Although it’s easy to find a precious metals dealer, finding an honest, qualified one is significantly more challenging. There are a number of key attributes you should require in a gold and silver dealer. The key requirements are that he/she knows their business well, is financially stable, respected by their peers, has demonstrated exemplary ethics, and from whom you have recourse in case of a dispute.
A credible dealer will adhere to a dealer code of ethics such as that which is required by the American Numismatics Association. Their Dealer Code of Ethics can be viewed on their website.
6 TIPS ON HOW TO EVALUATE GOLD AND SILVER DEALERS
(1) Extent of the dealer’s experience. How experienced is the dealer you are considering? If you are buying coins, especially for investment purposes, you want a knowledgeable, reliable coin dealer who can give you accurate and expert advice. You would never trust an inexperienced professional for any of your other investment needs, so don’t settle for less with your gold and silver purchases. Solid credentials and experience are a must.
(2) Does the Dealer Have Significant Assets? Although the overwhelming vast majority of coins on the market are genuine, there are occasionally some counterfeits that turn up. You want to know that the dealer is likely to still be in business five years from now if that one 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold dollar coin turns out to have been a rare fake.
(3) Is the Dealer Properly Insured? Believe it or not, a significant number of dealers do not carry adequate insurance on their inventory and transportation of gold and silver products. We carry dual insurance policies with Lloyd’s of London to protect both our inventory and physical transport. We also fully insure all shipments to our clients via every freight and postal carrier we use. Make sure your selected dealer is appropriately insured to safeguard your purchases.
(4) Is the Coin Dealer Known and Respected Amongst His/Her Peers? One of the best safeguards you can get is from using a dealer who has been vetted by his/her peers before being permitted to join an association or guild. Is the dealer a board member for any of the precious metals associations? Are they active members of the numismatics organizations? The reputable organizations to check out your dealer’s membership are: ICTA (Industry Council for Tangible Assets), American Numismatic Association and the Professional Numismatists Guild.
(5) What Are the Dealer’s Key Ethics? Coin dealers who subscribe to a code of ethical standards, such as that espoused by ANA, have enough respect for their customers to take that extra time to give every prospective customer an honest appraisal if they are looking to sell to the dealer. In addition, they should present a buyer with multiple low premium bullion options unless the buyer is a collector or speculator. Only then are numismatic and rare/antique coins a potential product for the buyer.
An ethical dealer will agree to honestly represent their products fairly, grade coins with integrity, and treat people ethically. One would expect these traits from any professional, but the precious metals industry is known for many who dismiss our ethical standards.
(6) Do You Have Any Recourse if Anything Goes Wrong? Coin dealers who are full members of the ANA have agreed to submit to binding arbitration to resolve disputes. This is a very important consideration if you are buying expensive coins, or coins for investment purposes. What happens if there’s a dispute, or if coins are lost in shipment? Avoid the headache of lawsuits and filing complaints with government agencies. Work with a dealer that provides you sufficient recourse and is once again properly insured.