Three Things Gold Buyers Must Know First: "Gold Rush" Caution, Common Sense Urged By Gold Coin Experts

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Before buying or selling gold, silver or platinum coins, there are three important things you should know that could help save you money when you purchase or help you get more money when you sell, according to experts in the Professional Numismatists Guild.

What You Should Know Before You Buy Rare Coins

With the recent "Gold Rush" that pushed the price of gold to a record high and news stories questioning what some dealers charge when selling gold coins, investors are urged to become knowledgeable before purchasing precious metal bullion coins as a financial investment or economic hedge. The consumer protection advice is from the Professional Numismatists Guild (, a nonprofit organization founded in 1955 and composed today of many of the country's top rare coin and bullion coin dealers.

"If you don't know your gold, silver or platinum coins, you'd better know your coin dealer to help you make responsible decisions," advises PNG President Paul Montgomery of Houston, Texas. "To make an informed purchase of gold, silver or platinum, investors need to be aware of three crucial marketplace factors: The actual cost per ounce of precious metals; bullion value versus collector value; and timely delivery of the merchandise."

  •     Price: Buyers will pay a higher percentage over "melt value" for fractional gold pieces (for example, 1/10th, 1/4th and 1/2 ounce) than they will for one-ounce items. Premiums may fluctuate dramatically depending on bullion prices as well as supply and demand for bullion coins. You should determine if the percentage you are asked to pay is reasonable or excessive.

American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf coins generally have slightly higher retail prices than comparable South African Krugerrand gold bullion coins.

  •     Bullion vs. Collector Coins: Investors 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 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. The market for accurately graded, high-quality rare coins is quite strong now.

  •     Delivery: If immediate delivery of your purchase is not possible, then prior to executing your order obtain from the seller in writing specific confirmation about the delivery date.

If there is a sudden, increased demand nationwide or worldwide for gold bullion coins, retailers may encounter delays of several weeks or more before receiving merchandise from some retail or wholesale sources.

Members of the Professional Numismatists Guild must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and demonstrate knowledge, responsibility and integrity in their business dealings. They also must agree to binding arbitration to settle unresolved disagreements over numismatic property. A complete list of PNG member-dealers can be found online at

For a copy of the informative pamphlet, "What You Should Know Before You Buy Rare Coins," or a printed directory of PNG member-dealers, send $1 to cover postage costs to: Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director, 3950 Concordia Lane, Fallbrook, CA 92028. Phone: (760) 728-1300. Email at, or visit the web site at


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