Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 MST

How to Ship Silver

Because of silver’s bulk, weight and its high value, shipping it can appear challenging; however, shipping silver is not that difficult. This slideshow shows you how to ship silver both economically and safely across the United States.

The absolute best way to ship silver is via the United States Post Office, using their Flat Rate boxes and Registered Mail. The Flat Rate Boxes offer the lowest shipping rates; Registered Mail provides the greatest security.

For as little as $10.95, up to 70 pounds can be shipped anywhere in the US. However, for practical purposes, which will be explained later, you should not put 70 pounds of silver in a Post Office Flat Rate box.

For most forms of silver, you will want the Medium Flat Rate Box.

The Post Office has two medium Flat Rate boxes

The Flat Rate Box best suited for shipping silver measures 11″X8.5″X5″ when folded for use. It is nicknamed the “shoe box.”As noted earlier, although the Post Office will take up to 70 pounds in a Flat Rate Box, Flat Rate Boxes are not suitable for shipping that much weight. We recommend no more than about 55 pounds to a box, which is $1,000 face value junk silver coins or eight 100-oz silver bars or 800 1-oz silver rounds.

Properly prepared, a Post Office Flat Rate box easily will handle $1,000 face value 90% coins (commonly called a bag of junk silver coins) or up to eight 100-oz silver bars.

A medium Flat Rate Box will also handle 750…

to 800 1-oz silver rounds in either bags or tubes.

Before the silver goes in the box, the box needs to be taped as we will show.

To properly tape a Flat Rate Box for mailing via Registered Mail, you need two types of tape.

1″ wide filament tape, which can be purchased at all hardware stores and most supermarkets, and 3″ brown paper tape, which is a little more challenging to find but often can be found at the same places filament tape is sold.

The filament tape offers strength. Note that not only are seams taped, but so are the edges of the box.Applying filament tape on the seams is essential; applying it along the edges is almost as important. Apply it both places, along the seams and along the edges.

3″ brown tape must be put over the filament tape so that the Post Office clerks can postmark the package.

The Post Office requires paper tape so that the ink will take. Ink will not take on filament tape, and that is why the filament tape must be covered with 3″ brown paper tape.

Although tape on the outside of the box adds strength, the inside of the box should be taped as well. During shipment, the product shifts and if the box is not adequately taped, holes can be punched in the sides of the boxes.Bags of 90% and bags of silver rounds rarely cause holes to be punched in boxes. 100-oz silver bars, on the other hand, often punch holes in boxes that are not taped.

It seems that 1-oz silver rounds shipped in tubes would be a secure shipment, but if the…

tops of the tubes are not taped down, they can come out of the tubes. Should any holes be punched in the box-for whatever reason-rounds can be lost in shipment.

The canvas bags provide added protection for 90% coins, whether two $500 bags or one $1,000 bag.

Crunched up newspapers make great filling for the box. Do not use shredded paper or Styrofoam “peanuts.” Use old newspapers. Styrofoam peanuts and shredded paper result in nightmares when the packages are opened.

It is very important that 100-oz silver bars be properly packaged because if they are not, they shift inside the box. If the inside walls of the box are not reinforced with tape, the bars can easily punch holes in the sides of the boxes. Even when the inside walls of the box are taped, it best to properly package 100-oz silver bars.

Ideally, 100-oz silver bars are individually wrapped in newspaper before being put in the box. This helps mute the metallic sound of the bars when being handled in transit. Some bars have sharp corners. Unwrapped bars with sharp corners easily punch holes in the sides of boxes, even sides that have been reinforced.

When shipping a small number of bars, say four or less, wrap the bars with abundant paper and spread apart the bars, placing them along the sides of the box. This will minimize shifting. Do NOT concentrate the bars in the center of the box.

Eight bars are the maximum number you want to put in Flat Rate Box. Even when eight bars are in a box, there is still a lot of space that needs to be filled. Here again, old newspaper does the job.

Silver rounds in bags are easy shipments, much like junk silver coins, because the canvas bags help secure the rounds.

Here again, there are voids that need to be filled. Use crunched old newspaper.

Before putting tubes of silver rounds in the box, tape the lids. Use filament tape; regular Scotch brand tape does not have the strength to hold on the lids.

If you’re shipping forty tubes, which is, with 20 rounds to a tube, 800 silver rounds, it is an easy packaging job because the forty tubes just about fill the box, leaving only a little space that needs filling with old newspapers.

However, if you are shipping a smaller number of tubes, say twenty as shown in the photo, it is important that a “floor” be made with a number of the tubes and the remaining tubes be moved to the sides of the box to distribute the weight as much as possible.

As with 100-oz silver bars, it is important to stuff crunched newspaper in the extra space

Now the box is ready to be sealed, but before sealing it there is one more important thing to put in the box.

On a piece of paper, provide the following information

Shipped to:

  • CMIGS
  • 3800 N. Central Avenue
  • 11th Floor
  • Phoenix, AZ 85012
  • 800-528-1380

CMIGS PO # (given when prices are locked in)

Name of broker who took order: _________________________

Shipped by:

  • Your Name
  • Your Address
  • Your City, State ZIP
  • Your Phone Number

Rarely are there problems with registered mail packages, especially properly done. But, just in case the label gets ripped off and the Post Office has to open the package to find out where it is going (or who shipped it) this information is vital.

Secure top flaps and seams with filament tape.

Cover the filament tape with 3″ brown paper tape.It is important to note that the brown paper tape has to cover the seam completely.

While it is not necessary that the filament tape cover the seam completely, the brown tape must go all the way to the edge, completely sealing the seam.Another tip about taping a Flat Rate Box for registered mail shipping.

This is not acceptable to the Post Office. For registered mail, the seams have to be closed completely

The Post Office website, www.usps.com, has a schedule of Registered Mail fees. $25,000 is the maximum insurance per box and costs $48.25. For lesser amounts, the fees are less. For example, the fee for a box insured for $15,000 is $34.25.The Post Office takes checks and credit cards for shipping fees, which means you do not have come up with the cash before taking your silver shipment to the Post Office. However, the Post Office will not take “out of area” checks. So, it’s best to ship at your local post office if you plan to pay by check, or use a credit card. Still, the Post Office will gladly take cash payments for shipments.

One final note: Often Post Office employees will try to save shippers money and suggest Insured Mail on shipments valued less than $5,000. It has been our experience that the small savings is not worth it. We’ve had more problems with the few insured packages that have been shipped to us than all the thousands of registered mail packages shipped to us. Stick with registered mail.