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All Posts Tagged With: "consumer advisory"

Consumer Alert: PNG Members Assist Investigations of Traveling “Hotel” Gold Buyers

Only $60 Offered for $10,000 Gold Coin

Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) member-dealers have been assisting the news media in their continuing investigations of several gold-buying companies that move from community to community across the United States. One of the buyers offered only $60 — significantly less than even its bullion melt value — for a 1925-D Indian Head $2.50 gold coin certified NGC MS66 and valued at $10,000 by PNG experts.

” Despite prominent advertising that may proclaim, ‘NO ONE PAYS MORE,’ some traveling gold buyers are offering only pennies on the dollar for rare coins,” said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director.

“Recent newspaper and television investigations in five states conducted with the assistance of Professional Numismatist Guild member-dealers revealed that some buyers who set up for a few days in a hotel, then move on to another town, sometimes offered as little as three percent of the actual value of certified rare coins they were offered. You may see bigger promises than payouts.”

The initial investigations were conducted by The Examiner newspaper in Beaumont, Texas of several traveling gold buying companies at hotels in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The subsequent stories revealed that “promises of big money weren’t really true, and in many encounters the money offered was nearly a fourth or less of the actual value of the items being presented for sale,” according to Jerry Jordan, the award-winning News Editor of The Examiner.

Based on the results of the investigative reporting, PNG officials issued a brief consumer advisory to the general public.

“Results reported in those stories are not necessarily indicative of all hotel coin buyers across the country, but we encourage people who want to sell gold or silver to prepare in advance: know beforehand what you are selling and get more than one offer, preferably in writing. Consult with local merchants in your community who may not have flashy advertising but who may offer you considerably more money for your coins and jewelry. Members of the Professional Numismatists Guild must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise, and must refrain from buying at unreasonable prices,” advised Brueggeman.

“If you don’t know coins, you’d better know your coin buyer.”

Jordan discovered some hotel buyers operate under multiple assumed names, have lawsuits filed against them and are targeting areas of the country undergoing economic distress. The investigations also revealed another potential problem for people who want to sell gold jewelry.

“The scales used by some itinerant buyers to weigh gold jewelry may not even be lawfully registered with government agencies. That could result in inaccurate weight measurements to your detriment when you’re selling gold jewelry for its melt value,” said Brueggeman.

During the investigations, PNG member-dealers provided Jordan with gold and silver coins valued at more than $43,000 to offer to traveling gold buying companies, and assisted the newspaper with expert opinions on what their own companies would actually pay for those items. (more…)

Millions Lost From Coin Fakes, Hobby Leaders Warn

Chinese-made counterfeit coins pose a significant financial threat to unsuspecting consumers, according to leaders of five of the country’s most influential rare coin organizations. They warn the public is spending millions of dollars on fake U.S. coins offered in online auctions and elsewhere, such as flea markets and swap meets.

fake_1915-D_5In a jointly-issued consumer advisory (below) the groups caution the public not to purchase any so-called “replica” coins because they may be in violation of federal law. They also urge consumers to only purchase genuine rare coins from reputable, professional dealers or face the risk of losing money on copies that are illegal to re-sell.

Below is the consumer protection warning issued by (in alphabetical order) the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (www.ICTAonline.org), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (www.NGCcoin.com), Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.com).

Hobby periodicals report that more than a million counterfeit coins manufactured in China have been fraudulently sold in the United States posing a significant financial risk for unsuspecting consumers. Buyer beware! Consumers who buy an item based only on its perceived rarity and who have no knowledge as to how to determine whether the coin is genuine subject themselves to great risk of losing their money

The American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) urge consumers to educate themselves before making purchases: know what you are buying and purchase only from reputable, experienced rare coin dealers (professional numismatists).

“We believe many of these counterfeits subsequently are being resold as genuine rare coins in online auctions and at flea markets and swap meets,” said Clifford Mishler, ANA President.

“Millions of dollars already have been spent on these fakes and potentially millions more may be unwittingly lost by consumers who mistakenly think they’re getting a genuine rare coin,” warned Paul Montgomery, PNG President.
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