Montana Rarities is based in Florence, Montana and has been providing outstanding service to our clients since 2008.

Our mission is to enable everyone to diversify into tangible assets by being the best gold and silver dealer anywhere.

The internet allows you access to products and services that may not even exist where you live. We compete not only with your local dealers (if there are any) but also against the large online vendors so our customer service and trustworthiness have to be the best in the industry.

At the beginning of 2022 I made the decision to reduce my workload and focus on life experiences. While I will continue to accommodate clients with more modest needs (no minimums on anything, just a $29 shipping charge on orders under $1,000) the focus will be on drop-shipping from wholesalers at very low margins.

Realistically that can be as little as 2 ounces of gold or 200 ounces of silver but if you are looking for over 10 ounces of gold or 300 ounces of silver then Montana Rarities is going to have the best price, guaranteed. If someone has a better price I will gladly tell you and encourage you to buy from them.

I don't think it will be necessary.

I do not pay for internet advertising, if you found us using a search engine it was without paid influence. We do not pay for online referrals and are grateful that bloggers are willing to refer their subscribers to us anyway.

No one will ever call you with a sales pitch! We don't have time for that sort of thing, and personally hate that business model.

We want you to feel confident in your dealings with us. If you have any questions email or call. Check out our Ebay feedback, and reviews at to see what our customers have to say about us.

We hope that you will try us out and join the thousands of satisfied customers who make Montana Rarities their "Online Local Coin Shop".

Mark Haythornthwaite

Contact information:

Montana Rarities
P.O. Box 1221,
Missoula MT 59806

By phone:
406.396.9468 (between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mountain Time, Mon-Fri).
Note: Please do not call after hours- however we will answer emails.

Thank you.

By Email:

Customer Registration:

We offer customer registration. Just follow the prompts during the checkout process. Registration is completely optional and no payment information is saved, just your name and address for future orders.

Customer registration uses OpenID, requiring our customers to register a store account using an existing Yahoo! or AOL user ID. Along with registering and signing into your account through a popular, trusted provider, you can also enjoy the benefit of not having to create and remember an additional user ID and password.

Customer registration allows the system to save:

  • Essential customer information (name, display name, email address, phone number)
  • Shipping address information
  • Billing address information
  • Order history (beginning with the first order after registering a store account)
  • Shipping status of orders

NO credit card information at all.

We take customer security and privacy very seriously. Please view our Privacy Policy for more information.

Credit Card Fees:

You may have noticed that the Credit card pricing is higher than the Cash prices. Besides paying fees to process credit cards (which include Venmo, Paypal or Debit cards unfortunately) our website hosting service also imposes a fee on all sales generated on the site.

These fees are quite significant and due to very low margins in this business we have no choice but to pass them on.

Email us or phone to get a quote for a cash/check price.

Cash pricing includes Checks, Money Orders, Cashier's Checks, ACH and Bank wires (over $7,500). Plus cash of course if you are local and meet in person. Basically anything that does not require a fee for us to accept payment (fees which can be avoided using any of the methods above).

Order Processing:

Orders received before noon usually ship the same day, otherwise by the next business day. If there is a delay we will explain why.

To help prevent fraud we may contact you to verify your identity and make sure you actually placed the order.

Any order placed on the website with a foreign-based credit card or Paypal account for delivery inside the US will be refused. Transaction fees are higher on foreign sourced payments, and we decline to absorb them. While you might be able to place the order using the shopping cart, these orders will be cancelled upon review by a live person.

The limit for credit card or Paypal purchases is $5,000. Multiple orders placed simultaneously to circumvent the limit will be cancelled. Please understand this is to reduce the risks associated with identity theft and credit card fraud.

Shipping Fees:

In order to take time to smell the roses I have made the decision to scale back on my workload. Some days I only have one order going out and it costs time and money to pack and ship anything so a flat $29 shipping and handling fee will be charged on orders under $1,000.

Above that everything has free shipping.

A minimum order requirement is not very customer friendly so this is how I balance it. You get to choose- pay the fee, increase the order to be over the threshold or just not place an order.

Orders dispatched by Montana Rarities are sent by US Mail using Ground Advantage (formerly known as First Class Package) or Priority Mail. Delivery times are typically 2-4 days.

Orders drop-shipped from a precious metals wholesaler are usually shipped within 2-4 days depending on availability and how busy they are. When quotes are made we will provide shipping estimates.

All shipments are fully insured, orders over $400 will require a Signature Confirmation on delivery.

International Sales:

We only sell to residents of the U.S. states and territories at this time.


We appreciate the sacrifices made by Americans serving overseas but due to multiple issues (customs, excessive shipping costs and import restrictions on precious metals to name a few) we are unable to fulfill orders for APO/FPO/DPO clients.

If you want to buy something and have it shipped to an address in the US please email us and we'll work it out.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Why are your prices so much higher than the official "spot" price?

Q. Why should I buy my precious metals from Montana Rarities?

Q. Is gold a good investment?

Q. What about silver?

Q. What is "junk silver"?

Q. Are you sure everything you sell is authentic? I hear a lot about fake gold and silver coins, can I be sure what I buy from Montana Rarities is genuine?

Q. Why does my gold coin have ugly orange spots on it?

Q. The company I talked to said I should buy graded coins, because they are the best. Is that right?

Q. What does MS-63 mean? What are the coin grades? Who decides what grade a coin is?

Q. What about numismatic gold coins? What's the deal with gold confiscation?

Q. Do you collect sales taxes?

Q. Do you keep records on what your customers buy?

Q. Do you tell the government what I am buying or selling?

Q. Why are your prices so low?

Q. Do you offer "pooled accounts" or metals storage?

Q. Why are your prices higher than online dealer XXX ?

Q. Do you charge Handling Fees?

Q. Why don't you use UPS or FedEx?

Q. Do I have to sign for delivery?

Q. Do you offer discounts for cash?

Q. Do you make substitutions?

Q. Do you have everything in stock?

Q. Do you have a physical store?

Q. Where should I store my precious metals?


Q. Why are your prices so much higher than the official "spot" price?
There is no "official" price of anything. Do not confuse spot prices with the retail price of any physical metal.

Spot prices are set by paper trading on the commodities exchanges, not by physical metal in the real world. It is a number decided by commodities traders who trade contracts for 100 oz of gold and 5000 oz of silver that they never intend to take delivery of. If you want to take delivery of a silver contract there are many hurdles, people try all the time and the exchange makes it difficult to do so. When delivery is finally made silver is supplied in random weight bars of between 950 and 1050 troy ounces.

It is a number used as a negotiating tool by huge corporations who sign purchase agreements for millions of oz a year for industrial or jewelry use.

Even the US Mint pays more than the spot price to buy gold and silver for making American Eagles.

We mostly sell 1, 5 and 10oz silver bullion and 1oz gold coins- "retail" products. There are costs to make those, as well as for shipping and packing etc. Do you ask why bread costs so much when wheat is only $5 a bushel on the commodities exchange? The comparison is very similar.

Q. Why should I buy my precious metals from Montana Rarities?
Couple of reasons. We will have a broader selection of bullion and collectible coins than most coin stores, where they might have "silver rounds" we carry at least 3 brands that you can buy without getting an assortment. Also, you don't have to get in your car and drive over to the local store just to find out what they have. Even if their prices beat ours (including shipping), don't forget to factor in the gas, time and effort you need to shop local. Finally- no sales tax. Enough said...

Q. Is gold a good investment?
Buying precious metals carries risk, and prices can go down. There are no guarantees, prices fluctuate according to investor whim, the economy and Central Bank decisions. That being said, the Federal Reserve appears determined to destroy the US Dollar for some strange reason. Gold is not an "investment", it is real money, a form of savings. While the price of gold fluctuates when priced in Dollars, the amount of gold does not. It will never be worthless- can you say the same about your shares of Silicon Valley Bank, Enron or Washington Mutual? We at Montana Rarities understand that owning some Gold is part of a diversified investment plan. Gold has been a trusted store of wealth and widely accepted money for over 5,000 years.

Q. What about silver?
Silver usually follows the pricing movement of Gold, but with a twist. Silver is a very important industrial metal that in many applications is consumed and lost forever.

It is estimated that over 98% of all the Gold ever mined is still available for use. Not so with silver. In many applications silver is used in such tiny amounts that it is not feasible to recycle it. In some it is actually used up or forms chemical bonds with other elements.

If not for newly mined silver industrial consumption would have already caused prices to skyrocket, but mining output cannot keep up with demand. An estimated 150 million ounces per year are being used from above-ground stockpiles, and one day prices will have to reflect that reality.

When the economy is strong demand for Silver (and Copper, Lead and Zinc) increases, driving the price much higher than what will result from investor demand alone. Ironically, when the economy is foundering and less base metals are being mined, silver mining also declines as most silver is produced as a by-product of mining for copper, lead and zinc!

Q. What is "junk silver"?
Coin dealers refer to pre-1965 dimes, quarters and half dollars as junk silver only to differentiate them from numismatic collectibles. These coins were minted from 90% silver, and for each $1 face value there was 0.7234 troy ounces of silver when the coins were new. Allowing for wear, the industry accepted practice is to figure 0.715 troy oz.

"Junk silver" is not sold by weight, but by face value ($5, $10, $100 and $1,000 being the most common increments).

In 1965 silver was removed completely from Quarters and Dimes, and dropped to 40% in Kennedy Half Dollars until 1970. There is 0.296 troy oz of silver for each $1 in 40% Halves, and these usually sell for a very low premium.

Since 1970 only special issue coins contain any silver, some Eisenhower Dollar Uncirculated and Proofs were 40% until 1976 (none in 1975) and US Mint proof coins from 1992 to 2018 have been struck in 90% silver.

Since 2019 commemorative dollars and silver proof coins are being struck in 999 fine silver. The first dollars to be minted this way were the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.

Q. Are you sure everything you sell is authentic? I hear a lot about fake gold and silver coins, can I be sure what I buy from Montana Rarities is genuine?
The sad fact is that most dealers don't want to think or talk about it. It's a touchy subject.

We primarily source our precious metals from reputable wholesalers, and buy less than 10% of our inventory from the public. The most frequent source of counterfeit metals is people who buy from Ebay sellers in China who then try to pass it off to dealers and individuals.

We have complete faith in the merchandise purchased from wholesalers, even other dealers. Never found a problem with that. But we use a testing machine on anything bought from the public (Specifically a Sigma Metalytics Precious Metals Verifier).

Q. Why does my gold coin have ugly orange spots on it?
Actually those orange spots are more common than you might think, and they show up everywhere. On sealed coins, unsealed, pure gold and on alloyed ones.

The most common coins that see spots are the Canadian Maples and the Chinese Pandas. But I have seen them on American Buffaloes (pure gold) and St Gaudens $20 gold coins (90% gold).

There is a lot of speculation as to the causes of it. The ones that make the most sense to me are related to the creation of the coin. The dies are made of steel, and wear out as they are used. They last between 50,000 and 100,000 strikes before wear is unacceptable, and each time a coin is struck a few atoms of iron are transferred to the surface of the new coin.

Well, when iron is exposed to air it forms iron oxide, which is orange.

The way the Canadian and Chinese Mints clean their dies between use may account for their coins having more problems than some other mints. They are usually cleaned with super-heated steam, problems can occur if they don't use purified/distilled water, because some impurities remain.

There you go. So while it is annoying as all heck, there is nothing wrong with the gold or the coin.

Q. The dealer I talked to said I should buy graded coins, because they are the best. Is that right?
For older, collectible coins, yes (see the next answer for more on that). But for most modern bullion coins, even proof strikes- NO! There are some very limited exceptions, like the 1995 Silver Eagle Proof or high grade 1996 Silver Eagles. There are some firms that will try to tell you that if you are buying a Silver Eagle or a Gold Buffalo you should buy them graded MS70 or PR69 because you will know they are genuine and they are the most collectible because they are the best examples. They will be priced at least 70% over the price of the metal, and they may even tell you that your purchase is guaranteed.

Please, hang up the phone and never do business with them again. Modern bullion coins will all grade well due to precision equipment and techniques that result in much better quality than was possible 100 years ago. These coins are overpriced, and when you go to sell them you will lose 30-50% of your investment. Unless they have a guarantee, of course. Then you will only lose 10% of your investment, and they will sell that same overpriced coin to someone else.

In reality, a high grade Gold Eagle is still a Gold Eagle. They are not rare. They are not exceptional. If you are selling graded bullion coins dealers will pay the same as for an ungraded coin.

Q. What does MS-63 mean? What are the coin grades? Who decides what grade a coin is?
Unlike the answer above, having coins graded does make sense for older, collectible coins. The better grade coins are rare, and rarity commands higher prices. It also helps everyone know if the coin has been tampered with, cleaned or in other ways less desirable. But we stand by our answer above- for modern coins there is no advantage to being graded and encapsulated.

Collectible coins are graded on a scale of 1 to 70. A coin graded 70 would be perfect, but 1 is poor, where almost nothing on the coin is legible and even the design is lost. Also there are different designations for Business or Mint Strike (MS) and Proof Strikes (PF). A business or mint strike is a coin struck on regular dies and intended for circulation, whereas proof coins are struck using specially polished dies at least twice. You can read about the grades and the subjective criteria here at the PCGS website.

When we talk about a coin being "slabbed" it refers to the coin having been examined by a skilled coin grader for evaluation, then sealed in a tamper-resistant holder with the assigned grade on a label, usually with a serial number and some kind of hologram or other recognizable feature that certifies its authenticity. There are many organizations that grade coins, not all of them are honest or accurate. The best are PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG.

When we list coins that have not been professionally graded I will attempt to give a ballpark idea of the condition of the coins. I try to be conservative in my grading, and have been told that it is fair. However, I am not a professional coin grader and accept no liability for inaccurate grades. Please look carefully at the photos, Email me if you have questions or would like additional pictures. Unless otherwise stated in the product description, photos are of the actual coins being offered for sale.

Q. What about numismatic gold coins? What's the deal with gold confiscation?
A lot of nationally advertised dealers will push pre-1933 U.S. Gold coins, and like to point out that the government confiscated gold in 1933 but exempted collectible coins. They hint that it might happen again, but if you buy their numismatic gold offerings you will be safe.

I call BS. In 1933 Gold WAS money. The Federal Government confiscated the people's gold to keep the banks (and government) solvent- it was an emergency measure. There was a run on banks, and people were trying to withdraw their gold. The banks did not have enough gold reserves for that.

It also had the benefit (from the Federal Reserve's point of view) of severing the link between gold and paper, allowing unfettered inflation of the currency. Gold is no longer legal tender money so there would be no actual purpose or reason to try confiscation again (unless the government decides to confiscate other kinds of savings like IRA and 401(k) accounts).

That said, collectible coins are pieces of history so there is nothing wrong with having some in your portfolio. That is why we offer them.

Q. Do you collect sales taxes?
We are in Montana. Montana has no sales tax, and so we do not charge sales taxes on your purchases. If you live in a state that charges sales tax on precious metals transactions then you might be expected to pay use tax, but that is up to you to take care of. Consult your tax accountant.

Since the Supreme Court opened the door for states to demand sellers in other states collect sales taxes for them nothing has changed for us. Montana Rarities does not reach the threshold in any state where we might have to collect sales taxes.

We wouldn't anyway.

Q. Do you keep records on what your customers buy?
Buying precious metals is a private matter. We will never keep track of what you purchased. Quite frankly, it is none of our business (well, it is our business... but you know what we mean).

Q. Do you tell the government what I am buying or selling?
If you are buying from us there is no reporting of anything unless you want to pay cash (folding green stuff) over $10,000 so to make it easy on all of us we don't accept cash payments over $9,999.

If you were to buy with $10,000 or more in cash a Suspicious Activity Report (Form 8300) is required to be filed with the IRS.

If you purchase with a cashier's check, personal check or bank wire there is nothing to report, no matter how large a transaction (unless it is combined with cash to total over $10,000- because any fool can see that is an attempt to circumvent the rules).

As far as what you sell to us, a 1099B is required ONLY for the following transactions-

Gold Bars: Any size bars totaling 1 Kilo (32.15 troy oz.) or more

Silver Bars: Any size bars totaling 1000 troy oz. or more

Platinum Bars: Any size bars totaling 25 troy oz. or more

Palladium Bars: Any size bars totaling 100 troy oz. or more

Gold Coins: Maple Leaf, Krugerrand or Mexican Onza- 25 1-oz coins

U.S. 90% Silver Coins: Any combination of dimes, quarters, or half dollars totaling $1,000 face value or more

(The Forms 8300 and 1099B requirements are both based on the amount of a single related transaction, not aggregated over any specific time period)

Q. Why are your prices so low?
We are a low overhead operation, in a low-cost location. Plus, we are not greedy.

Q. Do you offer "pooled accounts" or metals storage?
NO!!! When you buy precious metals you should always take delivery. No exceptions! Some big-names offer so-called pooled accounts at lower metal prices. Well, if you are buying the exact same bullion items how can it be cheaper? The only price difference should be shipping costs- which you would pay separately anyway.

Ignoring that, there have been many spectacular collapses involving companies that did not actually have the metals that were shown on customer statements, leaving them with nothing.

Finally if you are buying for financial security, what is the point of having it stored somewhere else? It could be the most secure of blue-chip securities companies, but in a crisis how sure are you that you can take possession of your property? When buying precious metals always take delivery.

Q. Why are your prices higher than online dealer XXX ?
That's the free market for you, we do try to offer competitive pricing but sometimes we can be beat. Buy from the other guy, I would!

However price should not be the only consideration when making your purchase decisions. Can you reach a real person when you call? Do they take a week to ship? Do they seem sketchy? Do they cold-call or try to up-sell when you want to place an order?

Maybe our base prices don't look to be the best but we do offer volume discounts that might affect the final total. Prices on this site are for up to 4 oz of gold and and 100 oz of silver.

Discounts apply for mix and match purchases, but cannot be automatically calculated on the web store, so please contact us so we can calculate the savings.

If you are considering a very large purchase please visit the Quantity Pricing page to see how much our discounts are and contact us by phone at 406.396.9468 or Email before you place that order with someone else.

Q. Do you charge Handling Fees?
We do charge a shipping and handling fee of $29 on orders under $1,000. Over that there is no shipping or handling fee.

Q. Why don't you use UPS or FedEx?
Both UPS and FedEx will not cover precious metals or rare coins for loss or damage during shipping. They limit their liability to $1,000, only the United States Post Office offers up to $25,000 of insurance coverage per package. So on general principles we refuse to give them any of our business.

Q. Do I have to sign for delivery?
All shipments worth over $400 will require that someone sign for the package. For Registered Mail a photo ID is usually required also. If you are not home during the day your mail carrier will leave a notice and you will have to visit your local post office the next day to sign for it. Sorry, but nobody wants gold or silver just left in a mailbox or on your doorstep.

Q. Do you offer discounts for cash?
Yes. If you use Checkout your purchase is completed by credit card (or Paypal). Transaction fees are a major cost, so if you want to pay by check, cashier's check, money order, ACH or wire transfer we offer a 5% discount. Every product listing shows both the credit card and our base cash prices. See Payment by check, Money Order, Echeck, PTP, ACH or bank wire for more details.

All quotes for cash prices are good only for a limited time. For mailed payments the envelope MUST be postmarked by the next business day. For orders large enough to require wire transfer the payment must be sent the same day. Payments sent late may, at our discretion, be returned. If prices have increased and your payment was mailed 2 days late you can count on it being returned.

Q. Do you make substitutions?
Maybe. The only time we would consider it is if we are out of generic rounds, we might ship a brand name round instead.

Q. Do you have everything in stock?
If we are out descriptions will show "Sold out!". We don't sell things then make you wait for delivery. It is possible that an inventory error may allow you to purchase something that is in fact unavailable, but it is a rare situation. We will contact you if it happens.

We don't keep large quantities of everything in inventory (there are over 500 different products on the website). For large purchases (over 5 oz of gold or 200 oz of silver) we may source your order from a wholesaler or other dealer, and have it drop-shipped. This is faster than ordering it for delivery to us, then shipping it to you and it saves us having to keep a lot of product laying around.

Q. Do you have a physical store?
No. We have a website, an office with an alarm system and a really serious safe. So please don't ask us where the office is.

Q. Where should I store my precious metals?

LEGAL NOTICE: You should make your own decisions and be responsible for them, I can not be held responsible for losses incurred if you hide your silver in some clever place that turns out to be stupid. If any advice here is wrong, illegal or just dumb, DON'T FOLLOW IT!!!

OK, legal disclaimers aside, here are some ideas:

A good choice is a private vault company. Like a bank, these companies offer secure safe deposit boxes. Unlike a bank they do not have to follow the Federal Reserve banking rules (as long as the rent is paid you can call yourself Mr. Smith, while banks require you to prove your identity). A bank safe deposit is fine, but you should be aware that banks have to co-operate with legal authorities. If a judgment is entered against you then you may find your box sealed, if you use a private vault company with an alias that makes your property a little harder to find.

Another option is to rent a small unit at an indoor storage facility. The type where all the units are inside a multi-story building and accessed by internal corridors so anyone following you cannot see which unit you are going to from the street. If you can, pay for the rental with cash, and don't forget to pay the rent each month! The facility should have card/code secured gates, and preferably alarmed unit doors. Put some boxes of books and broken vacuum cleaners in there and nobody will suspect that there is a box of silver behind that.

Use your imagination, and you could keep them in your home. People have used old paint cans in the garage, gun safes, underneath floorboards, in attics. If you hide your metals in a foolproof spot make sure you leave a note for yourself (or your family) in a safe place, and be careful about throwing out those old paint cans! Homeowner's insurance does not usually cover precious metals or rare coins (firearms, fur coats and jewelry too) over $1,000. You either have to go without coverage, or pay extra on these items. Read your policy carefully or talk to your agent.