The Professional Numismatists Guild is warning consumers that recently minted coins privately plated with a microscopically thin layer of gold or platinum should only be viewed as mementos or souvenirs, and not as investments in precious metals.
PNG President Jeff Garrett of Mid-America Rare Coin Galleries of Lexington, Ky., says with the recent boom in precious metals prices many have a misconception that adding a tiny amount of gold or platinum to an otherwise common coin significantly raises its value.
?There is very little precious metal value to a plated coin. As a dealer, I frequently have to break the bad news to people who come to my store to sell the plated coins they?ve purchased elsewhere. They usually are astounded, then saddened, to learn their plated commemorative state quarter dollars are worth little more than 25 cents each,? said Garrett.
On the ?Inside Edition? broadcast, PNG member-dealer, Scott Travers of New York City, author of The Coin Collector?s Survival Manual, warned: ?The only kind of investments these are, are bad investments.Serious collectors normally steer clear of plated coins because these are viewed as having their surfaces altered after leaving the Mint.?
PNG Legal Counsel, Armen Vartian of Manhattan Beach, Calif., cautions: ?When buying coins sight-unseen from private retailers, it?s particularly important to ask whether the coins have been authenticated independently, namely by someone other than the retailer.?
For a copy of the PNG pamphlet, ?What You Should Know Before You Buy Rare Coins,? send $1 to cover postage costs to: Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director, 3950 Concordia Lane, Fallbrook, CA 92028.
For more information, call 760-728-1300, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.PNGdealers.com.