I can’t provide a personal guide to purchasing bullion in Canada, as I personally haven’t done the leg work myself, and as such I can presently only point you in the right direction to companies you should check out, and using the knowledge you should have gained from the buyer’s guide, you will be able to judge what is a good deal and what isn’t, and hopefully comment on your findings.
Canada is well known for its coins and bars because of the Royal Canadian Mint’s (RCM) quality of product and because Canada is known for its high abundance of commodities, which is one reason why the Canadian dollar is known as a commodity currency. The mint is known for producing Canada’s official bullion coin, the Canadian Maple Leaf, in gold, silver, platinum and palladium. The Gold Maple Leaf is a 24 carat (999.9) coin introduced in 1979 and available in 1/20, 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 troy ounce denominations, with the 1 oz coin having a legal tender face value of CAD$ 50. The Silver Maple Leaf is a 24 carat (99.99) silver coin available since 1988 with the 1 oz coin having a face value of CAD$ 5, and the coin coming in similar denominations as the gold coin. The Platinum Maple Leaf is a 24 karat (99.95) platinum coin minted between 1988 and 2002 and then reintroduced in 2009, with the 1 oz coin having a face value of CAD$ 50. The Palladium Maple Leaf is a 24 karat (99.95) palladium coin minted from 2005 to 2009, with a similar CAD$ 50 face value and is subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Precious metals are generally exempt from GST or HST, additionally some provinces will charge a Provincial Sales Tax (PST). The mint is known for producing the world’s first and only 99.999% pure gold coin in limited edition 1 ounce bullion form from 2007 to 2009 and also minting the world’s largest gold coin in 2007 weighing 100 kilograms with 99.999% pure gold with a 1 million dollar face value. In addition to minting coinage, the RCM mints gold (1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, 1 kg, 100 oz) and silver (1 oz, 100 oz) bars.
It is a no brainer to purchase the Maple Leaf bullion coin if you’re looking to get gold or silver coins, but don’t get the latest year as they normally will be sold at a higher premium to ones minted a year earlier. If you are looking for some other international bullion coins, then the gold and silver American Eagle and Austrian Philharmonic should be easily accessible, but will likely come with a higher premium than the Maple Leaf. For those wishing to buy bullion silver coins with the lowest premiums, you can find 1 oz silver Maple Leaf, American Eagle and Austrian Philharmonic coins in 500 piece monster boxes or in 20 or 25 piece plastic tubes. For gold and silver bars, you can’t go wrong with purchasing ones minted by any of the government mints (RCM, Perth Mint, etc), private local mints (First Majestic, National, etc), private US mints (Johnson Matthey [JM], Engelhart, Northwest Territorial [NWT], Sunshine Minting, Silvertowne, NTR Metals, etc), or private international mints (Credit Suisse, PAMP Suisse, etc). Canadian junk silver is 80% silver coins minted before 1968 and 50% silver coins minted in 1967 and 1968 in the form of dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars available in face value bags. I’ve read that because it’s not pure bullion, it will be subject to GST/HST or PST. Non 24 karat gold coins will be taxed, this includes the 22 carat American Eagle, British Sovereigns and South African Krugerrands.
If you want to purchase Maple Leaf coins or RCM bars, the lowest premiums can normally be found at one of the Royal Canadian Mint’s Dealers, which includes Canada Post, as the mint only sells numismatic coins to the public. Listed below are various precious metal dealers that I have come across and I have indicated which of them are authorized RCM dealers. You can also find precious metals on auction and classified websites (Ebay, Craigslist, or Kijiji), but I would suggest you take caution with this method and make sure to buy yourself a portable measuring scale to avoid getting fakes. When it comes to storage, you can always store them in a house vault, bank safety deposit box (tax deductable), or in your back yard. Premiums on bars will be cheaper than coins of the same weight and the more coins you purchase at a time, the lower the premium. The premium is either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage over spot per ounce and the lowest premiums will always be in large bars. When there is a shortage of precious metals, dealers normally increase the premiums in order to curb demand, and of course to make extra.
Toronto – Downtown
Gold Stock [21 Dundas Square, Suite 302] 1-888-944-6539 / (416) 504-GOLD
Located opposite Eaton’s Center and walking distance from Dundas Station (Yonge and Dundas), opened Monday to Friday [9:30-6], they offer a range of gold bars (1/4 – 400 oz), silver bars (1 – 1000 oz), gold coins (panda, krugerrand, sovereign, libertad, etc), and silver coins. I found this the easiest location to guide my brother and friend to buy from, as its the closest downtown shop.
Euro Pacific Inc [121 Richmond St W, Suite 200] 1-888-216-9779 / (416) 649-4273
The Canadian office of Peter Schiff’s Euro Pacific Capital located at the junction of York St. and Richmond St. near Osgoode Station (University and Queen) that offers a range of gold and silver coins and bars, which are shipped by Fedex or UPS.
Sprott Money Ltd – 1-888-861-0775 / (416) 861-0775
Private company owned by Eric Sprott that offers phone and online ordering of 1 oz gold and silver coins, silver monster boxes, 1 oz gold bars, and 10 & 100 oz silver bars, which are shipped by courier or mail. No walk-in clients.
Payment: Money Order, Bank Draft, Checks, and Wire (orders over $10K)
Maple Leaf Metals Exchange [100 Wellesley St E, Suite 2214] 1-888-551-0584
Located two blocks east of Wellesley Station at Wellesley and Jarvis, the company lists its gold, silver, platinum and palladium products with their prices. They charge a flat $30 shipping fee anywhere in Canada (up to $100k order) with a 1% insurance fee. They also offer local (Toronto, Montreal) and international (NYC, LON, SW, HK) allocated storage facilities. No walk-in clients.
Payment: Wire, Email, Check, Bank Draft, and Money Order
The Bullion Mart [21 Dundas Square, Suite 423] 1-877-561-BEST / (416) 928-0707
Located within the same building as Gold Stock, the company lists its gold, silver, platinum and palladium products with their prices and are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Their website makes me wonder how professional they are.
Toronto – Others
Cache Metal [55 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 209] 1-877-916-6670 / (416) 916-6660
Located close to the Eglinton Station (Yonge and Eglinton), opened from Monday to Friday [mon-thu 9-6, fri 9-4], their online store offers gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars and coins and the company also offers storage options and stock market interaction. This was the second option where i suggested to my brother and friend to buy from.
Payment: Wire, Check (Certified, Cashier’s), and Money Orders within 48 hours and delivered in 5-10 business days by courier
GoldSilverClub.ca [283 Danforth Ave, Suite 328] 1-888-377-7522
Company with locations in Toronto and Montreal offering gold and silver coins and bars with membership discounts, whose office are open from Monday to Friday (9AM to 9PM) and Saturdays (10AM to 5PM). Their website makes me worry how professional they are.
Payment: Cheque, Money Order, Wire, Interac Email (max $2K) and Cash (max $5K)
Mississauga – House of Stamps [1-905-848-2646] (RCM Dealer), Metals Central [1-877-275-8954]
Richmond Hill – Canadian Coin & Currency [1-888-236-2646] (RCM Dealer)
Markham – Guildhall [1-866-274-9570], BMG Bullion [1-888-474-1001]
Kitchener – Colonial Acres Coins [1-888-255-4565]
North Bay – Northshore Gold and Silver [1-888-666-7338]
Kitco [620 rue Cathcart, Montreal] 1-877-77-KITCO / (514) 875-4820
Online store of one of the most popular precious metal websites, which offering gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, pool accounts, unallocated gold accounts, allocated gold and silver storage programs, perth mint certificates, goldgrams (GoldMoney), and their own branded bullion (1 ounce gold bar, 1 oz silver coin).
Quebec – TPM [1-418 524-7894] (RCM Dealer), Monnaie Timbres de la Capitale [1-418-628-9838] (RCM Dealer)
Montreal – Rousseau timbres et monnaies [1-800-561-9977] (RCM Dealer)
Ste-Foy – Cartes, Timbres et Monnaie Ste-Foy [1-418-658-5639] (RCM Dealer)
Grand-mere – Monnaie Collection Royale [1-877-222-0142] (RCM Dealer)
J&M Coin & Jewellery [127 East Broadway, Vancouver] 1-888-244-9999 / (604) 876-7181
A RCM Dealer that you can call toll-free Mondays to Saturdays [mon-fri 9:30-6, sat 9-5:30] to place an order in Canadian or US dollars for gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion bars and coins. You will need to provide them with your credit card to secure the booking and fax them a signed booking contract.
Payment: Interac Email Money Transfer, Bank Bill Payment, Bank Draft
Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange (VBCE) – 1-888-224-3331
Currency exchange company that also sells bullion from its branches on 800 West Pender Street (downtown), 2576 Granville Street, and Richmond’s No. 3 Road for minimum orders of 3 ounces of gold or 50 ounces of silver. They offer gold bars (1 oz – 1 kilo), gold and silver Maple Leafs, silver bars (1 oz – 100 oz), and 1 oz platinum coins and bars.
Payment: Cash, Bank Draft, Certified Cheque and Interac
Vancouver – Royal Canadian Mint [RCM] Retail Store [1-604-681-6772]
Victoria – The Bullion Exchange [1-888-300-8809], A.A.A. Stamp Coin Jewellery Inc. [1-250-384-1315] (RCM Dealer)
White Rock – Border Gold [1-888-312-2288] (sister company of VBCE that offers shipping), Express Gold [1-888-542-4266]
Nanaimo – Suisse Gold Corporation [1-888-664-6668]
Silver Gold Bull [Rocky Mountain House] 1-877-646-5304
Online precious metals store with gold and silver coin and bars that provides payment options including Bank Bill Payment, Interac Online, Interac Email Money Transfer, PayPal (3.42% + $2.29 fee), Mail (Cash or Check), and Wire Transfer, which are shipped by Fedex and Canada Post (Xpresspost and Expedited).
Manitoba, Winnipeg – Gatewest Coin [1-800-565-2646] (RCM Dealer), Collectibles Canada [1-888-333-8538] (RCM Dealer), Four Corners [1-204-942-5953]
Nova Scotia, Halifax – Citadel Coins [1-902-492-0130] (RCM Dealer)
Note: There are no RCM dealers in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Ottawa
Many Canadians will choose to buy their precious metals from south of the border and I have included the popular US bullion dealers below. Don’t forget that import taxes will be charged on gold and platinum products under 99.5% and silver products 99.9%, so 22 karat gold coins like the American Eagle and palladium products will likely have import taxes [reference]. Details provided below are for shipments and payments from Canada.
American Precious Metal Exchange [APMEX] [1-800-375-9006] – They accept payments in Canadian dollars and have a minimum order of US$ 250. They have a wide selection of gold, silver, platinum and palladium products, including their own branded bars and rounds. They accept payment by Check, Money Order, and Wire, and ship using UPS Worldwide Expedited and their shipping charges to Canada are US$ 34.95 plus an additional US$ 0.15 per troy ounce weight surcharge.
Gold Silver Inc [1-888-319-8166 ext 2] – Gold and silver company by metals expert Mike Maloney offering only gold and silver products, which are shipped by registered US Mail, UPS, or Federal Express. They charge US$ 100 for 100 troy ounces of silver and US$ 125 for 10 oz of gold. They require an initial payment of 5 to 15 percent to be charged to a Credit Card to place an order, with the remaining payment being paid by Check, Postal Money Order (max US$ 9,000), or Wire within 48 hours (max 5 days). They also offer a gold and silver vault storage service for storage in the US and Hong Kong.
Gainesville Coins [1-813-482-9300] – Offers international bullion gold and silver coins and bars in addition to junk silver. Payments are made by wire with a minimum order of US$ 2,000 which are shipped by UPS International Mail and the shipping rate is US$ 75 plus 25 cents per ounce.
Northwest Territorial Mint [NTM] [Federal Way, Washington] – 1-800-344-6468
Online Payment: Credit Card / Online Shipping: US$ 10 – 30 / Online Limit: max 3 oz gold and 200 oz silver / Offline Shipping – 30¢/oz for silver and US$3/oz for gold
Scottsdale Silver [Scottsdale, Arizona] – 1-888-SIL-BARZ
Payment: Credit Card, Paypal / Shipping: $22.50 up to 2 lb [~0.90 kilos] and US$ 65 up to 7 lb [~3.2kg]
Provident Metals [Lavon, Texas] – 1-877-429-8790
Payment: Wire, Cashiers Check, Credit Card (5.4% fee) / Order Method: Over Phone
For rating and reviews of various US precious metal dealers, please have a look through NIA’s Seller Reviews.
At The Bank
The last place I would advice you to purchase your precious metals is from your local bank, as their premiums are higher and the process involves unnecessary paperwork and ID requirements. They also charge you transport and administration fees, and will attempt to convince you to buy a paper certificate rather than the physical metal. For the sake of completeness and for those who may prefer the convenience, I have provided the details below. Banks calculate the price of bullion using the US spot rate, multiplied by the bank’s USD to CAD exchange rate, plus a service fee.
Bank of Nova Scotia – ScotiaBank is one of the largest banks in Canada and its precious metals division (ScotiaMocatta) is Canada’s largest bullion bank/vault (3rd in the world and a COMEX warehouse) and also a bullion dealer. You can purchase bullion from Scotia Bank from its main downtown branch (Scotia Plaza) in Toronto (40 King St W, between Bay & Yonge, near King Station), or for an additional fee, have it delivered to any of its other branches in Canada or internationally. At Scotia Bank’s main branch, head to the precious metals and currency exchange counter to purchase your precious metals. Precious metals payments at any Scotia Bank branch are acceptable in cash (USD or CAD up to $3,000), VISA or bank draft and require 2 pieces of ID (1 piece if your a ScotiaBank client) and your social insurance card. Their website lists their bullion premium prices and they also operate an online shop. They offer a range of bullion bars (gold and silver), bullion coins (gold, silver, platinum and palladium), and unallocated certificates (gold, silver, and platinum). ScotiaBank also offers its own branded bullion bars and rounds minted by Sunshine Minting or Valcambi SA in gold (1/4 – 20 oz), silver (1 – 100 oz), platinum (1 oz) and palladium (1 oz). The precious metals certificates it offers can be redeemed for cash or physical bullion, with bullion redemption requiring a 5 business day delivery and subject to fees (premiums and sales tax). The certificates have a minimum value of 10 troy ounces for gold, 500 ounces for silver, and 10 ounces for platinum.
Royal Bank of Canada – RBC clients can purchase gold and silver coins and bars by means of filling out a request form at their branch, after which the bullion will take 3 business days to arrive. Bullion is not stored at any of their branches and not even at their main branch. The fees paid for the metal include the metal cost, bank commission of 0.25% with a minimum charge of $ 7, and a $ 10.50 shipping charge. The bank offers gold Maple Leafs from 1/20 to 1 oz (approx. 5.5% over spot for 1 oz), gold bars from 1 oz (approx. 3% over spot) to 1 kilogram, 1 oz silver maple leafs (approx. 17% over spot) and 100 oz silver bars (approx. 15% over spot). The bank also offers gold (minimum 1 oz) and silver (minimum 100 oz) certificates at a premium of approximately 1.8% and 3.5% respectively over spot without any storage or fabrication fees and can be redeemed for cash.
All the major Canadian banks are required to offer gold and silver, including TD [Toronto Dominion] Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal [BMO] and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce [CIBC], and I hope to add their bullion information as I obtain it.
Precious Metal Certificates
If you’re interested in buying gold, silver or platinum certificates, the best precious metal certificates I know about are the Perth Mint Certificates. Their approved dealer in Canada is Kitco and the first certificate has to be purchased with a minimum of US$ 10,000, while additional certificates can be purchased with a minimum of US$ 5,000. The certificates cost US$ 50 each and storage fees are calculated on the current metal value price. The certificates can be in allocated accounts or unallocated pools, and the metal can be stored in bar or coin form. The Royal Canadian Mint announced in October 2011, that for one month, they would be establishing their Exchange Traded Receipts (ETRs), which pretty much acts similar to a gold certificate.
Alternatively, you can get precious metal certificates from Canadian banks, including ScotiaBank, RBC, and TD. If the bank is charging you storage fees, then they are storing the physical metal for you (allocated account) and they should provide you with the unique bar numbers of your metals. If the bank isn’t charging you storage fees, then the certificate is likely a claim against the bank – ScotiaBank states in its FAQs that “Scotiabank gold certificates are backed by the assets of The Bank of Nova Scotia.” If you do decide to purchase gold and silver certificates and plan to take possession of the metal at a later date, make sure to read the fine print about the bank certificate as TD certificates have stated “The holder of the certificate accepts the risk of non-delivery for any reason beyond the control of the bank.” The certificates will normally take 5 to 7 business days to be delivered to the bank, and the bank will likely charge you minting/fabrication and handling charges at the time of the delivery. I personally don’t trust Canadian banks with certificates after hearing that Scotia Bank gave a run around to a cancer-stricken 73 year old lady to convert her silver certificates to physical and the missing metal found in their vaults by Lenny Organ, in addition to an individual in the Kitco forum who was paying storage fees on a TD certificate when the bank didnt have the metal and it seems that Scotiabank is no different in charging storage fees or metal that isnt necessary there. I have read that silver certificates offered by BMO are not redeemable into physical metal.
Individuals who are not interested in dealing with metal storage or wish to store their metal outside of the country may choose to go to digital precious metals. I would recommend going for GoldMoney.com as its owned by gold bug James Turk and since September 2010, Canadian residents can complete the C.A.P. for a ‘Full Holding’ entirely online using an identity verification service provided by Equifax. GoldMoney has a service for a set amount of money to automatically be deducted from your bank account and put into a gold savings plan.
Saving Plans/Accounts and Stock Markets
For those with a Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP/RSP), Retirement Income Funds (RRIF/RIF) or Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), you can use services provided by Questrade (metal provided by Kitco) or Cache Metals to have gold and silver bullion added to your plan/account starting from as small as 1 troy ounce. ScotiaBank’s ScotiaMcLeod offers gold and silver certificates to be held in client’s RSPs and RIFs. You can also invest within your saving plans/accounts through investment vehicles that store physical precious metals including Sprott Asset Management’s Physical Gold [PHYS/PHY.U]and Silver [PSLV/PHS.U] Trusts, Central Fund Of Canada [CEF/CEF.A], Central GoldTrust [GTU/GTU.UN] or Silver Bullion Trust [SBT.UN], BMG Gold BullionFund, BMG BullionFund, Brompton Group Precious Metals Bullion Trust [PBU.UN], and Claymore Gold Bullion ETF [CGL], which are listed on the New York and/or Toronto stock exchanges. Other precious metal investments available in mutual funds like Sprott’s Gold and Silver bullion funds, Sprott’s Gold & Precious Minerals fund, RBC Global Precious Metals Fund, TD Precious Metal Fund, CIBC Precious Metals Fund, BMO Precious Metals Fund. While other investments are available through Electronic Traded Funds (ETFs) like BMO Junior Gold Index ETF [ZIG], BMO Precious Metals Commodities Index ETF [ZCP], and iShares CDN Gold Sector Index Fund [XGD]. For those interested in investing in gold mining companies, Canada’s largest gold mining companies include Barrick Gold [ABX], Goldcorp [GG/G], and Kinross [KGC/K].
Selling Precious MetVancouver Bullion als
I recommend selling your precious metals back to the company or bank that you purchased from, so its a good idea to save the receipt. You can also sell your gold and silver on online auction and classified websites if you choose to. Profits made from the sale of precious metals is classified as a “capital gain”, though it shouldn’t be in my opinion as you shouldn’t be asked to pay tax for saving yourself from currency devaluation by inflation. According to Canada Revenue Agency’s T4037 Guide: Capital Gains, coins are listed under Listed Personal Property [LPP] and as such, if purchased and sold below $ 1,000, they are exempt from capital gains, else they are taxed at 1/2 the rate of normal income (24%).
As the price of gold continues to escalate, more people will unwittingly sell their gold, which means more gold buying companies will continue to pop up. I have come across a few of these such companies, which you can mail them your gold and they will quote you a price and send you a check. These include VancouverGold.ca, OttawaGold.ca, KMGGold.com, and Canada-Gold-Buyers.com.
I plan to do the run around in Toronto and GTA atleast when I visit Canada next. Credit has to be given where credit is due and I must thank Canadian Silver Bug, Kitco Forum, and Bullion Bulls Canada Forum for providing useful information that was used in this writing.