Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.
|January 2018 Issue|
By Warren Mills
I recently received an urgent call from a good customer about his 102 US Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins that are .9999 fine gold. He was concerned because a couple of the pieces had small copper spots on them. With the amount of counterfeit bullion in the marketplace, he was concerned about them possibly being fake. He could not understand how with so much purity of gold that there could be enough copper to show through. He thought for sure that the coins were fake.
I explained to him that even though they are so pure, that other metals are still mined with the gold. The US has used copper as a hardening metal with US gold since the inception of minting US gold coins. Many dealers even look at copper spots as an assurance of the coin being genuine! Many coins from other countries have the same copper spotting that can result during the annealing process. I’ve seen many Canadian Gold Maple Leafs and a huge amount of Chinese Panda Gold Coins with annealing spots. So please rest easy, the coins are genuine.
By the way, I would like to mention that in next month's newsletter, I should be posting the Maurice Rosen, Crystal Ball Survey. I am one of a few dealers that were invited to answer questions for Maurice Rosen's yearly article.
Partner and owner of Rare Coins of New Hampshire, Inc. since June, 1990 and a full time coin dealer since 1979. Warren is a full member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a life member of the American Numismatic Association. He was selected by the Rosen Numismatic Advisory as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country for twelve consecutive years. He was selected by PCGS and written up in their newsletter as handling and submitting some of the nicest coins they have ever seen.
2018, Let’s Get it Started!
By Dave Carleton
I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year.
As you read this, Warren and I are probably at the Florida United Numismatist (F.U.N.) Show in Tampa, Florida. We’ll be there from Tuesday, January 2nd through Saturday, January 6th. Warren has a Want-List as long as his arm and he’ll be diligently trying to find the right coins to fill those orders. I’ll be stationed at our table and look forward to seeing some of my collectors and meeting new ones.
A short while ago, one of our employees, Donald Dee, told Warren and I about a conversation that he just had with one of his clients. The way I heard it, the man gave his son a couple of one ounce Gold American Eagles as a gift. His son took them to a classy jewelry store in New York City and they said that they’d be happy to purchase them from him at face value ($50 per coin). I’ll give the store’s buyer credit for being so bold, but that’s it. Apparently, the young man didn’t know the value of the Gold Eagles at the time, but he knew enough to realize that he was being taken for a fool, so he left. He called his dad to get the details and tell him of his experience and his dad straightened him out and told him that he should be offered approximately $1,300 for each one ounce Gold American Eagle. The man was horrified about his son’s experience and called Don to tell him the story. He could not believe that a fine jewelry store would pull such a stunt.
The minute Warren heard the story he turned to me and said that I should mention it in one our monthly missives, so that’s what I’ve done. Even though I don’t believe anything was done illegally, it’s just hard to believe that there are people out there in fine establishments that are comfortable taking advantage of customers who happen to be naïve about hard assets. I know that store will never get a referral from that kid, but I wonder how many times they’ve pulled that play and got away with it.
That story kind of dovetails into something that I wanted to mention. Today I got an email from the Numismatic Crime Information Center (NCIC), They are a nonprofit organization that keeps dealers like us abreast of various crimes in the numismatic community. We’ve been interacting with them for several years and in their latest donation drive they mentioned how much activity they have been involved in over the last year. I’ll paste their message below.
In 2017 the Numismatic Crime Information Center fielded over 1000 phone calls and emails from dealers, collectors and law enforcement. Over 115 cases were reported to NCIC with numismatic losses exceeding 2.1 million dollars. NCIC participated in 52 cases and provided investigative strategies to law enforcement on the remaining investigations. These efforts resulted in the recovery of over $300,000.
We will continue our educational initiatives in 2018 by providing free training to law enforcement across the country on "Investigating Numismatic Crimes". These classes provide officers with the basic tools and resources to effectively investigate a numismatic crime.
NCIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and all resources are free to dealers, collectors and law enforcement.
An anonymous dealer will match up to $2500 in a matching grant campaign until January 1, 2018. If you would like to donate go to www.numismaticcrimes.org or send to P.O. Box 14080 Arlington, Texas 76094
Have a safe and Happy New Year!!
I think these folks are doing a real service for our marketplace and I’m a bit surprised at the amount of activity this little organization gets involved in on an annual basis. We support them and appreciate that they make us aware of stolen items and what to be on the lookout for if they are brought into our establishment.
Thanks and have a Happy New Year! Warren will probably write a summary of his impression of the F.U.N. show in his professional and technical manner and I’ll write mine in my untechnical laid back manner.
David Carleton, a New Hampshire native was introduced to coin collecting by his father and Grandfather in the 50’s. Gold bullion speculation dominated the 70’s culminating in 1980 when focus on Numismatics returned. He became a life member of the ANA , met Warren Mills (his coin Guru) and they cofounded RCNH in 1990.
It Has Happened Again!
By Joe Presti
The other day, a customer who has sold us some things in the past came in and asked about selling some “African silver.” That phrase got the hair on the back of my neck to stand up because no legitimate coin dealer would use a term like that. Only someone trying to make something sound more than it is would say that. He told me he had Rwandan Meerkat and Water Buffalo 1 oz silver coins and Congo Gorilla silver coins.
So, I proceeded to treat him as I would treat anyone else who walked into our office. I called our normal bullion wholesaler and asked what he would buy these coins for. His reply was 5¢ behind spot silver, just what I expected. Since I had the dealer on speaker phone, the customer heard and immediately became defensive. From experience, I knew where he probably bought them and didn’t want him to think I was making a lot of money at his expense. So I told him I would call the dealer he bought the coins from.
On speaker again, I told the dealer that I had approximately 50 of each coin available and asked the dealer what he would pay for the coins and his reply was a little more palatable. He quoted $5 over spot for the Meerkat, $8 over for the Water Buffalo, but did not want to purchase the Gorillas even though he had sold them. The customer would be losing money because silver had gone down since he purchased these coins, but it was much more than he was quoted when he called this same dealer on his own. He wanted to sell. When he told me the quantity he had was between 300-500 of each, I told him to come back the next day with the coins and we would consummate the deal. I suspected the dealer would not honor his quotes for the quantities the client had.
Bright and early the next day he showed up at our office, silver in tow and I called the dealer. Sure enough, the dealer who sold him the coins and quoted the higher prices the day before, would not honor the prices for that quantity of coins. Needless to say the customer was extremely disappointed with the transaction that never occurred, but we went above and beyond to attempt to help him the best and most ethical way we could.
I tried to explain to this gentleman that although he had purchased his coins from a major bullion dealer, what he bought were coins that had limited distribution and only a few dealers in the country dealt with them. In hindsight, he would have been much better buying silver Eagles because there is a much wider distribution of these coins. Even if the dealer you bought from goes out of business, most other coin dealers in the country buy and sell silver Eagles. Not many dealers buy and sell “African silver.”
Questions From Our Mail Bag
By Warren Mills
I’d like to buy some silver, but I’m not sure what I should acquire. I am leaning toward silver bars, what do you think? -B.D.
I really like 90% circulated silver coins, also known in the industry as junk silver. Right now, I like it for a few reasons. It is denominated US coinage, accepted and well recognized. What entity or country would bother trying to counterfeit circ silver coins? It just doesn’t pay, so this offers a layer of protection. On top of that, it is also trading incredibly close to melt value. The premium above melt right now is only 2 to 3%. The premium above melt for Eagles is about 15% over melt for nice, unspotted pieces. The amount of silver bars and rounds in the marketplace gives me great pause.
As I said in earlier e-letters, the tidal wave of counterfeit bullion is just beginning. It is going to get worse! Try to acquire items that are less likely to be impacted negatively and compromise your liquidity. I also feel that this will cause the future premiums for junk silver to escalate dramatically. Get it now while the getting is good!
I also want to alert our customers to the fact that spotted and imperfect Silver Eagles trade for a discount in the marketplace now. Don’t be fooled by a bargain price. Also, watch out for esoteric private medals and world issues, they can impact your liquidity. Premiums are a concern too!