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Buy your 2019 silver and gold coins early

Happy New Year.

It is 2019 already if you are interested in purchasing the new date silver American Eagle bullion coin.

I noticed this on the APMEX website this morning.

If you buy now, the order has an expected shipping date of Jan. 14, 2019.

There is always a huge demand for the new date at the beginning of each year.

APMEX is offering a valuable service to collectors.

By being at the head of the line, even if supply gets rationed, you should be OK.

There are two ways of looking at this service pricewise.

The 2019 coins are just 10 cents more than currently available 2018 coins.

That’s quite a deal.

However, the premium over bullion value is quite high.

With silver bullion at $14 bid and $14.10 ask on the website, buyers of a single coin will be charged $3.89 over melt value, or $17.89.

That’s a 28 percent markup.

It gets cheaper buying in quantity.

If you want 1,500 or more coins, the individual price is $16.69, or $2.69 over bid.

That’s a markup of 19.2 percent.

However, if you are interested solely in maximized the quantity of silver you get for each dollar spent, there are cheaper alternatives for investors.

You can get an APMEX-branded 100-ounce bar for a markup of 9.2 percent.

Of course, bars will not satisfy the collector’s spirit. For us, coins it must be.

In a bow to the popular practices of the times, you can even place your advance order for first strikes.

APMEX calls its program MintDirect® Premier Single.

These coins are priced as low as $4.59 per coin over spot.

That’s a 33 percent markup.

Those who want coins that officially are early releases get the opportunity to place an order that will contain “Only coins received in the first 30 days of release from the U.S. Mint.”

Are you tempted by one of these options?

You wouldn’t be a living, breathing coin collector if you weren’t.

If silver soars in price between now and January, you have locked in a profit in addition to being the first kid on the block to get 2019 delivery.

Bullion can also fall between now and then, but that’s more of a problem for investors.

Collectors have different priorities – like being first – nyah, nyah.

If you have more money to spend, you can do the same with gold.

Take a look.

Perhaps the best thing next to early ordering is there is no possibility of a sellout or an overloaded website.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."