How to Find a Full-Service Precious Metals Dealer

two men talking about gold

Investing in precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium has been a time-tested strategy for preserving wealth and diversifying one’s investment portfolio. However, navigating the world of precious metals can be a daunting task for newcomers and experienced investors alike.

To ensure a successful and secure investment journey, finding a reliable and reputable full-service precious metals dealer is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when searching for a full-service precious metals dealer, helping you make informed decisions and achieve your financial goals.

Understanding Full-Service Precious Metals Dealers

Before delving into the specifics of finding a full-service precious metals dealer, it’s important to understand what such dealers offer. A full-service precious metals dealer is a company or individual that provides a comprehensive range of services related to precious metals, including buying, selling, storing, and even offering expert advice on precious metal investments.

Jim Clark, Head of Bullion Acquisition at Digital Financing Taskforce had this to say about dealers like the U.S. Gold Bureau, “These dealers often offer a variety of precious metal products, such as bullion bars, coins, numismatic coins, and other related items. Additionally, they may provide services like secure storage solutions, grading services for rare coins, and market analysis to help clients make informed investment decisions.”

Now, let’s explore the steps you should take to find a trustworthy full-service precious metals dealer:

  1. Conduct Research

The first step in your journey to finding a full-service precious metals dealer is to conduct thorough research. Use both online and offline resources to gather information about potential dealers. Start by searching online, reading reviews, and checking their websites to learn about the services they offer, their history, and their reputation in the industry.

Pay attention to customer reviews and ratings on trusted review platforms, as well as any complaints or red flags that may indicate issues with a particular dealer. You can also seek recommendations from friends, family members, or financial advisors who have experience with precious metals investing.

  1. Verify Dealer Credentials

To ensure you are working with a reputable full-service precious metals dealer like SD Bullion, it’s crucial to verify their credentials. Look for the following factors:

a. Licensing and Registration: Check if the dealer is licensed and registered with relevant government authorities. This information is often available on their website or can be verified through regulatory agencies.

b. Industry Associations: Reputable dealers often belong to recognized industry associations like the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) or the American Numismatic Association (ANA). Membership in these organizations can be a positive sign of a dealer’s commitment to professionalism and ethical standards.

c. BBB Accreditation: Verify if the dealer is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB provides ratings and reviews that can give you insight into a company’s reputation and customer satisfaction.

d. Professional affiliations: Some full-service dealers may have affiliations with renowned mints, like the Royal Canadian Mint or the United States Mint. Such affiliations can be indicative of the dealer’s trustworthiness.

  1. Assess Product Selection

Different investors have varying preferences when it comes to precious metals products. Full-service dealers should offer a wide range of products to cater to these preferences. Evaluate the dealer’s product selection to ensure they have the types of precious metals products you are interested in, whether it’s bullion bars, coins, or rare numismatic coins.

Additionally, inquire about the availability of various precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. A reputable dealer should be able to provide access to a diverse selection of metals to meet your investment goals.

  1. Evaluate Pricing and Fees

Understanding the pricing structure and fees associated with a full-service precious metals dealer is crucial. Transparency in pricing is a sign of a trustworthy dealer. Compare prices for the same products from multiple dealers to ensure you are getting competitive rates.

Keep an eye out for hidden fees, such as storage charges, shipping costs, and commissions. These can significantly impact the overall cost of your investment. Reputable dealers should clearly communicate all fees upfront and in a transparent manner.

  1. Consider Storage Options

Many investors prefer to store their precious metals securely, either at home or with a trusted storage provider. A full-service precious metals dealer should offer secure storage options for their clients. When evaluating storage solutions, consider the following:

a. Security Measures: Inquire about the security measures in place at the storage facility, including surveillance, insurance, and access control.

b. Location: Consider the location of the storage facility. Some investors prefer local storage, while others may opt for offshore or international storage options.

c. Fees: Understand the storage fees associated with the dealer’s storage solutions. Compare these fees with those of other storage providers to ensure you are getting a competitive rate.

d. Accessibility: Determine how easy it is to access your stored precious metals in case you need to sell or transfer them. Some facilities offer online account management for convenience.

  1. Customer Service and Support

Exceptional customer service is a hallmark of a reputable full-service precious metals dealer. Reach out to the dealer’s customer support team with any questions or concerns you may have. Pay attention to their responsiveness, willingness to provide information, and overall professionalism.

Consider factors such as the availability of knowledgeable experts who can offer guidance on your investment decisions. Reliable dealers should be willing to educate their clients and provide insights into market trends.

  1. Reviews and References

Before finalizing your decision, seek out reviews and references from other investors who have worked with the dealer. Honest feedback from previous clients can provide valuable insights into the dealer’s performance and reliability.

Ask the dealer for references or case studies that showcase successful transactions and satisfied customers. Reputable gold companies like Teranga Gold will be happy to provide this additional information which can help you gain confidence in your choice.

  1. Shipping and Insurance

If you plan to take physical possession of your precious metals, inquire about the dealer’s shipping and insurance policies. Ensure that they offer secure and insured shipping methods to protect your investment during transit.

Ask about the packaging and handling procedures the dealer follows to safeguard your precious metals from damage or loss. Confirm the insurance coverage to understand how your investment is protected in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Conduct Due Diligence

Once you have gathered all the necessary information about a potential full-service precious metals dealer, it’s time to conduct due diligence. This involves carefully reviewing all the details you have collected and assessing the dealer’s credibility and reputation in the industry.

During your due diligence process, consider reaching out to industry experts or financial advisors for their opinion on the dealer you are considering. They may provide valuable insights and advice based on their experience.

  1. Start with a Small Investment

Before making a substantial investment with a new full-service precious metals dealer, consider starting with a smaller transaction. This allows you to test the waters and evaluate the dealer’s performance, reliability, and customer service.

By starting small, you can gain confidence in the dealer’s abilities and build a trusting relationship before committing to larger investments.


Investing in precious metals is a prudent strategy for wealth preservation and portfolio diversification. However, it’s essential to choose a reputable and reliable full-service precious metals dealer to ensure a secure and successful investment experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide—conducting research, verifying credentials, assessing product selection and pricing, evaluating storage options, considering customer service, and conducting due diligence—you can confidently select a dealer that aligns with your investment goals and preferences.

Remember that investing in precious metals carries inherent risks, and it’s essential to stay informed about market trends and economic conditions. A trusted full-service precious metals dealer can provide valuable guidance and support throughout your investment journey, helping you make informed decisions and achieve your financial objectives.

Why Physical Gold Is a Superior Investment Compared to Paper Gold

Gold has been revered as a store of value and a form of currency for thousands of years. It has remained a timeless asset that investors turn to during times of economic uncertainty and inflation. In today’s modern financial world, there are various ways to invest in gold, but two predominant methods stand out: physical gold and paper gold. In this article, we will explore why physical gold is often considered a better investment than paper gold.

Physical Gold: A Tangible Asset

Physical gold, as the name suggests, refers to the actual, tangible metal in the form of coins, bars, or jewelry. When you invest in physical gold, you acquire a physical asset that you can see, touch, and hold. This tangibility brings with it several advantages.

  1. Intrinsic Value: Physical gold has intrinsic value, which means it has value in and of itself. This is because gold is a precious metal with unique properties like rarity, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Its intrinsic value provides a level of security that paper gold cannot match.
  2. Ownership and Control: Owning physical gold gives you direct control over your investment. You can store it in a secure location of your choice, such as a home safe or a bank vault. This control ensures that your investment remains accessible and within your grasp at all times.
  3. Privacy and Anonymity: Investing in physical gold can offer a degree of privacy and anonymity. Transactions involving physical gold can be discreet, and ownership doesn’t leave a digital trail. This appeals to individuals who prioritize financial privacy.
  4. No Counterparty Risk: Physical gold does not involve counterparty risk. You don’t rely on any financial institution or intermediary to hold or manage your investment. This independence makes physical gold a safer choice during times of financial instability.
  5. No Default Risk: Unlike paper gold, physical gold does not carry the risk of default by issuers or counterparties. There is no need to worry about a third party failing to meet its obligations or going bankrupt.

Also Read: How to Find a Full-Service Precious Metals Dealer

Paper Gold: The Complex World of Derivatives

Paper gold, on the other hand, represents ownership of gold in a non-physical form. It includes various financial instruments, such as gold futures contracts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and certificates of ownership. While paper gold has its advantages, it comes with several drawbacks that make it less appealing compared to physical gold.

  1. Counterparty Risk: When you invest in paper gold, you are exposed to counterparty risk. This means that your investment relies on the financial stability and integrity of the entity issuing the paper gold, whether it’s an ETF, a bank, or a futures exchange. If the issuer encounters financial difficulties or defaults, your investment could be at risk.
  2. Lack of Tangibility: Paper gold lacks the tangible nature of physical gold. You do not possess a physical asset, making it harder to establish the authenticity of your investment. In contrast, physical gold’s authenticity is evident by examining the metal itself.
  3. Limited Control: With paper gold, you have limited control over your investment. You must rely on the issuer to store and manage the gold on your behalf. This lack of control can be unsettling, especially during times of financial turmoil.
  4. Fractional Ownership: Many forms of paper gold involve fractional ownership, where multiple investors hold a share of the underlying gold. While this allows for more accessible entry into the market, it also means that you may not have full ownership of the gold you believe you own.
  5. Market Manipulation: The paper gold market is susceptible to manipulation and speculation. Large institutional players can influence prices, potentially leading to market distortions that can negatively impact investors.

Why Physical Gold Is a Superior Investment

Having discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both physical and paper gold, let’s delve into the reasons why physical gold is often considered a better investment choice.

  1. Security and Tangibility

The most compelling argument in favor of physical gold is its tangible nature. When you buy physical gold, you hold a physical asset in your hands, giving you a sense of security that paper gold cannot replicate. You can verify the authenticity of your investment by examining the metal’s weight, purity, and hallmark.

  1. Intrinsic Value

Physical gold derives its value from its inherent characteristics, such as scarcity, beauty, and historical significance. It has been used as a form of currency and a store of value for centuries. This intrinsic value ensures that physical gold retains worth even in times of financial crisis when paper assets may falter.

  1. Protection from Economic Uncertainty

One of the primary reasons investors turn to gold is to protect their wealth during economic uncertainty. Physical gold serves as a reliable hedge against inflation, currency devaluation, and economic turmoil. History has shown that gold tends to retain its value and even appreciate during times of crisis.

  1. No Counterparty Risk

Physical gold eliminates the counterparty risk associated with paper gold. You are not dependent on any institution to fulfill its obligations. Your gold remains in your possession, immune to the financial stability of third parties.

  1. Privacy and Anonymity

Investing in physical gold can provide a level of privacy and anonymity that paper gold cannot. Transactions involving physical gold can occur off the grid and leave no digital footprint, which can be important to those who value financial privacy.

  1. Portfolio Diversification

Physical gold can play a crucial role in diversifying an investment portfolio. It has a low correlation with traditional financial assets like stocks and bonds, which means that its value can move independently of these assets. This can help spread risk and stabilize a portfolio during turbulent times.

  1. Wealth Preservation

Throughout history, gold has proven itself as a reliable means of preserving wealth. Whether it’s protecting savings from hyperinflation or shielding assets from geopolitical crises, physical gold has consistently demonstrated its ability to retain value over the long term.


In the world of gold investments, physical gold stands out as a superior choice compared to paper gold. Its tangible nature, intrinsic value, and historical track record make it an excellent store of value and a hedge against economic uncertainty. Physical gold provides investors with control, privacy, and security, all while eliminating counterparty and default risks.

While paper gold may offer convenience and accessibility, it comes with a host of disadvantages, including counterparty risk, lack of tangibility, and limited control. Moreover, the paper gold market is susceptible to manipulation and speculation, which can erode the confidence of investors.

In uncertain times, when the stability of financial markets and the value of paper assets are in question, physical gold remains a steadfast and reliable investment choice. Its timeless allure as a tangible store of value is likely to persist, making it a valuable addition to any well-diversified investment portfolio.

How Much Gold Should You Own for Retirement?

When it comes to planning for retirement, many individuals focus on traditional investment options such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. However, gold, a precious metal with a rich history of being a store of value, has also gained popularity as a retirement asset. In this article, we will explore the role of gold in retirement planning and discuss how much gold you should own for a secure and diversified retirement portfolio.

The Role of Gold in Retirement Planning

Gold has been used as a form of currency and store of value for centuries. Its value is not tied to the performance of financial markets, making it an attractive option for those looking to diversify their retirement holdings and protect their wealth from economic downturns and inflation.

  1. Hedging against inflation: One of the primary reasons people invest in gold for retirement is its ability to act as a hedge against inflation. Unlike fiat currencies, which can lose value over time due to inflation, gold has historically retained its purchasing power. During periods of rising inflation, the price of gold often increases, helping retirees maintain their purchasing power.
  2. Portfolio diversification: Diversifying your retirement portfolio is a common strategy to reduce risk. Gold offers an excellent way to diversify because its price movements often have a low correlation with traditional financial assets like stocks and bonds. This means that when stocks or bonds perform poorly, the value of gold may remain stable or even rise, helping to offset losses in other areas of your portfolio.
  3. Safe haven asset: Gold is often considered a safe haven asset, meaning that investors flock to it during times of economic uncertainty or geopolitical turmoil. During financial crises, gold tends to perform well, providing a cushion for retirees’ portfolios when other investments are under pressure.
  4. Long-term wealth preservation: Gold has a proven track record of preserving wealth over the long term. Its value has endured for thousands of years, making it a reliable asset for retirement planning.

How Much Gold Should You Own for Retirement?

Determining how much gold you should own for retirement is not a one-size-fits-all answer. The ideal allocation of gold in your retirement portfolio depends on various factors, including your financial goals, risk tolerance, and overall investment strategy. Here are some key considerations to help you determine the right amount of gold for your retirement portfolio:

  1. Define Your Retirement Goals

Before deciding how much gold to include in your retirement portfolio, you need to define your retirement goals. Are you looking to maximize your wealth, protect it from inflation, or simply diversify your holdings? Your specific objectives will influence your gold allocation.

  1. Assess Your Risk Tolerance

Your risk tolerance is a critical factor in determining your gold allocation. Gold can be volatile in the short term, so if you have a low tolerance for risk, you may opt for a smaller allocation. Conversely, if you can withstand more significant price fluctuations, you might consider a larger allocation to gold.

  1. Consider Your Time Horizon

Your retirement timeline is another essential factor to consider. If you are retiring soon, you may want to be more conservative with your gold allocation to minimize short-term volatility. On the other hand, if you have a longer time horizon, you might be more willing to ride out gold’s price fluctuations and benefit from its long-term wealth preservation qualities.

  1. Review Your Existing Portfolio

Take a close look at your current retirement portfolio. If you already have a well-diversified mix of assets, you may not need a substantial gold allocation. Conversely, if your portfolio is heavily weighted toward stocks or other high-risk assets, adding gold can help balance your risk exposure.

  1. Consult a Financial Advisor

It’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor or retirement planner to determine the ideal gold allocation for your specific situation. A professional can help you assess your financial goals, risk tolerance, and overall retirement plan to create a customized investment strategy that includes gold.

Common Gold Allocation Guidelines

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much gold you should own for retirement, some common allocation guidelines can serve as a starting point:

  1. 5-10% of Portfolio: Many financial experts recommend allocating 5% to 10% of your total retirement portfolio to gold. This range strikes a balance between diversification and risk mitigation without overemphasizing gold’s role in your portfolio.
  2. Higher Allocations for Hedging: If you are particularly concerned about inflation or economic instability, you may choose to allocate a higher percentage of your portfolio to gold, possibly in the range of 10% to 20%. This higher allocation can provide additional protection against adverse economic conditions.
  3. Lower Allocations for Conservative Investors: Conservative investors with a lower risk tolerance may opt for a smaller gold allocation, such as 2% to 5%, to limit the impact of gold’s price volatility on their overall portfolio.
  4. Dynamic Allocations: Some investors choose to have dynamic allocations to gold, meaning they adjust their gold holdings based on changing economic conditions and market trends. They may increase their gold allocation during times of uncertainty and reduce it during periods of stability.

It’s important to note that these guidelines are not rigid rules but rather starting points. Your personal circumstances and preferences should ultimately drive your gold allocation decisions.

How to Invest in Gold for Retirement

Once you’ve determined the appropriate allocation of gold for your retirement portfolio, you have several options for investing in gold:

  1. Physical Gold: You can purchase physical gold in the form of coins or bars from reputable dealers or government mints. Storing physical gold securely is essential, and many investors choose to keep it in a bank safe deposit box or a secure private vault.
  2. Gold ETFs: Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) allow you to invest in gold without owning physical metal. These ETFs typically track the price of gold and are traded on stock exchanges. They offer liquidity and ease of trading.
  3. Gold Mutual Funds: Gold mutual funds invest in a diversified portfolio of gold-related assets, such as mining stocks and bullion. These funds provide exposure to the gold market without the need to buy and store physical gold.
  4. Gold Mining Stocks: Investing in gold mining companies is another way to gain exposure to the gold sector. These stocks can be more volatile than owning physical gold but offer the potential for higher returns.
  5. Gold Certificates: Some financial institutions offer gold certificates, which represent ownership of a specified quantity of gold without the need to hold the physical metal. These certificates can be a convenient way to invest in gold.
  6. Precious Metals IRA: If you want to include gold in your retirement account, consider opening a Precious Metals IRA. This specialized type of Individual Retirement Account allows you to hold physical gold or other precious metals as part of your retirement savings.


Gold can be a valuable addition to your retirement portfolio, providing protection against inflation, diversification, and long-term wealth preservation. However, the amount of gold you should own for retirement is a decision that should be based on your individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment strategy.

By carefully assessing your unique circumstances and consulting with a financial advisor, you can determine the right gold allocation for your retirement portfolio. Whether you choose to own physical gold, invest in gold ETFs, or opt for other gold-related assets, a well-considered allocation can help secure your financial future during your retirement years.