Everybody wants a good deal. When is a good deal NOT a good deal?
An article in Coin World Weekly magazine reports on counterfeit gold and silver coins, “Numerous websites, social media pages peddling counterfeit material."
The Anti-Counterfeiting Education Foundation reports that more than 300 websites, including Amazon and Facebook, are selling Chinese counterfeit material. They share a press release about an investor who thought he was buying Gold and Silver Eagle coins. He purchased one $50 Gold Eagle (A one ounce coin) and 50 Silver Eagles for $1,000!
I hate to say it but he deserved to lose his money.
A one ounce Gold Eagle is worth over $1,900 while the Silver Eagles are worth about $30 each. A total value of about $3,400 would be conservative.
So, was this “investor" really so inexperienced that he thought he could buy gold and silver coins for less than a third of the value?
While this example might be a little too easy to figure out that something was wrong, there are many people who get so caught up in “price shopping" that they end up losing their money.
I had a client who swore he was buying one ounce Platinum Eagles for $500 each from a company on eBay out of Romania! He was convinced that even though Platinum Eagles sell for around $1,000 a coin, he was getting a discount because the person in Romania could sell for less because platinum was worth less there.
If either of these buyers would step back from their greed they would realize there was something wrong. Sad to say, but I don’t feel sorry for the buyers I just mentioned. Their greed got them back.
The old saying "If its too good to be true, it probably is.” should be tattooed on these guys' foreheads.
Counterfeiting is a problem that's easy to stay away from.
First, don’t expect to buy for less than market prices for gold, silver or platinum. These are global markets. There is no such thing as a discount on the metals. Sure, you can occasionally save a percent or two when a dealer is overstocked or running a special, but if you see bullion coins offered for 10%, 30% or more under spot prices - RUN!
Buy from reputable dealers. They are easy to find. Find someone who has been around for 10, 20, 30 years.
American Federal has been in the Phoenix area since 1983 and I have been in the business since 1980. If you deal with someone reputable you don’t have to worry about them passing on counterfeits. You should still pay a reasonable price but don’t expect these crazy discounts that make no sense.
Dealers can’t stay in business by losing money.
Most reputable dealers are making a minimal 3%-5% profit on most bullion deals. That’s not a lot when you consider the peace of mind they give and the fact that they (we) will be around to repurchase you coins and bullion when that time comes.