buyer beware dealer exclusive coins

If you’re in the market for gold or silver coins, be prepared to take a second look at anything you are considering adding to your collection or precious metals IRA. In fact, there’s a very good chance that many of the coins currently being marketed as “exclusive” by a particular coin dealer are not worth more than their weight in precious metal, despite the astronomically high premiums being charged to unsuspecting customers.

To get the most out of your investment or collection in today’s market, you’ll need to know what kind of tactics coin dealers are using and take the right steps to protect yourself as a consumer and potentially save yourself a lot of money.

NOTE: While this article will spotlight only one tactic being used by dealers to overcharge customers on premiums, there’s another method you need to be aware of. Find out how dealers are also inflating premiums on modern, graded bullion coins by charging up to 10 times their value. Don’t be misled!

READ: Buyer Beware: The Truth about Modern, Graded Bullion Coins as Investments

Exclusive Coins: The Selling Tactics That Could Cost You Thousands

When buying gold or silver coins, the word “rare” typically suggests that a coin is numismatic, which means it carries a value beyond its weight in gold or silver. The word “exclusive” on the other hand, does not mean a gold or silver coin is numismatic, but some dealers would like you to think so.

Rare vs Exclusive: What’s the Difference?

Why the distinction between rare and exclusive? Coin dealers discovered a clever and misleading way to charge sometimes massive premiums on coins by labeling them “exclusive.”

In recent years, dealers have worked with mints to obtain exclusive coins only available through their brokerage. By labeling these coins as “exclusive,” they are able to imply a certain rarity, since you couldn’t just find these gold and silver coins anywhere, which gives the illusion of rarity. The dealer will work with a reputable mint to have a limited number of coins produced and ensure that they are the only dealer with rights to sell that coin. This makes it easy for the dealer to tout their coins as limited, rare or exclusive. The truth is, these coins are not rare at all, at least not in any way that would add significant value above the spot price of gold and silver.

2013 Silver Polar Bear Coin

The trend began with a few coin dealers using exclusive Canadian bullion coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint but has become much more widespread. Today, you’ll find more precious metals dealers promoting their own exclusive coins from not only the Royal Canadian Mint, but Swiss PAMP, the Royal British Mint, the UK’s Commonwealth Mint, the New Zealand Mint and more.

NOTE:

There’s nothing wrong with Government or Private Mints choosing to stamp unique coins for any dealer. After all, the dealers always get a fair price from these highly regulated agencies. It’s the dealers themselves making the decision to mislead their customers.

Once these dealers have the coins in hand, they will mark them up excessively over spot price and try to convince you that the value will only increase due to the rarity. These misleading marketing tactics are not only selling to collectors. Their primary goal however, is convincing unsuspecting investors to purchase these gold and silver coins for Self-Directed Precious Metal IRAs.

However, when it comes time to sell these coins, too many customers are shocked to learn these “exclusive” coins are worth nothing more than their weight in bullion and that they lost money by paying extremely high premiums, sometimes in excess of over 50%.

Research Before Regret: Watch for These Red Flags When Buying Exclusive Coins

exclusive coin red flags

Now that you’re aware of the tactics coin dealers are using to charge inflated premiums on bullion coins, let’s take a look at some of the red flags you should be on the lookout for.

The Lure of Exclusivity

Exclusivity is a tempting notion, especially when it comes to collecting and investing in gold and silver coins. The word itself implies rarity, which is often associated with high value. Coin dealers will tout a coin made exclusively for them in an effort to make you think the coin will rise in value above its metal weight. Never take these claims at face value.

High Premiums

If a dealer is asking you to pay well over spot price simply because a coin is exclusive to them and not minted in high numbers, this is a huge red flag. Too many investors find out just how much they’ve been misled when they try to get a valuation of the coins or liquidate the coins, only to discover it’s worth much less than they paid.

You Can’t Find Third-Party Information

If you can only find information about a coin on the seller’s website, this should be a warning sign. Valuable and collectable coins will have plenty of reputable, third-party information readily available. If the only source of information comes from the coin dealer trying to sell you the coin, get a second opinion..

The dealers themselves may actually try to convince you to go look elsewhere for information about one of their coins, knowing you won’t be able to find it. This makes it easy for the seller to convince you of the coin’s rarity, but remember, just because a coin is produced in low numbers – that does not make it more valuable or worth the premiums you are being asked to pay. So be careful.

Odd Fractional Weights

Unconventional fractional weights make it harder for you to do independent research and draw quick comparisons to the spot price. These coin dealers are well aware of this fact and know that making odd fractional weights will increase their profit margins at the cost of your investments. Currently, these are the most common of the unconventional fractional weights used for exclusive coins:

Unconventional Fractional Weights

Odd Gold Coin WeightsOdd Silver Coin Weights
2.5 oz gold coins2.5 oz silver coins
1.5 oz gold coins1.5 oz silver coins
1.25 oz gold coins1.25 oz silver coins
⅓ oz gold coins¾ oz silver coins

In comparison, common fractional weights include ½ ounce and ¼ ounce gold and silver coins (although this weight is starting to show up on new exclusive coins), making it easier for you to get a quick idea of spot price.

IRA Eligibility

While many of these so-called exclusive coins are IRA eligible, the value toward your retirement savings will be based on the bullion content. Any premiums you paid over spot will be out the window as soon as you try to sell one of these “rare” and “exclusive” coins.

No Buyback Policy

If a broker doesn’t provide their buyback policy and can’t give you a straight answer when you inquire, this is a sign you are probably paying a high premium for a coin that will not be worth more than its weight. Don’t invest in gold and silver coins without knowing exactly how your purchase is protected.

How to Avoid Overpaying for Bullion Coins

avoid overpaying price vs value

In addition to some of the common red flags mentioned above, there are a few other key ways you can make sure you’re doing business with an honest coin dealer that cares about your investment.

1. Reputation Goes a Long Way

Look into any company you are considering doing business with. Even if you’ve worked with a coin dealer in the past, your due diligence will pay off when you make your purchase. Check to see if the dealer you’re considering is listed on the U.S. Mint list of bullion coin sellers and is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.

2. Know Your Spot Price

Before you buy gold or silver coins, be sure to check the current spot price for gold and silver. It’s common for coin dealers to try to sell you a bullion coin at 40% to 50% over its melt value. Don’t let yourself overpay! Knowing the spot price is your first line of defense against being misled.

3. Transparent Buyback Policy

Offering a buyback policy shows that a coin dealer or brokerage stands behind the quality and value of their product offerings. Any company you work with should be open, honest and transparent about their buyback policy.

Have You Already Purchased Dealer-Exclusive Coins? Know Your Options!

If you’ve purchased dealer-exclusive coins, contact Scottsdale Bullion & Coin to schedule an appointment with an advisor. There are steps you can take to minimize your losses. Contact a knowledgeable precious metals advisor today to find out what type of strategy could help you!

More Mints Equals More “Exclusive” Coins

With more Government and Private Mints creating commemorative coins, there are more exclusive coin series than ever hitting the market. These mints often work with well-known organizations to create gold and silver bullion coins.

Below, you’ll find a list of bullion coins that are only worth their metal content, unless you have a buy back agreement with whom you purchased the coins from. However, that’s not stopping major precious metals dealers from using their exclusive selling rights to sell these coins at highly inflated premiums. Don’t let yourself get duped by these tactics! Study the coins in the following list and stay on the lookout for any new “exclusive” coins hitting the market.

Don’t Pay a High Premium for These Exclusive Coins:

Before you buy these coins as an investment, educate yourself.

Swiss Minted Exclusive Coins

Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2022 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The Queen Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2022 British Museum Greek Helmet Silver Coin9991 kilo
2022 British Museum Roman Gladiator’s Helmet Silver Coin9991 kilo
2022 British Museum lewis Chessmen The Warder Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2021 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The Knight Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2021 British Museum Roman Gladiator’s Helmet Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2022 British Museum Greek Helmet Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2021 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The Queen Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2021 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The Warder Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2021 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The Bishop Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2021 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The King Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2021 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The King Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2020 British Museum Corinthian Helmet Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2020 British Museum Lewis Chessmen The King Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2018 British Museum Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2018 British Museum Gladiator’s Helmet Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2018 British Museum Gladiator’s Helmet Silver Coin999.91.5 oz
2018 British Museum Gladiator’s Helmet Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2018 British Museum Greek Helmet Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2018 British Museum Greek Helmet Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2018 British Museum Greek Helmet Silver Coin999.91.5 oz
Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2022 Players Championship Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2021 Arnold Palmer Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2021 Arnold Palmer Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2021 Arnold Palmer Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2021 Players Championship Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2021 Arnold Palmer Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2020 Arnold Palmer Silver Proof9991 kilo
2020 Arnold Palmer Silver Proof9991 kilo
2020 Arnold Palmer Gold Proof999.91 kilo
2019 Players Championship Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2018 Players Championship Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2018 Players Championship Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2018 Players Championship Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2018 Players Championship Kilo Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2018 Players Championship Silver Coin9991.5 oz
2017 Presidents Cup Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2017 Presidents Cup Silver Coin9991.5 oz
Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2022 Davis Cup Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2021 Davis Cup Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2019 Davis Cup Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2019 Fed Cup Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2021 Formula 1 Championship Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2021 Formula 1 Silver Coin0.9992.5 oz
2020 Formula 1 Championship Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2020 Michael Schumacher Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2020 Michael Schumacher Silver Coin9991 kilo
2020 Michael Schumacher Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2020 Michael Schumacher Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2020 Michael Schumacher Silver Coin9991 kilo
2020 Michael Schumacher Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2020 Michael Schumacher Gold Coin999.91.5 oz
2020 Michael Schumacher Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2020 Michael Schumacher Silver Coin0.99992.5 oz
2020 Formula 1 F170 Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2019 Michael Schumacher 91 oz Gold Coin999.991 oz
2019 Michael Schumacher 91 oz Silver Coin99991 oz
2019 Formula 1 Silver Coin0.9992.5 oz
2019 Sir Jackie Stewart Kilo Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2019 Formula 1 Kilo Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2019 Formula 1 1000 Kilo Gold Coin999.91 kilo
2019 Formula 1 1000 Kilo Silver Coin9991 kilo
2019 Formula 1 1000 Silver Coin0.9992.5 oz
2018 Formula 1 Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2018 Formula 1 Silver Coin0.9992.5 oz
2018 Ayrton Senna Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2017 Ayrton Senna Gold Coin999.92.5 oz
2017 Ayrton Senna Silver Coin9992.5 oz
2017 Formula 1 Gold Coin999.95 oz
2017 Formula 1 Silver Coin0.9995 oz
2017 Formula 1 Gold Coin999.92.5 oz
2017 Formula 1 Silver Coin0.9992.5 oz
2016 Formula 1 Gold Coin999.92.5 oz
2016 Formula 1 Silver Coin999.92.5 oz
2016 British Grand Prix Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2016 Gran Premio Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2016 United States Grand Prix Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2016 Grande Premio Do Brazil Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Gold Coin999.9¼ oz
2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Gold Coin999.95 oz
2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Silver Coin0.9995 oz
2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 5 Kilo Gold Coin999.95 kilo
2016 Formula 1 Kilo Gold Coin999.91 kilo
Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2017 COTA Gold Coin999.92.5 oz
2017 COTA Silver Coin9992.5 oz

United Kingdom Minted Exclusive Coins

Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2021 Queen’s Beasts White Lion of Mortimer Silver Coin0.999910 oz
2021 Queen’s Beasts White greyhound of Richmond Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2020 Queen’s Beasts White Horse of Hanover Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2020 Queen’s Beasts White Lion of Mortimer Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2019 Queen’s Beasts The Yale of Beaufort Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2019 Queen’s Beasts Falcon of the Plantagenets Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2019 Queen’s Beasts Black Bull of Clarence Silver Coin0.999910 oz
2019 Queen’s Beasts Unicorn of Scotland Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Black Bull of Clarence Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Unicorn of Scotland Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Red Dragon of Wales Silver Coin0.999910 oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Griffin of Edward Silver Coin0.999910 oz
2017 Queen’s Beasts Dragon of Wales Silver Coin0.999910 oz
2017 Queen’s Beasts The Griffin Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2017 Queen’s Beasts Lion Silver Coin0.999910 oz
2016 Queen’s Beasts Lion Silver Coin0.99992 oz
2020 Queen’s Beasts White Horse of Hanover Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2021 Queen’s Beasts White Greyhound of Richmond Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2021 Queen’s Beasts White Greyhound of Richmond Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2020 Queen’s Beasts White Lion of Mortimer Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2019 Queen’s Beasts Falcon of the Plantagenets Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2019 Queen’s Beasts The Yale of Beaufort Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2019 Queen’s BeastsThe Yale of Beaufort Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Black Bull of Clarence Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Black Bull of Clarence Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Unicorn of Scotland Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2018 Queen’s Beasts Unicorn of Scotland Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2017 Queen’s Beasts Dragon Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2017 Queen’s Beasts Griffin Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2016 Queen’s Beasts Lion Gold Coin0.9999¼ oz
2017 Queen’s Beasts The Dragon of Wales Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2017 Queen’s Beasts Griffin Gold Coin0.99991 oz
2016 Queen’s Beasts Lion Gold Coin0.99991 oz
Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2017 Williams Gold Coin9992.5 oz
2017 Williams Silver Coin9992.5 oz

Other Exclusive Coins

Coin NameMetal ContentSize
2021 Gold Freedom Coin0.9999¼ oz
2021 Silver Freedom Coin0.9999½ oz
2021 Silver Freedom Coin0.99991 oz
2021 Silver Freedom Coin0.99992 oz
Coin NameMetal ContentSize
Gold Military Guinea Coin0.9999¼ oz
Silver Military Guinea Coin0.99991 oz
Silver Military Guinea Coin0.99991.25 oz

Canadian Minted Exclusive Coins

See the list here.