Letter to the Editor: Buyer beware of silver offer


I'm writing to call people's attention to a silver investment offer targeting local zip codes that worries me.

The offer in question occupies a full page in the other newspaper in our area and is labeled as an advertisement.

Anyone interested is told to answer within two days. This offer is made by a company whose name implies that it is an official/government Mint that produces and stamps information as to weight and quality on them. It then goes on to claim the special price ("$29 per heavy half ounce bar") is much lower than the normal price, with implication that this offer is a wonderful bargain. The problem is that it is no such thing!

I checked in to the spot price for standard silver bars on the internet and found that it was $15 per ounce...much less than the "Special Offer" which sounded too good to be true and was.  Let the buyer beware.

Stan Goddard
Port Townsend


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Tom Camfield

This is a bit different, but rip-off artists where silver is concerned have been around for quite some time. Some of them have been more basic and more localized. It's been pretty way-back now, but . . . my mother had squirreled away silver dollars for quite some years and it was back before Hector was even a pup that there was a manipulation of the market that drove up the price of silver. So a few opportunistic dealers began running full-page adds offering to buy old silver coins at an amount over face value. My mother jumped in and, I'm sure, came up short in the overall scheme of things. These guys traveled about from place to place, such as our rather small town, and would deal in the convenience of one's home.

As an amateur numismatist of sorts myself, I wish my mother had called me first about it all. I'd have run by her house with by book listing coins and their value. I was up to date enough to know that among older coins are many of really jacked-up value. General condition, date of coining and small mint-marks denoting where coined (Denver, San Francisco . . .) all play significant roles. So the dealers buying up silver had a shot at some really nice paydays—whatever slick talk they gave out to sellers.

I still have a few silver dollars picked up in Reno and Tahoe back when they were still used day to day for the slots and I got around in the world. I took a look last year at one I've carried to the local casino as a lucky card-cover for Texas Hold/em poker. It was dealer listed at $295.

I bet few of you remember Indian-head pennies still circulating in daily use. I do. They were the common ones before the Lincoln penny. And before those came the flying-eagle cent. I used to have some of those also. Passed the lot along to family.

Saturday, March 16