Following the recent fraud charges filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission against a California gold seller, a trade group composed of veteran precious-metals experts is urging investors to take three important steps before making any purchases of gold, silver, or platinum bullion coins or ingots.
“To avoid paying too much when you buy, or receiving too little when you sell, and to avoid potential scams, investors absolutely must know the credentials of the bullion dealer—not just what the dealer may tout on TV advertisements or with a fancy website,” cautioned Barry Stuppler of Woodland Hills, California, president of the nonprofit Professional Numismatists Guild.
“If you don’t know gold, you’d better know your gold dealer,” Stuppler emphasized.
The Temecula, California–based Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) was founded in 1955. Two years ago, PNG established an Accredited Precious Metals Dealer (APMD) program to provide consumer and investor protection in the marketplace. APMD members must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of precious metals. The firm that was recently sued by the CFTC is not a member of the APMD program.
“The second step investors must take is know the current spot price of the precious metal they want to buy or sell. Bullion items, such as the American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, and South African Krugerrand usually sell for only about three to five percent above the current spot price depending on the quantity purchased. Beware of high-pressure selling prices that would force you to wait for gold or silver to double or triple in value before you could make a profit,” warned Stuppler.
“The third step is to take prompt delivery of the bullion items you purchase. Be wary of sellers who want to keep and store your gold, or claim it will take months to deliver items to you. The reason many people buy precious-metal coins and ingots is because of their liquidity, but if you don’t have possession of the items then you can’t act quickly when you want to sell,” said Stuppler, who also is president of the California Coin and Bullion Merchants Association.
For additional information about the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program, call the Professional Numismatists Guild at (951) 587-8300 or visit the website of the AMPD. A list of APMD member-dealers is online here.