Buyer Beware: Overpriced Gold Coins

Professional Numismatists Guild Cautions of Grossly Overpriced Products

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American Eagle gold bullion coins.

If you’re purchasing modern precious metals coins strictly for their silver, gold, or platinum content, beware of significantly overpaying simply because the coins may be housed in fancy holders or accompanied by autographs of celebrities or the coins’ designers, cautions the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.org).

“The personal finance market is filled with slick advertisements touting gold bullion coins labeled with a superb grade or in holders with decorative, autographed inserts. These may be fine collectibles for some, but you could pay more than twice the value of the precious metal content of the coin. There certainly are better ways for investors to buy bullion coins much closer to their actual intrinsic value,” stated Barry Stuppler, president of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG).

The Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top rare coin and bullion coin dealers. PNG oversees the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program (https://apmddealers.org), whose members must adhere to a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic bullion items and guarantee the authenticity of the merchandise they sell.

“We are seeing a lot of advertising and marketing of precious metal bullion coins in holders with ‘limited edition’ specialty labels,” said Stuppler. “These designs may include autographs of former United States Mint officials, sports Hall of Fame members or other celebrities. However, virtually every specialty label coin we’ve seen was offered at a price 200 to as much as 1,000 percent higher than a comparable bullion coin in the same condition without the signature or specially designed labels. And when an investor sells the coins with special labels they might only get a 5 to 10 percent premium.”

“Don’t make any purchase until you have shopped around and learned the competitive prices for bullion items sold by others who don’t have high marketing expenses. Make sure you are not getting ripped off,” he advised.

“Modern gold, silver and platinum bullion coins, such as the American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leaf series, usually trade at a small premium over the actual spot precious metal content. Many major gold bullion dealers typically will sell a single, one-ounce gold American Eagle gold coin at approximately four to five percent over the current spot/melt value. The premiums are larger for 1/10th, 1/4th and 1/2-ounce coins,” explained Stuppler.

“Buyers also should distinguish between bullion coins whose values generally fluctuate according to the current price of gold, silver or platinum, and ‘rare coins’ that can carry a significant collector premium based on historical supply and demand. Some vintage U.S. gold and silver coins may be readily available in circulated condition for a modest premium over their bullion content, but those same coins in superb condition may have significantly higher value – perhaps thousands of dollars above their melt value,” added Stuppler.

“If you don’t’ know precious metals coins, you’d better know your precious metals coins dealer,” he cautioned.

A directory of PNG Accredited Precious Metals Dealers (APMD) members can be found at www.apmddealers.org/apmd-dealers. For additional information, contact the Professional Numismatists Guild at 951-587-8300 or by email at info@PNGdealers.org.

 

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