creators home lifestyle web
peter rexfod


Finding Million Dollar Pennies and $20 Gold Nickels As the stock and bond markets remain volatile, everyone would love to find some stability. Gold may be climbing back up to the $1,300 mark, but history tells us there is no safe harbor. Still, visit any good coin or stamp show and you'll see plenty …Read more. Treasure Found in the Cradle of the Revolution Two weeks ago, I was in Boston. I wasn't there physically but vicariously. You see, several people were involved in something I've long dreamed of — opening a time capsule from the American Revolutionary era. You've probably heard about it. A …Read more. Keep an Eye Out for Errors, Silver and Ducks in 2015 An old adage suggests, "If we forget the past we're doomed to repeat it." On the flip side, sometimes repeating the past can be a plus. That's good to know as we begin 2015. Case in point: Many years ago, I purchased some souvenir cards at the post …Read more. Historic Collectible Medals Are In the Wind Humans in general, and Americans in particular, have affection for anniversaries and military heroes. In 2015, we'll have plenty of chances to celebrate both with the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the 70th anniversary of the end …Read more.
more articles

Sixty Dollars for a $10,000 Gold Coin? Sadly, Yes.


I think we'd all like to believe that in tough times, everyone pulls together to help each other. The good news is that many people are doing just that during this down economy. Conversely, some find this fertile ground to take advantage of people in need.

Sure, there are the usual home repair, credit card and Internet scams. As technology becomes more advanced, so do the ways thieves connive to wrest money from gullible or trusting consumers.

Today, a particularly topical method of cheating unsuspecting "patrons" is the traveling gold buying companies. I've written about the companies who try to cajole individuals into mailing their "broken or unwanted" jewelry for quick payments. It goes without saying I would NEVER advise just dropping precious metals into an envelope to be delivered to a faceless person who may or may not be honest. But, what of face-to-face encounters?

It's common to see advertisements for gold buyers coming to a local hotel to "pay top dollar" for your gold. They are there for a day or so and then gone. Do they pay fair market value? Some do. Many don't. This is especially true in smaller towns where there are few, if any, local coin dealers.

In larger cities, many TV stations have made an effort to go "undercover" by taking a fixed amount of gold coins or jewelry to buyers to determine who pays the most. Not surprisingly, the one or two dealers that do soon see sellers lined up around the block. In smaller communities, some news sources have done their own legwork.

The Examiner, a newspaper in Beaumont, Texas, investigated several traveling gold buying companies at hotels in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. They soon learned that the promises of big cash payouts were often far from fact. In some cases, the money offered was just one-fourth or less of the actual value.

Jerry Jordan, news editor of The Examiner, also found that some of the traveling buyers used several assumed names. Moreover, scales used by some buyers to weigh gold may be entirely inaccurate or not lawfully registered, resulting in substantially lower weights and payouts.

According to Jordan, the newspaper brought coins, scrap gold and bullion with a value of over $43,000 to one hotel buyer.

The total they were offered was $11,600 — roughly 25 cents on the dollar. At another, the hotel buyers offered a mere $680 for $25,580 worth of certified gold coins — a paltry 3 percent of their actual value.

Certified coins are far-and-away ones easiest to determine actual value. Dealers are eager to have the chance to purchase most high-grade certified coins. Moreover, price sheets for graded and certified coins are printed weekly, so the values are widely known. So much more the pity, considering one potential sale nightmare.

In that instance, an out-of-town coin/gold buyer offered only $60 for a rare 1925 $2.50 gold coin valued at $10,000. To make matters even worse, that price was just a fraction of the coin's gold bullion melt value.

The bottom line and obvious lesson from this is that prospective sellers MUST do their homework. If you don't know what you have, find out from reputable sources before any sale. In the age of the Internet, this can be done most anywhere. Better still, this adage has never been truer: "If you don't know your coins know your dealer." By shopping around, sellers will often find the difference between what they get and what they could have received as hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Of course, these experiences aren't meant to be a condemnation of all gold buyers, be they in a hotel or a permanent storefront. Rather, it's a suggestion to do a little homework on both what you have and with whom you're dealing. When it comes to coins, the best bet it to do business with a dealer that's a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). PNG member dealers are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of coins. If there's a dispute, the PNG organization can intervene to assist with a satisfactory outcome.

So, the next time you see an ad proclaiming "NO ONE PAYS MORE," consider it a two-way street. After all, that buyer really may pay more. On the other hand, you may be the one that pays dearly by all but giving your valuables away.

Editor's Note: A visual of the certified 1925 $2.50 gold coin valued at $10,000 has been sent with this column. Photo courtesy of Universal Coin & Bullion.

To find out more about Peter Rexford and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



1 Comments | Post Comment
A great post I must say, thank you for sharing this great insight about gold business in your post.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Gold Bullion
Sun Aug 1, 2010 4:45 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Other similar columns
Paul Paquet
Trivia Bits
by Paul Paquet
Dan Berger
Dan Berger on Wine
by Dan Berger
Matthew Margolis
Barks and Recreation
by Jessica Burtch
Peter Rexford
Jan. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month