Rare Coins and Precious Metals 101
December 31, 2009 by Al Pinkall
In the past few years precious metals and rare coins have been very much in focus
due to the incredible spending spree in Washington and the publicity of the central banks becoming net buyers of gold.
As happens with all bull markets, new companies spring up to take advantage of the trend and employ phone salesman with little or no experience with precious metals or rare coins who do nothing but follow scripted sales material.
Gold Rarities Gallery is actively involved in protecting consumers. In 2005 we joined with a number of other dealers to become a founding member of the not-for-profit organization, Numismatic Consumer Alliance (NCA). NCA dedicates its resources and activities to the education and protection of the coin consumer. The Alliance has now recovered a total of more than $4 million for such consumers since becoming operational in 2005. NCA intervenes on behalf of these buyers, engaging legal and other professional assistance, if necessary, in an effort to ensure that coin consumers are getting their money’s worth. The Alliance is reviewing other disputes involving coins for which consumers paid more than $10 million.
Today, to help Personal Liberty Digest readers, we are going to give you a checklist on how to separate those who can actually help you and those who just want to separate you from your money. Ask these questions and follow these guidelines and you will have a far more pleasant buying experience:
- How long has the company been in business?
- How long has the person you are dealing with been in the business? Many telemarketers hire salesman who know nothing about the products they are selling. The problem with this is that without the experience, they have no idea whether what their employer is selling is a good deal or not.
Never ask this:
- What is your commission or markup? The reason this is the wrong question for the average person to ask is because a dealer can say he is working at 5 percent, which to the average person sounds reasonable. The problem is, if the company is not very good at buying coins and they are overpaying by 15 percent, then it’s not such a great deal. This is where actual experience can make a huge difference. The best thing to do is always simply compare actual prices.
Bait and Switch
The fact that the practice of bait and switch is illegal doesn’t seem to deter some companies from offering something at a low price to entice you and then have the “expert” who answers the phone try to convince you something else is a better deal. If this happens hang up and find a new company.
What coins should you buy?
The answer to this question could literally be different for everyone who reads this. Your choices:
- Certified Modern CoinsThe United States Mint strikes numerous issues which it then distributes to the public via authorized dealers or its own web site. Some of the more popular products find their way to the major grading services and are usually seen as MS-69 and MS-70 or Proof 69 and Proof 70. At Gold Rarities we do sell certified modern coins on occasion when the prices are not too much of a premium above their spot value. The lone exception we make to that in-house rule is the 1-ounce American Silver Eagle in MS-70, which is currently $99 and is one of the most popular and widely collected coins ever produced. Twenty coin rolls, of course, can be bought for far less. Many certified modern coins are simply bad deals with very high markups and should be evaluated carefully before purchase. The more popular certified bullion coins are the Gold and Silver Eagles and the Gold Buffalo pieces. When buying certified coins we suggest sticking with the two most established grading services, which are Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS), the only two we use.
- Rare CoinsThere are simply too many areas of the rare coin market to cover here but among the most popular issues are the Morgan and Peace Dollars as well as the St Gaudens and $20 Liberty gold. Again, we suggest sticking with the major grading services NGC and PCGS. In the case of the pre-1933 gold and silver coins, we also recommend the additional protection of the Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) verification.
What is (CAC)?
Gold Rarities Gallery has always been known for selling quality material. We have been known to sift through hundreds of coins just to find the few nuggets that meet our strict criteria. However, an ever-increasing number of certified coins on the market are considered low end for their grade and some we have rejected over and over again.
CAC holds coins to a higher standard so you can be confident in the value of yours.
CAC verifies previously graded coins and awards their sticker only to those coins that meet the standard for today’s sophisticated buyer.
Gold Rarities Gallery sells only coins certified by NGC and PCGS, almost all of which will have the additional CAC verification.
What the CAC sticker means:
- Verified. Your coin has been verified as meeting the standard for strict quality within its grade.
- Guaranteed. CAC stands behind our verification by making markets in the most actively traded coins.
The CAC Sticker is Backed by Experience
CAC was founded by leading members of the numismatic community including John Albanese, a respected authority on coin grading and the rare coin market.
At Gold Rarities Gallery we handle everything from a couple of hundred dollars to major seven-figure rarities. Whether you are building a set of major rarities, or you just pick up a single piece every now and then, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-224-3160 and put our 24 years of experience to work for you.
Gold Rarities Gallery maintains one of the lowest overheads in the business and that allows us to work closer with our customers than our competitors ever could, and our 24 years of industry contacts are second to none. More importantly, we are very picky as far as quality is concerned and we only sell coins that meet very strict eye appeal standards.
To view our entire inventory visit us on the web at http://www.goldrarities.com/, and while there, feel free to fill out our WANT LIST form to get first shot at all new purchases.