"Recent news media investigations conducted with the assistance of Professional Numismatist Guild member-dealers from Texas revealed that some traveling gold buyers who set up for a few days in a hotel, then move on to another town, sometimes offered as little as three percent of the actual value of coins they were offered. You may see bigger promises than payouts," said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director. "The scales used by some itinerant buyers to weigh gold jewelry may not even be lawfully registered with government agencies. That could result in inaccurate weight measurements to your detriment when you're selling gold jewelry for its melt value," said Brueggeman.
Brueggeman encourages those interested in selling gold or silver to prepare in advance and get multiple offers. He suggests consulting with local merchants who have a good reputation in the community. Some traveling buyers have lawsuits filed against them or are targeting areas of the country undergoing economic distress. PNG Executive Director Brueggeman emphasizes: "If you don't know coins, you'd better know your coin buyer." The PNG has a strict Code of Ethics for its members in the buying and selling of numismatic items. For additional information and the locations of PNG member-dealers, call (760) 728-1300 or visit online at www.PNGdealers.com.
There have been two major types of fraud, a bait and switch in which the seller shows the jeweler a gold item and then switches it with a lookalike fake, and a scenario in which the jeweler buys a piece that tests positive as gold but is instead a heavily plated item. Jewelers are advised to be aware of the proliferation of fake items and to test it as much as possible. Both buyers and sellers should be aware of the possibility that even if a piece is stamped as gold that does not mean it really is.
Gold sellers are also warned to be cautious. Check the daily prices and be aware that while any jeweler or gold dealer will also take a share of the profits it pays to shop around because the percentage may be different and different stores may offer varying prices for pieces. Depending on the value of the piece it may also be advisable to have it evaluated by an independent appraiser before shopping your jewelry around that way you know the range that it could fetch.