I’ve previously looked at historical silver prices (see links).
Silver Purchasing options
In this post I review some options and compare prices with the quoted spot price of silver on for the day in question (The first three were done on May 15th 2012). The silver bullion or coins reviewed were 99.9% pure.
It’s a brief review so far, and check out vendor websites for updates, but for the days I reviewed prices, you can see what price you are paying over the spot price for each option. You have two main choices for storing your silver. Store it yourself, or pay a company to do so. Paying a company to store silver can be handy as you can sell it back to them as well, without ever having to take possession of the silver. Of options reviewed, www.bullionvault.com appear to have the most competitive commission fees over spot silver (with bands of 0.8% for first $30k purchased / 0.4% for next $30k and 0.1% after that). The minimum storage charges for silver of €77/annum means you need to have purchased about €16,000 worth of silver in order to reduce the storage costs to the quoted percentage (0.48% / annum).
If you want to actually take possession of your silver, then between VAT and shipping on the purchase, you will immediately be losing part of your investment.
Or, you can purchase silver in person, and transport it back home yourself. My understanding from speaking with revenue is that you can bring as much silver with you into the country once you have purchased it elsewhere in the EU and don’t have to pay the extra VAT. If you get it posted to you by the company that you buy it off, then you would be liable for the VAT.
Here is the Irish revenue response to some queries.
Estonia, Guernsey, and Norway.
Norway, Guernsey, and Estonia have zero VAT rates. On the basis of the above, Guernsey is out, as you have to pay Irish VAT. Next, I’m next going to clarify the customs & excise situation and look into purchasing silver in Estonia.
Following up on the customs & Excise query, I rang Customs. I spoke to several people, all of whom assured me that there are no charges associated with bringing in silver. If silver is found on your person, then you do need to be able to explain where you got it. For this reason, it was suggested for me if I wished, to go through the ‘red’ channel in customs, and declare the silver. However, as long as you have evidence of where you are purchasing the silver, and you have purchased within the European union, then there should be no issue.
Here are the European VAT rates.