US Coin Dealers
Finding trustworthy US coin dealers is probably the greatest challenge in connection with collecting. "And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD." (Exodus 8:29). Because the worst thing that can happen is for an individual to discover the purchase of a fake. Of course it is true that not every dealer knowingly sells a fake. In any event, experts advise exercising a great deal of caution even when dealing with highly reputable professionals. Indeed, only relatively few US coin dealers are qualified to independently detect the difference between real and fake coins. Fortunately, coin grading services are available so there need be no doubt as to a coin's authenticity. These professional services include an evaluation of the coin's condition as well as its cost.
Primarily for this reason, a qualified US coin dealer should be a member of a reputable coin grading service provider. Also worthy of note is the fact that, especially as a result of the Internet, the reach of not only collectors but also dealers has expanded stretching all around the world. That is to say, although the positive effect is a wider range of contacts and choices, the possibility for deceptive international scams has also expanded. Therefore, particularly in the case of a collector negotiating with a dealer on the other side of the world, a trustworthy method of verification has become even more essential. At any rate, it is necessary to get some questions answered before executing a transaction with any dealer, here or abroad, such as whether or not a dealer's policy is to compensate the collector if the coin should turn out to be a fraud. But here again, finding out whether or not the dealer is an authorized member of a respectable grading service will go a long way toward revealing how much a dealer's word should be trusted. For this purpose, it is interesting to learn what is required for US coin dealers to become members of, for example, either of the two most respected grading organizations, which are NGC AND PCGS.
Indeed, these organizations are known as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and Professional Coin Grading Service, respectively. To begin with, in order to become authorized US coin dealers with NGC, prefessionals are required to submit a Dealer Application for approval. But a person is not qualified to do so unless business has been conducted for at least a year. Moreover, the NGC requires the submission of at least four numismatic references. By the way, numismatics, stemming from the Greek term for current coin, is defined as the collecting and study of medals and coins. On the other hand, one has the more demanding requirements of the PCGS. First, a prospective member must have been in business for at least 3 years. Second, neither the dealer nor any key employees are allowed to have any felony convictions within the previous five years. Next, the applicant is required to have capitalization, including inventory, of at least $100,000. Furthermore, the prospective member must supply at least three credit references as well as references from at least three PCGS Authorized Dealers. Moreover, the PCGS subjects its members to very strict rules and regulations. But in any case, whether they are members of these two organizations or not, collectors should ensure that they belong to some other reputable organization.
Certainly there is variation among US coin dealers concerning what they have to offer. For instance, some of them only deal with what are known as specialty coins. Examples of this are concentrating only on items from within a certain time period, such as during the Civil War. And too, there are some professionals who deal exclusively with coins from different countries. And these professionals also obtain their coins from a variety of sources. For one thing, a dealer may purchase coins from collectors at a mint fair. On the other hand, another may prefer to buy them at a coin auction. And still another's preference could be utilizing the Internet coin shops. In any case, once the purchase is made, a purchase hopefully of interest and value to customers, dealers make careful note of their new stock. That is to say, a record is made of the mint year, current condition and market price, country of origin and any related history.
As stated previously, a collector's primary concern is finding trustworthy dealers for transactions. In the first place, a person should invest in a background check before engaging in business. Another good idea is seeking the opinion of collectors who have dealt with the individual in the past to learn from their experiences. In fact, seeking a reference for respectability from other qualified professionals is also a good idea. And too, conducting research on the Internet can be very enlightening. Even more important is to ascertain whether the dealer owns the coins or if the sale is on behalf of someone else. The goal of this is obtaining insight into the price: in order to discover whether the dealer has increased the price with a sales commission. Also, proof of ownership is extremely important so that one avoids purchasing stolen coins. In addition, a person should examine the prospective dealer's knowledge and experience. Further, if the dealer is an employee of the establishment, a prospective customer should inquire as to the length of employment. And another important aspect is looking into the circumstances under which the employed dealer left their last job. Because naturally discovering whether or not the previous employment was terminated voluntarily is also important. And finally, although the Internet makes it easy to connect with US coin dealers at a distance, one should bear in mind that an extra effort to verify them will be required. Of course this is because there are criminal US coin dealers utilizing the Internet and that distance to perpetrate frauds.
So in conclusion, it cannot be emphasized enough that one should beware of casually engaging in transactions with US coin dealers or with dealers from anywhere in the world, for that matter. And although personally checking out their reputations may be an uncomfortable pursuit for some, it is the best way to ensure a successful transaction for the legal acquisition of certified coins.