My Answer to Reader Query About Selling Placer Gold (Part 1)

 (Placer gold; now that you have it, what's next?)

A Whole Different Ballgame

Most of my writing here at "Bedrock Dreams" deals with how and where to find and mine placer gold, since that's what most folks are interested in whether they're "newbies" or old pros. But what you do with your placer gold after it's resting safely in your poke is a whole different ballgame in many instances.

This past weekend I received this brief request via e-mail from Mark in Las Cruces, New Mexico:

Good Morning,

I would like to read your thoughts on what to do with placer gold (i.e., sell it, melt it into bars, etc.) If yes then what's the best technique?

Just an idea, if it fits into your schedule.


General Thoughts on the Subject

Answering Mark's question here is not as easy as it may appear to be. The main reason is that each and every small-scale, non-commercial miner out there tends to handle his or her placer gold differently. Here are some general thoughts on the subject:

Where to Find Placer Gold

Some miners keep it all and never sell any, other sell every little grain, and then you have people like myself who trade most of their placer gold straight across for bullion or give away some of it as gifts (weddings, birthdays, etc.). How you dispose of your placer gold is pretty much dependent on your cash flow and your financial needs. Luckily, I've only been in one or two circumstances where I absolutely HAD to sell my gold.

The Reason I Like to Trade

The reason I like to trade my placer gold for gold bullion is simply that I tend to get a better overall deal from the buyer  (always a reputable coin or bullion dealer) who doesn't have to shell out any cash and is still able to make a decent, but not outrageous, profit from this transaction. This approach, in turn, allows me to accumulate gold in a readily recognizable form that is easier to sell (should I choose to at some point) and that is much more "barterable" should our shaky economic system actually collapse.

(To each his or her own, but I prefer trading straight across for gold and silver bullion.)

For you treasure hunters out there, I've also done the same thing with the gold and silver jewelry and non-numismatic silver coins I've recovered over the years when I was focusing primarily on my coin, beach, and treasure hunting thing. However, any unique or solid numismatic items I recover I hold back and don't trade for bullion, for obvious reasons. Ditto for my placer gold nuggets since they typically command a better or "premium" price than the usual "melt" value.

I'll get down to detailed specifics on selling your placer gold in my next post, so don't run off.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Fool's Gold"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Great web page! I don`t imagine I`ve seen every one of the angles of this theme the way in which you`ve pointed them out. You`re a accurate star, a rock star guy. You`ve got a great deal to say and know so much about the subject that i think you ought to just teach a class about it ....

  2. I'm not entirely sure your comments aren't "tongue-in-cheek," but either way thanks for commenting. J.R.


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