Coin Dealers or Importing Gold and Silver

A recent post inspired me to ask this question. Are there places to buy gold and silver in Nicaragua? I don't mean collectible coins but things you save for the value of the metal in them.

If not, are there any import restrictions/taxes on sending such items to Nicaragua?

What I am mainly thinking about is a way Nicaraguans can preserve wealth. On a small scale, "junk silver" seems like a good bet but I don't know if any such thing is available here.

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Importing gold and silver

I can't imagine any legal or customs problem bringing in a pocketful of coins. 40 quarter-ounce gold coins (each about the size of a nickel) would represent about $10k of value. And they would be pretty easy to hide around your house somewhere. But what is the end game? Will you be able to sell them later? Trade them for oxen? Will anyone believe this tiny coin is genuine? And that each is worth over $300?

Where gold is for holding large amounts of wealth, silver is more practical for day-to-day transactions. But a pocketful would only be worth something like $200 today. So if there aren't already a lot of silver coins in the area, it's hard to imagine bringing enough in single-handedly to create a silver economy.

Curiosity drove me to research the monetary history of various countries. The US started off with silver[1], then shifted to gold/silver. Mexico was silver all the way. Nicaragua, apparently, never used any precious metal for money. It was paper and base metals (like copper) from the start. So culturally, I wouldn't expect Nicas to have the same draw to gold and silver that we do up here. And I'm not sure if many would recognize that a 1963 US quarter is worth about $4 but a 1965 US quarter is worth 25 cents.

It's a very interesting topic. Too bad it seems to be so far on the fringe down there.

[1] Little known fact: The "dollar" mentioned in the US constitution wasn't defined in that document because everyone at the time knew what it meant: about .8 oz of silver in any form. That definition worked until silver coins were discontinued in 1963.

junk silver

i just bought a silver chain for 500 cords it wieghed 63 grams , i thought it was a good buy.. italy silver 994.....

mind you i am in the 1000 oz club paid 19000 for it last year , but ifeel good still ... nothing like buying back in 2001 for meer pennys i feel , i quickly trade the bars in and out of for a profit

Bullion Coined

I cannot comment on Nicaragua but there are outfits that started in Panama and now also have offices in Costa Rica and Guatemala. I suspect many of the customers do not actually have the metals shipped to them in-country and instead utilize a vault storage (London, Zurich, Panama, etc.) option. Obviously, such businesses cater to those with large(r) amount to invest; a common minimum purchase is $5k, though some are as low as $1k or as much as $25k. Every country/state has their own tax outlines. But, in many places you are not taxed on the purchase of something if it is classified as, or substitute of, "legal tender" (depending of residence and destination, some gold coins no, buy bullion maybe) - and in those places legal tender is usually also exempt from VAT and associated taxes, etc. There migth be some NAFTA "Country of origin"-related concerns, too, but they might be mostly U.S.=Canada related (there is a generic NAFTA COO form for this, but it doesn't normally result in any added fee or tax - I think). Gold purchases, for some citizens around the world, are not tracked the same way as cash instrument, transfers, or other investments are. For example, for U.S. citizens there is no Government report per $10,000k+ gold transaction unless paid for via cash or cashier's check; so, a bank-wire for $100k of bullion does not generate a record/report). For small investments in Latin America people might be best to inquire where silversmiths and jewelry- makers purchase metals, see if there are good purity/price slabs, then inquire and compare the price of that against what is available on a larger scale or outside the country. Security is an issue, too, and a safety deposit box cost might further eat away "investment" on top of the likely unfavorable prices one might find on small amounts of gold/silver outside Panama-Costa Rica.