Platinum Prices Rise Sharply; Goldline Criminal Case Settles
Precious metals spot prices saw powerful gains last week. Gold put on $49/oz (2.8%) from the prior week's close and finished at $1,773. Silver was particularly strong, gaining $2.07/oz (6.2%) and closing at $35.42.
Gold and silver spot market prices are sitting near key levels from a technical standpoint. If gold can break through $1,800 and silver through $36, they would be well positioned to trend substantially higher.
High-Profile Bait-and-Switch "Rare" Coin Dealer Settles Civil and Criminal Suits
Money Metals Exchange reported last week on the criminal investigation of Goldline for its bait-and-switch operations and other unethical sales tactics directed at precious metals buyers. The high-profile company, viewed by many of its customers (as well as prosecutors) to be highly corrupt, just settled civil and criminal cases filed against it by the city of Santa Monica.
Feeling the heat from overwhelming legal pressure coupled with well-deserved negative publicity, company officials agreed to issue $4.5 million in refunds to customers and put $800,000 into a fund to compensate other victims against future claims.
Additionally, Goldline claims it will stop making false statements about tax reporting and rare coins' supposed unique protection from government confiscation as part of efforts to snooker customers into buying their super-high-markup "rare" coins.
This is certainly good news for exploited Goldline customers who are in a position to get a refund. But it's a major black eye for the coin industry. We can only hope precious metals buyers will get wiser and stop patronizing firms who use lies and boiler-room sales techniques.
Money Metals Exchange continues to hear from countless customers who have been burned by companies such as Goldline. We have worked to educate our customers and the public about how to avoid these pitfalls when seeking to protect their assets from inflation and financial turmoil through investments in precious metals. Unfortunately, bad actors in our industry are likely to continue to make the news and possibly even bring down the regulators on all of us.
Money Metals Exchange has published articles which deconstruct the sleazy tactics used by such companies to promote their overpriced "investments":
- Why You Should Avoid Numismatic Coins
- "Rare" Coin Rip-Off Alert: Morgan Silver Dollars Are a Dubious Investment
Catalyst for Higher Prices: Platinum's Supply Problems May Be Worsening
Platinum spot prices rose sharply last week, continuing a month of very strong performance for "white gold," in part because of rising political risk in Africa.
The government in Zimbabwe announced enormous increases in royalties and fees for miners operating in that country. Zimbabwe has the world's second largest platinum reserves, behind South Africa. Miners there will now be forced to turn over up to 60% of revenues to government, making it uneconomic to operate there.
The union problems at Impala Platinum's mine in South Africa persist. South African miners are battling longstanding problems with abusive union bosses and interruptions in electric power supply.
Platinum spot prices remain $55/oz below the gold price. Such low platinum prices in relation to gold remain an aberration in historical terms. Bullion buyers who wish to diversify into other precious metals that have their own unique fundamentals should take a serious look at taking a position. The opportunity to buy platinum at a discount to gold does not happen very often, and the supply fundamentals couldn't be more compelling.
Premiums & Buying Trends
Physical buying activity edged up a bit again from the prior week, but the market remains relatively quiet overall. Once again, silver sales to Money Metals Exchange customers outpaced gold sales by a 2 to 1 margin. Customer selling was practically non-existent.
We Buy Back Too!
We want customers to know that Money Metals Exchange is here to buy back gold, silver, platinum, and palladium in the common bullion forms. We certainly don't advocate selling at this time, as we think the bull market in metals has years left to run. However, if you decide to sell for whatever reason, we can lock a price with you right over the phone, deliver a purchase order to confirm the transaction, and send your payment promptly after we receive the metal. You will find we are as easy to deal with when you sell as we are when you buy!