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#1 Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 12:02pm
Hiding in the lava tubes northwest of Flagstaff
Joined: Jun 22, 2011

The LCS Report

Is there really a shortage of metal? Well, this form will try to keep an eye on that important fact.

Please post a brief report here each time you stop in a dealer.

If we compile them, I believe we'll have an important indicator of what is really going on among our class of buyers.

Some say we need to watch the inventory of 1000 or 5000 oz bars. I am not sure we have real access to that data. We only get reported numbers from organizations that may or may not want us to know the truth. But we can try to track availability and premiums of the products we purchase. In particular, the Local Coin Shops and other bullion dealers tucked in between other businesses in strip malls around the world provide much product to folks like us. Whe they cannot get enough metal to satisfy their customers, then we can sit up and take notice.

So, if you can provide a LCS report covering four data points, regularly, repeatedly, perhaps we can construct a meaningful picture of supplies nd premiums at the retail level.
For both gold and silver...

  1. Are inventories increasing or decreasing?
  2. Premium on minted coins?
  3. Premium on bars & rounds?
  4. Where are you?

Any data at all will help. If we can send in sufficient LCS reports, the data can be considered generalizable. I suspect that our sample will be random enough by virtue of the wide range of readers here. I'll copy and paste any LCS reports that get posted on the main pages as iI run across them, and I'll try to post graphs and charts on main street as I create them.

Edited by: Dr Jerome on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:13am
Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 12:46pm
Verus nemo
Joined: Jan 21, 2014

LCS report from Northern Great Plains, 11/05/2014

I stopped by my little LCS yesterday afternoon to make another modest purchase and query the guys about supply disruptions, etc. I particularly wanted to hear their take on the US Mint's announcement yesterday.

They indicated that, so far, they still are able to source their bullion from their suppliers but that shipping times were increasing and premiums were on the rise significantly. They, of course, pass this premium increase along and premiums on generic silver rounds increased by $0.50/oz yesterday when purchased in smaller quantities. ASEs have always been had higher premiums at this LCS than elsewhere and yesterday they sold a roll of ASEs to another customer nearby for $20.60/oz (spot was c$15.6x).

Bullion on display is down considerably from previous weeks. They may simply be keeping more back in the safe and not showing it all. This is a shop that often will sell 500-700 ounces of silver a day. The selection of one ounce rounds and coins was limited to buffalos, a few loose ASEs, and a lonely CML with milkspots. They usually have quite a number of NWT 10oz bars and an occasional larger bar but I saw none this time. 90% silver was available in two bins they allow you to pick through and buy at 14.5x face. Mostly roosy dimes, quarters and a mixture of the different halves, the only mercury dimes available were slicks.

The shop almost never orders gold but relies on locals selling back to them. They rarely have much on hand and fractionals are infrequent. Yesterday, however, they had 3 whole ounce Krugs, 1oz CML, a pair of 1/4oz. CML, 4 tenth ounce CML and a 1/10 AGE among other oddities and numismatics (mostly sovereigns). I attributed the visable increase to folks perhaps playing the Ag:Au ratio by swapping but one employee corrected me and said that most there was from a single local seller who needed cash for an unfortunately-timed vehicle purchase.

I engaged briefly with the shop owner just before leaving. He confided that he's quite nervous about the deflationary scare that's being presented and understandably is concerned that if it were to persist long enough, he could be driven out of business for lack of customers with discretionary cash. That's the first time in nearly three years of frequenting his business that I've seen him nervous like that.

Finally, the shop is located downtown in a rather small city in the Northern Great Plains. Our economy remains relatively strong and housing prices are steady or rising and property was, at least until a few weeks ago, still changing hands. Haven't heard how we're doing lately.

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 12:46pm
Birmingham, AL
Joined: Sep 8, 2013


In Birmingham, Ala. Premiums on ASE, Maple Leafs, Phil Harm etc. are $4, over spot and generic are $3. over

Inventories are very limited on everything.

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 12:48pm
London, ON
Joined: May 22, 2013

Thanks Doc.

I think this is a great idea. I haven't made a trip in months because I found that my local store premiums didn't adjust well as the prices continued to fall. I found that the online retailers (in Canada, https://silvergoldbull.com/) were offering a better deal overall, even though shipping and insurance were part of the total.

I look forward to reading the other stories from all over the place.

Thanks for this, Doc!


Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 1:21pm
Joined: Oct 26, 2012

Syracuse, NY

Did not get information on premiums in my conversation at the LCS yesterday, but he did say that his inventories are decreasing in both .999 and 90%. He said great prices to buy, but he has to have the inventory.

Age quod agis

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 1:40pm
Joined: Jun 15, 2011

just checked my LCS

on saturday there was a $3.00 premium for silver eagles their spot was $16.19 and the coins were $19.19. today i checked and the spot was $15.44 and the eagles were $19.34 a $3.90 premium wow keep stacking.

It is the BILL of RIGHTS not the BILL of NEEDS

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 2:23pm
Joined: Oct 23, 2012

Great idea!

Great idea and will chime in whenever I am in the position to check things out.

One quick thought/suggestion that might make tracking and contextualizing the data over time easier. Disparate data is hard to work with and if we pick two or three specific things and ask everyone to just check those prices it might make things more simple. Personally speaking it would be easier to do that than ask for and remember the premiums.

For example:

Silver: Eagles, Private Mint 1 ounce & 10 ounce, $1.00 Pre-1964

Gold: Eagles, Private Mint 1 ounce

We could track those standards easily in excel or google documents and compare to this site and then use the delta to give us the premiums. It might be easier than asking people to remember premiums or ending up with a variety of good but hard to manage data.

Just my two cents, also would be glad to help on a weekly basis to pull the data and compare.

Thanks for taking the initiative.

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 2:31pm
Overpriced shit-hole town in broke-ass state USA
Joined: Aug 17, 2013

People's Republic of New Jersey

Every time I go I'm still amazed that my favorite LCS will still trade paper for metal (fools!):

I visited today and found:

  • "wounded" silver Eagles (tarnished or uncased) at +$2 over spot
  • Gold Eagles go for +$50 over spot
  • Gold Krugerrands go for +$35 over spot

I like this small (kinda hidden) mom and pop LCS; but it isn't typical and inventory is hardly assured. In fact I've seen them cleaned out on more that one occasion. Today was one of those days for those who arrived later then I did. There is a better know shop located mid-state that has typically had +$5 on silver eagles and +85 on gold eagles and +$65 on gold maples. They will usually have supply here if you're ready, but the premium is heavy. Relating one shop to another; the one with the higher premiums has easier access to a wealthier demographic.

Peace brothers and sisters!

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 2:54pm
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

Doc J

I believe in supply and demand. Demand is going up, supply is waning. Just a matter of time. I could go on but most of this community already understands. So thank you

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 3:07pm
4 oz
Spokane, WA
Joined: Dec 11, 2013

THIS--was an excellent idea!

THIS--was an excellent idea! Haven't hit any of my area LCS in about 10 days...because I know how it goes during a smash...but will add Intel as I get chances going forward.

Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 7:27pm
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

Thanks for This

Doc; haven't been to my shop for a while but will check it out when next I go to town.

Learn to behave
Thu, Nov 6, 2014 - 9:34pm
Joined: Jun 14, 2011


I made two visits to the LCS in 3 days (Saturday and Monday). Saturday they had about $750 (cash, not face) of 90%. They had a few generic rounds (maybe $1000). Monday, they had none of the above. All they had was some heavy silver necklace jewelry, some silver maples at $6 over spot and numismatics. One guy came in wanting $40 face in 90% and he was too late. They had $0.


Fri, Nov 7, 2014 - 3:07am
New Zealand
Joined: Mar 7, 2013

Dr Jerome - love this!

We don't have LCS in NZ, but I love to hear about the experiences of those of you that do.

Makes my day when I get news of the people in US/Canada who can walk up & buy shiny things

For the record, we have the local TradeMe auction site for private sellers/buyers and some bullion dealers + the mint.

NZ Post does sell some shiny NZ ferns in presentation folders for the tourists but that is about it for LCS here. Anyone local - be free with corrections.

I may be talking out of my hat, but I don't think we have any PM fairs etc except for the real numismatic coin buffs. I have never seen one advertised, so TM & Online sellers it is.

Fri, Nov 7, 2014 - 12:10pm
Hiding in the lava tubes northwest of Flagstaff
Joined: Jun 22, 2011


I'll try to compile this data over the weekend in some systematic manner. There are about a dozen or so posts on Wednesdays pages that I must gather also. Our survey is not orthodox here, but I think the data will be interesting and useful.


Fri, Nov 7, 2014 - 12:38pm
Joined: Jul 21, 2012

Local shop

Local shop: $4.25 over spot for silver eagles. $65.30 over spot for gold eagles.


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