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how to convert cash to gold or silver here in pdx?

A question for imc folks out there: how does one go about converting cash to gold or silver coins or bars?

Banks don't do it, so who does?
I've been thinking about converting some of my meager savings to gold or silver, and am wondering if anyone out there has some experience doing this?

How easy and costly is it to convert dollars to precious metals, and how about the other way around? Are there fees involved to do the exchange? How do you know if the gold or silver you're getting is legit?

Ideally I'd like to stop using fiat currencies all together, but until the broader Portland community moves in that direction, it won't be easy to just make the switch.