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Buy & Sell Safely: Increase In Gold Price May Increase Gold Scams, Cautions Michael Fuljenz

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The recent significant increase in the price of gold may increase the chances of unwary buyers and sellers becoming victims of dishonest dealers, cautioned Michael Fuljenz, an award-winning precious metals writer known as America’s Gold Expert®.

            “It happens virtually every time there’s a run up in gold and silver prices.  Scam artists take advantage of investors and consumers who have not done their homework,” warned Fuljenz. 

“Last year when gold and silver prices dropped, there was still so much public demand that the United States Mint ran out of some bullion coins inventory several times.  I anticipate demand will rise even higher from 2015’s impressive levels.  Investors should know how to get more value when buying and more money when selling,” Fuljenz stated.

            He said there are five danger points to avoid:

  • Paying far too much when you purchase new, popular gold bullion items, such as American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf coins. Depending on the quantity of your purchase, Fuljenz advised you should only pay between 4.5 and 5.5 percent over the intrinsic (“melt”) value of a typical, one-ounce gold bullion coin. Premiums above melt value may reach as high as 14 percent when purchasing smaller-size bullion coins that contain only one-tenth of an ounce of gold.
  • Receiving far too little when you sell. Depending on the quantity and quality of coins you are selling, you should receive as least melt value for popular, one-ounce gold bullion coins and usually significantly over intrinsic value for rare coins.  Several years ago, Fuljenz assisted news media in five states with investigations of so-called ‘hotel buyers’ who often paid just pennies on the dollar for some precious metals items.  In one case, a high-profile buyer offered only $60 for a gold coin with a market value of $10,000 that Fuljenz loaned to investigative reporters who worked on the stories.
  • Not receiving what you paid for. Fuljenz pointed out there have been recent news media stories in Orange County California and Austin, Texas about precious metals dealers failing to deliver the gold bullion coins investors ordered in good faith.
  • Not receiving payment for precious metals items you shipped to a buyer.

“Before you buy or sell with a dealer, check to see the dealers’ credentials.  Check if they are accredited by the Better Business Bureau or are they truly experts,” advised Fuljenz.

  • Beware of counterfeit American Eagle gold and silver coins and fake bullion ingots (bars). “Even though hobby protection laws have been strengthened and counterfeit detection efforts in the precious metals and rare coin profession have increased, it pays to make sure your specific dealer is an expert in counterfeit detection,” said Fuljenz.

About Mike Fuljenz

Michael Fuljenz has won more than 50 prestigious national and regional awards and honors for his consumer education and protection work in rare coins and precious metals, including Book of the Year.  He has taught counterfeit detection classes at American Numismatic Association seminars, and was recently was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters by McNeese State University.  A respected community leader in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, Mike also has served with distinction as a consultant to the Federal Trade Commission, United States Mint and Royal Canadian Mint, and is on the Boards of Directors of the influential Industry Council For Tangible Assets, and Crime Stoppers of Beaumont, Texas.


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