Gift-giving, be it for a birthday, Christmas or an anniversary, can be fraught with difficulties and uncertainties.
Is the gift appropriate, will it be used, does it have the potential to be an heirloom?
Most importantly, you ask yourself does your gift make you look unimaginative or, worst of all, cheap?
You need to know that the gift is useful and will be used
Primarily, though, we like to know that the gift we give to someone will enhance their life. We give gifts because we care about the person and want to nurture them. If we know that the warm sweater we gave to someone at Christmas three years ago is still pressed into service at the first frost then we share the warm glow…
It’s not the most exciting gift, but it’s staved off cold winds and has almost served as a hug! So, sweaters aside, where do precious metals fit in when it comes to gifts?
Some gifts, like chocolates and fancy gins, are intended to be for immediate consumption, whereas a batch of silver dollars from Golden Eagle Coins is in it for the long-haul.
Are metals better than cash?
Gold and silver are great alternatives to cash, yes.
In some circumstances, they’re better than cash because fiat money doesn’t increase in value unless it’s traded against other currencies and even then, it can go wrong… Offering a gift of precious metals allows someone to increase their wealth in the long-term and it also shows great thought behind it – you’ve thought several years into the future for them.
Gold and its stablemates silver, platinum, palladium and the rest can be traded in down the line when they’ve increased in value. The recipient could sell their metals to raise a house deposit or pay for college, for example.
Silver shouldn’t be seen as gold’s poor relation
Although silver is usually far cheaper per ounce – at the moment gold is more than $1,200 per ounce compared to silver’s $15 – it’s prone to more significant swings in price. This means that if you buy, for example, $1,000 in gold and $1,000 in silver, you’ll probably make more profit on the silver.
Having said that, swings can go up and down…
Silver is also good for newer, less-experienced investors simply because it costs less. It also, over time (despite the swings) grows in value because we keep finding more industrial and medical applications for silver. If you’re planning to go down the Ag route this Christmas, bear this in mind before you head to the jewelry store.
Jewelry isn’t always the best gift option
Of course, jewelry is a great option if you know the person is a collector, or has specifically hinted (if there is such a thing…) that they’re coveting a particular item.
However, you need to remember that when you buy jewelry you’re paying way over the actual metal content – you’re paying for the design as well. The problem there is that trends in jewelry come and go in the same way as they do in fashion.
Sometimes it’s best to go with the raw value of the precious metal in the form of bullion and bars.