

Or if you prefer to watch and listen than read, here is the video version of this article.

Nothing goes up in a straight line so consider gold (and silver) can fall.

And speaking of video, this 1.5 hour video from Mike Maloney gives a very good overview of much of the precious metals subject.

But our Gold & Silver Blog now includes a list of Categories. And each Category has a number of “Must Read” articles. Go through each of those and you’ll be well on the way to becoming a precious metals expert!

Should I buy coins or bars/ingots? And what about choosing between local coins and bars versus overseas made products?

Why is the silver margin on bars so much more than the mark-up on gold bars?

See this article as we cover this topic here: Why is it so expensive to buy silver?

How can I be sure of the purity of the gold or silver supplied?

Local gold and silver bars/ingots are stamped with the suppliers “hallmark” and with either 9999 for gold (four 9’s or 99.99% pure) or 999 for silver (three 9’s or 99.9% pure). Also, in terms of ensuring purity of supplied product the local New Zealand refiners we use regularly exchange metal with other companies locally and in Australia and so when this happens the metal is assayed again. So if there was ever a problem with purity they would be found out before too long and as reputation is everything, this would put them out of business. They are family owned and run businesses, conservative by nature and have been around for over 40 years, supplying precious metals to private investors but also to jewellers in NZ.

See this for more on purity: Gold Purity and Silver Purity – A Complete Guide

Some overseas products such as bars from Swiss Refiner PAMP come with assay certificates and individual serial numbers. These cost more than local gold and silver. For example for gold, another $45 per 1 oz bar more and for silver, a further $50 per 1kg bar. These are more readily exchangeable overseas, so depending on where you intend to sell them, may be a better option for you.

Do I pay GST on gold and silver bullion purchased in New Zealand?

The short answer is you don’t pay GST on pure gold and silver bullion bars and coins purchased in New Zealand.

As long as they meet certain levels of purity which are:

  • gold with a fineness of not less than 99.5%
  • silver with a fineness of not less than 99.9%
  • platinum with a fineness of not less than 99%.

See this for more on purity, including GST and Gold and Silver in New Zealand: Gold Purity and Silver Purity – A Complete Guide

Once I've accepted a quote for gold/silver and paid my money, how can I be sure I will receive it and that you guys aren't a dodgy 'Nigerian scam'?

We have been in operation for over 13 years. you can read our Trustpilot reviews from actual customers here.

Also the main suppliers we use have been in business for over 40 years supplying precious metals to private investors but also to Jewellers in NZ. So the short answer is should we or them not deliver (i.e. rip someone off), both ours and their reputation would be shot and effectively ours and their business would be over. They are family owned and run businesses, conservative by nature and have been around for over 30 years.

From a legal perspective – once you accept, you are issued with a sales order and that is a legal contract. You are required to pay $xx and we and our suppliers are required to supply xx oz’s of gold or silver.

Okay, so I've decided to buy, why should I go through you guys?

Great question and we’ve got some answers here: Why Choose Us.

And you can read more about us and our mission on our About page.

Can I buy precious metals from outside of New Zealand?

Yes you can.

If you’re a kiwi but living offshore at the moment and would like to convert some foreign currency into gold and silver, we have experience with assisting ex-pats purchase precious metals back home.

We also have helped many non New Zealand Residents purchase and store gold and silver in New Zealand.

We have suppliers with storage options that may suit those buying from overseas but intending to return to New Zealand at some point.

Go here for more on that: Gold and Silver Storage for Non New Zealand Residents and Ex-pats.

Or drop us an email or you can call us from overseas on +64 9 281 3898 or skype.

Also refer to the question below for foreign currency account options, which might suit offshore buyers.

Can I buy using anything other than New Zealand dollars? Do you have foreign currency accounts that I can transfer to when buying precious metals?

Yes we have foreign currency account payment options including US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Euro and Great British Pound.

Our experience has shown that if you are transferring funds from offshore to the same currency account here, there are markedly cheaper fees compared to if you were transferring to a NZD denominated account from say a UK or US bank account. So transferring from say a Pound account in Great Britain to our suppliers GB Pound account seems to be cheaper than standard bank FOREX charges. Contact us if you’d like to know more about how this works.

We also accept Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Learn more about that option.

Plus we can take Visa and Mastercard – payment processing fees apply.

Learn more about the buying process: How to Buy and Invest in Gold and Silver.

So I’ve bought now I want to keep the gold and silver safe. What about storage? Where can I store precious metals?

Nice work. It pays to think ahead about this. We cover the options in our free ecourse: Module 7 How and where to store it

A common preference is to use one of a number of private vaults around the country.

For our all our preferred storage options see: Gold and Silver Storage.

Or drop us an email or go to our contact page and tell us whereabouts you live. We don’t want to know the street address! Just what city you are nearest and we can advise what options you have.

Some people like home safes, although none of them are foolproof. Ideally go for one concreted into your floor if possible.

Then there is always “midnight gardening”. As crazy as it may sound some people do still bury it.

How do I go about selling gold or silver once I’ve bought it - it seems complicated?

It’s actually a pretty simple process. An advantage of using our services is that all the suppliers we deal with will buy back the gold and silver they sell. The suppliers we use will buy it back from you. It will however always be for less than the spot price of silver or gold. The rate varies depending on, how badly they need the supply, the type of product, and between suppliers. For example, for gold between say 1.5% and 4% below spot. For silver, between 3.5% and 8.5% below spot.

It helps to keep the receipt/sales invoice from when you bought. Take that and some ID, not for any big brother government tracking reasons (well not yet at least!), but due to 2nd hand dealer regulations, they are required to confirm the identity of whoever they buy back from. You can also have it shipped back to them if you live out of the Auckland area. Ensure that if sending by post:

  • You need to have insurance in transit.
  • Provide photocopy of ID in form of passport or drivers licence, etc.
  • Provide the bank account number you want the proceeds to be paid into.
  • Provide contact a phone number.
  • Provide Address details, as mentioned above due to 2nd hand dealer regulations.

Learn more about the process to Sell Gold and Silver.

That is the simplest method – there is also a ready market on the likes of Trademe but that is more hassle of course. But the reward for the extra effort is that you may get more for the sale via Trademe depending on the buyer.

You could also sell it to a pawnshop or one of the new kiosks popping up. But, you’ll likely get way under spot price doing this. Maybe as low as only 50% of spot price. Not a great idea we think.