Simple Steps to Protect Yourself from Gold Fakes and Forgeries

Simple Steps to Protect Yourself from Gold Fakes and Forgeries

Every few months we hear another story about a crime involving precious metals. Another one came along last week, when the Metropolitan Museum in New York packed up a golden Egyptian coffin it owned and shipped it back to Egypt, from where it was stolen in 2011. The Met acquired the coffin in 2017 from an antiquities dealer. The only problem was, it still belonged to Egypt. (You can read the full story in “Ancient Gold Coffin Returned to Egypt from New York as Looted Antiquity,” an article that was published by the Associated Press on September 25, 2019.)

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How to Get a Better Deal when Buying from Pawnshops

How to Get a Better Deal when Buying from Pawnshops

Let’s say you walk into a pawnshop to check out whether there are any gold, silver or platinum items there for sale – items that you can buy for low prices. Or you walk into a coin dealer to see what’s on display.

Let’s also say that you find what seems to be a good deal. It’s a South African Kruggerand that contains 1 Troy Ounce of gold. When you ask the dealer the price, he replies, “$1,505.00, because we sell at current trading prices.” So you go online, check trading prices, and decide that you will be getting a fair deal if you buy that Kruggerand for the asking price. So you go back to the pawnshop or coin dealer, pay asking price, and assume that everything has gone well.

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Are Gold Commemorative Coins from the U.S. Mint a Better Investment than Gold Scrap?

Are Gold Commemorative Coins from the U.S. Mint a Better Investment than Gold Scrap?

We have to say, the U.S. Mint is selling an especially attractive lineup of gold commemorative coins these days. If you visit the U.S. Mint’s website, here’s a selection of what you can buy . . .

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Why Your Local Museum Is Probably Sitting on Undiscovered Precious Metals

Why Your Local Museum Is Probably Sitting on Undiscovered Precious Metals

We have written before on this blog about good places to hunt for undiscovered precious metals – places like old jewelry factories, wells, drain pipes, and even graveyards.

Today, we would like to add one more place to look for old gold, silver, and platinum items that you can recycle profitably . . .

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History’s Most Amazing Gold Discoveries

History’s Most Amazing Gold Discoveries

When you go looking for gold, you will usually find items that contain very small quantities of it. You might find a picture frame that is covered with gold leaf, a printed circuit board that has gold-covered contact pins, or a pair of gold-plated eyeglass frames.

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Can You Carry Gold Coins and Bullion into the U.S.

Can You Carry Gold Coins and Bullion into the U.S.

Can You Carry Gold Coins and Bullion into the U.S. without Paying Duty? Be Sure to Know U.S. Government Limitations

Let’s say that you have bought some beautiful gold coins or bullion while you have been traveling abroad, and that you want to bring them back with you into the U.S. You might have heard that such items can be freely brought into the U.S. without paying duties.

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Why Watching Downton Abbey Can Help You Make Money in Precious Metals

Why Watching Downton Abbey Can Help You Make Money in Precious Metals

Watching Downton Abbey can alert you to all kinds of antique precious-metal items that you can find if you’re shopping online, at antique stores, at estate sales . . . just about everywhere old metal items can be found. Here’s a checklist of items that we noticed during just one episode of the show...

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Open Things Up, Find Precious Metals, Make Money

In the last five years, I have been in two old buildings that contained large old safes that could not be opened. One building was a small inn in New Hampshire, the other was a former plumbing supply store in New Jersey. In both instances, the buildings had recently been purchased, so the safes and their contents belonged to the new owners. But those owners didn’t seem to be in a big hurry to bring in a locksmith to open the safes to determine what was inside.

If I owned those safes, I would have been in a hurry. What were the new owners waiting for? I have no idea, because “closed boxes” sometimes contain surprisingly valuable items. And “closed boxes” can come in many forms . . .

As this photo shows, you never know what precious metal objects you might find in your house that Specialty Metals can recycle into extra money for you.

Clutter Lying Around the House

A cousin of mine who was cleaning up his basement storage shelves found a box that he and his wife had never opened. When he looked inside, he discovered a set of silver-plated candlesticks from a prestigious store. Where had they come from? Was it a wedding present that he and his wife had never bothered to open? He and his wife didn’t know, but they did know that they had something on their hands that was worth money.

Small Items Hiding in Drawers

When I open my dresser drawer and review what is rolling around in there, a lot of items appear worthless. But I also see a set of very old tuxedo-shirt studs that came from “somewhere” and look like gold. There is also an old set of cufflinks, which came from the same “somewhere.” I could use some cash for holiday spending. I should send them to a trustworthy, qualified gold refiner and recycler like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners for testing.

Inherited Items

I know people who inherited “stuff” from parents or grandparents, and who have never quite gotten around to taking a close look at it or having it appraised. They have just put it all aside. It can be a good and very profitable idea to review what you have inherited, especially if you are lucky enough to have acquired items like coin collections or chests of jewelry. If you open them up, you might find one or two small items that are worth a lot of money.

Items Hidden in Older Homes

This is a long shot, I know. But I also know that when some renovations were being completed in the old house where I grew up, we found a collection of old books hidden behind a false wall by the basement stairs. They were not worth much of anything. But if you have an old house, it could be a good idea to look around. In the old days, it seems that people liked to hide valuable things in houses.  That newer patch of cement in the basement floor could be hiding something. So could a floorboard in your bedroom. Remember, metal detectors can be used indoors as well as outdoors. If you have an old home, you could turn up something quite valuable.

Keys to Safety Deposit Boxes

If you have inherited the personal possessions of an older relative who has passed away, have you taken a close look at his or her keys? If any of them are stamped with the name of a bank, you could have the opportunity to discover things of value like gold jewelry that your relative wanted to protect in a safety deposit box.

A Note on Unclaimed Safety Deposit Boxes

If you search online for “unclaimed bank safety deposit box auctions” you will probably find them in your state. Don’t get your hopes up too high, however, that you will buy an unopened deposit box and discover piles of gold in it. The problem is that in virtually all cases, those boxes have been opened by the bank so that their contents could be turned over to the state agency that attempts to return unclaimed property to its owners. The items that go on sale at auction are those that could not be returned – and if they are worth a lot of money, they have already been “discovered” and will be selling for high prices.

Find Something? Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners

Even small items that contain precious metals can be worth money – money that could come in very handy at the time of year when the holiday shopping season is about to begin. Why not contact Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more?

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Recent Rare Coin Discoveries Teach a Valuable Lesson to Us All

If you’ve ever cleaned out an old family home, you’ve probably had the experience of opening a dresser drawer and finding a large quantity of coins rolling around there – the pocket change that some relative of yours tossed there 20, 30, or even 40 years ago.

On first glance, those coins usually appear to be nothing more than regular pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. It’s tempting to give them a very quick once-over before spending them or depositing them in a bank.

Photo of silver coins that Specialty Metals can recycle and refine for your company.

But the fact is, appearances can be deceiving. Even if you come across a batch of coins that don’t look unusual, it is still worth taking them to a reputable coin dealer and having them examined. Even a coin that looks unremarkable could have collectable value. And there is also the chance that you have discovered one gold or silver coin that is really valuable – either for its rarity or its gold or silver content – that you could easily overlook.

Coins End Up in Unusual Places

Two very unusual stories about coins have made the news recently. Both illustrate that it can be a costly mistake to make a snap judgment about what you are looking at after you discover a collection of coins.

As these stories prove, batches of coins can contain some very surprising secrets.

  • Discovery oneAn ancient Roman coin was discovered in northern Russia. When a team of archaeologists was recently excavating and examining the contents of an eleventh-century mound in Novgorod, Russia, they found a fourth-century Roman coin buried there. They guess that a Russian pilgrim to the holy land had acquired the coin and brought it back with him – but there is no way to know exactly how that old coin traveled so far. Coins do that – they seem to have a magical life of their own.
  • Discovery twoTwenty-six Iron Age and Roman coins were found in a cave in Derbyshire, England. It is not too unusual to discover a batch of old coins. But one recent find in England is very odd because it co-mingled coins that come from very different civilizations. Some of the coins are Roman issues that were apparently hidden there before the Romans had even occupied Great Britain. How did they get there? The archaeologists who found them are puzzled.

What Rare Coin Discoveries Will You Make?

Again, let’s remember that unusually valuable coins can be hidden in older coin collections and odd lots. If you come across coins with valuable quantities of precious gold or silver, call us at 800-426-2344. We’re here to help solve the mystery of what your discoveries could be worth. More importantly, we are the precious metals refinery that can turn your discovery into cold, shiny cash.

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Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metals

When you hear the words “precious metals scam,” chances are that you think first about all the scams out there that victimize investors by selling them overvalued precious metals, precious metals “futures” that never reach expectations, or privately minted “collectible” coins that are wildly overpriced.

Image of "Cash for Gold" signholders for Specialty Metals blog post, Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metals, courtesy of Comedy Central and South Park.

Yes, all those scams are out there, waiting to profit from unsuspecting people who are all too willing to part with their dollars. But there is another kind of scam too, one that is just as dishonest . . .

Scams that fool sellers into selling their precious metals at prices that are ridiculously low

In most cases, these scams prey on individuals who don’t know the value of what they have, or who are in a hurry to get cash by selling items without investigating their value.

Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metal Items

  • Dishonest coin dealers and antique galleries can fail to disclose the collectible value of metal items. If you are selling an old gold coin, for example, they could offer to pay you for only what the gold in it is worth, not for its collectible value. Or if you bring in a silver candelabrum, they could weigh it and offer you only a few hundred dollars when it is really a valuable collectible that is worth tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Bait-and-switch precious metals recyclers can misrepresent the quantity of precious metal that is present in items that are made of alloys. Because it is hard for the average seller to know how much gold, platinum or other precious metal is really contained in a piece of jewelry or other items, it is all too easy for unscrupulous recyclers to dupe them.
  • Dishonest dealers can apply artificial time pressure to sell. They make up tales about why today is the best time to sell an item that contains precious metals – they say that gold prices are about to fall, that a foreign market is about to close, or make up other hard-sell tales. Their real aim is to get sellers to part with items before they have time to find out what they are really worth. The best strategy to fight them? When a dealer tells you to hurry up, that is the time you should slow down.

Deal with an Honest and Reputable Gold and Precious Metals Refiner

Specialty Metals has been the top choice in the US for secondary refining of Gold, Silver and Platinum Group Metals for more than 32 years, for companies in the industrial, electronic, jewelry and mining sectors. We’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau and rated by Dun & Bradstreet. We’re also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI).

If you want to sell your precious metals without being subjected to malarkey – or worse – we welcome your call at 800-426-2344.

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First Gold Coin Sells from the Greatest Buried Treasure Ever Found in America

Pixies, unicorns, trolls, and hoards of buried treasure only exist in fairy tales, right? If a friend of yours tells you to be on the lookout for any of them it’s time to get a new friend, right?

Well, not necessarily, especially if your friend is talking about buried treasure. As you have probably heard, one of the biggest hoards of buried treasure ever found was discovered in California recently.

Here’s the Story . . .

One of the cans filled with gold coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard © Kagin's Inc. 2014. All Rights Reserved.

One of the cans filled with gold coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard © Kagin's Inc. 2014. All Rights Reserved.

A couple took their dog out for a walk one day and noticed an old metal can sticking out of the ground on their property. They dug it up and discovered that it was filled with old gold coins that dated back to the 1800s. They then poked around the area and found eight more coin-filled cans. By the time they were done, they had unearthed 1,427 extremely rare American gold coins.

How much are those 1,427 coins worth? Impossible to say right now, because they will be sold gradually over time and gold prices will vary. But when the first coin from the treasure was sold at auction in May, 2014, it fetched $15,000. It was an 1874 $20 Double Eagle. And remember, that was only one of the many coins from the cans.

Kagin’s Rare Coins is helping the couple sell the coins they found. If you visit the Kagin’s website, you can read more about the coins and see some beautiful images of them too.

Old Coins Can Be Worth More than You Think

They can be valuable in two ways – first, as collectibles and second, for the precious metals they contain. Whether you inherited a coin collection, have some old gold coins rolling around in your dresser drawer, or stumble upon an old coin when you are out walking your dog, you could have found something that’s worth more than you think. If you call us at 800-426-2344, we’ll help you decide what your next steps should be.

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