Office Hours

A warning about traveling gold buyers

From time to time various companies come through town and tell folks they'll buy your gold, or sometimes, your silver. You see it a lot when the economy is bad and people feel a need to trade in items like watches for some spending money.

A message sent our way by Kevin Wolter, of CoinsPlus Inc., a North Spokane buyer and trader in coins,  reminds us that it's sometimes a risky deal when you sell coins or gold items to a company visiting a hotel and then leaves town.

This is not an indictment of any company, past or future, that sets up shop in this region, to buy gold from residents. So take this as a caution only, seller beware.

A number of instances of shady company dealings were documented by a newspaper in Beaumont, Texas. The paper found one case where a seller was offered $60 for a Denver Mint $2.50 coin produced in 1925. The true market value, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild, is $10,000. The coin in question is in the photo.

The takeaway:  "If you don't know coins, you'd better know your coin buyer," said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director. Other key points:

  • Scales used by the more shady operators may not be accurate, resulting in underpayments.
  • It's a bad sign when a company pays cash for items but won't provide receipts.
  • Turn to local merchants in one's own community who may not have flashy advertising but who may offer you considerably more money for your coins and jewelry.


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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.




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