Thursday, July 17, 2008


This write up of A-Mark explains who A-Mark are and what they deal in and is well worth reading before you buy gold from their website

in fact, before you buy gold from any gold dealer, it is always a wise move to find out all about them.

Who are A-Mark
Originally founded in 1965 by former chairman Steven Markoff, it was sold in 2005 to Greg Manning Auctions, Now the Escala Group Inc.

On June 11, 2008, the Board of Directors of Escala Group Inc appointed Thor Gjerdrum as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of the Company. Other officers are, Dennis Lautzenheiser Controller and Gregory N (Greg) Roberts, Chairman and CEO. Carol Meltzer is the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer.

A-Mark Precious Metals trades, markets, and finances rare coins, precious metals, and collectibles. A-Mark Precious Metals deals in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins, bars, wafers, and grain for central banks, manufacturers, jewelers, and individuals around the world. A-Mark Precious Metals distributes coins for government mints, including those of Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the US. Officers:

They are an official distributor for The Royal Canadian Mint, The South African Mint, The Australian Perth Mint and an Authorized Purchaser for the US Mint among others.

A-Mark are open Monday through Friday from 5:20 am to 5:00 pm, Pacific Time.

A-Mark Customer Service
To do any business with A-Mark one has to open an account with them. There is no form on site and you have to ring up on their phone number provided on site and provide verified identity information, similar to opening a bank account. This is all part of the "Know Your Customer" policy.

Opening an account is free and tends to speed up future transactions.

A-Mark does not offer an online ordering service and you have to call each time you want to place an order.

Shipping takes place the day after the funds are verified received by A-Mark. They ship using the Post office and so it can take from three to seven days for your order to arrive.

A-Mark Products
A-Mark supply the usual gold, silver and platinum coin and bullion coins and bars:
Gold Coins and Bars
American Eagle Gold Coins
Australian Kangaroo Gold Coins
Austrian Corona Gold Coins
Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coins
British Sovereign Gold Coins
Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins
Chinese Panda Gold Coin
French Rooster Gold Coins
Mexican Peso Gold Coins
South African Krugerrand Gold Coins
Johnson Matthey Gold Bars

Silver Coins and Bars
American Eagle Silver Coins
Australian Kookaburra Silver Coins
Canadian Maple Leaf Silver Coins
Chinese Panda Silver Coins
A-Mark Liberty Silver Rounds
Colorized Silver Eagle Coins
Colored Silver Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
90% Silver Bags [0.900 Fine Silver Coin Bag
40% Silver Coin Bags [0.400 Fine Silver Clad Bags]
Johnson Matthey Silver Bars
Engelhard Silver Bars

Platinum & Palladium Coins and Bars
American Eagle Platinum Coins
Australian Koala Platinum Coins
Canadian Maple Leaf Platinum Coins
Isle of Man Noble Platinum Coins
Johnson Matthey Platinum Bars
Engelhard Platinum Bars
There is a minimum order of 100 ounces of gold, 5000 ounces of silver and 50 ounces of platinum.

A-Mark Financing

A-Mark also offer financing through their subsidiary, Collateral Financing Corporation (CFC). This has been set up to enable precious metal financing for bullion investors.

According to Mike Lewis, President of CFC, “We’re now lending 75 percent of the value of PCGS-graded generic gold and vintage coins; 65 percent on certified modern coins; and 80 percent of metal value on certified bullion coins. "

The interest rate charged by CFC is the Prime Rate plus four percent, and loans can be made for a maximum term of one year.

Their web site is which also contains the very extensive application form. They are based at the same address as A-Mark.

A-Mark Cost of Gold & Payment Options
A-Mark charge a commission for their sales.
A. Over $50,000 A. 0.25% (1/4%) of the transaction value
B. $25,001 - $50,000 B. 0.5% (1/2%) of the transaction value
C. $15,001 - $25,000 C. 1.0% of the transaction value
D. $1,000 - $15,000 D. 2.0% of the transaction value
When you ring up the silver and gold prices quoted over the phone are the prevailing prices at that moment. And may be different to the prices they have on their website due to changes in the market. The prices shown on our Web site may be a few minutes behind.

The Payment options include bank wire, cashiers or certified check, and cleared company or personal check, all considered good funds. For bank wire details you will have to call A-Mark directly but their bank is the Bank of America, 2049 Century Park East #300 Los Angeles, CA 90067

A-Mark Shipping
A-Mark charge for shipping and handling.
The basic charge is $25 handling plus:
A. Gold: $1 per ounce
B. Silver: $0.25 per ounce
C. Platinum: $1.25 per ounce
All precious metals are shipped by registered, insured mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

However, if any precious metals are lost or damaged in transit, it is considered by A-Mark that it is your responsibility to pursue any claim with the third party carrier. They state that you will only have recourse to the third party carrier and not to A-Mark, so you would be wise to ensure that you have sufficient insurance to cover that shipping.

If you live in the Los Angeles, California area you can pick up your order from the A-Mark Los Angeles depository (Brinks Special Services, 550 S. Hill St., Suite #805, Los Angeles, CA 90013) provided you give them at least two business days' notice. You will still be charged a $25 handling fee however. A-Mark do not provide a pickup service at their Santa Monica office.

A-Mark Returns and Refunds
A-Mark do not provide for a refund of goods delivered due to the volatility of the gold price or other precious metals. You CAN, however, sell your precious metal back to A-Mark at the prevailing prices and you will be charged a 25 dollar receiving fee for each package.

There is a heavier penalty if you wish to cancel an order and deposit paid prior to a locked in price. This is 50 dollars. Once the price has been locked in however, the order cannot be canceled but only offset at their then current price. Any deficit between the price at which A-Mark sold to you and the offsetting purchase price is considered your responsibility and is deducted from your deposit prior to our returning the deposit to you. This prevents people canceling when the price has dropped after they have committed to buy.

Last Word on A-Mark

Due to the minimum order levels, 100 ounces of gold is a lot of money in anyone’s terms, this is a market only for the very serious investor and more likely traders, dealers and companies.

Having said that. The prices are very reasonable and, provided one has somewhere to stash 100 ounces of gold, it is likely to be a very good long term investment.

Please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products of including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online if you have bought any gold coins or gold bullion from

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Colorado Gold

It is a good idea to read this write up about Colorado Gold prior to buying gold or silver from them.

Also it is generally a wise move to do some due diligence on any gold dealer and the more information you have about a company, especially when you have to buy online or by phone, before you buy, the better.

Who are Colorado Gold
Colorado Gold are a gold coin dealer based in Montrose, CO, USA.

Their website,, has been online since December 2000. This is a small family business with Don Stott, and his son David Stott. Don Stott has been a precious metals broker since November 1977 and has written a number of books, articles and newspaper columns published in a number of magazines. He is also active in local community affairs according to the website.

Colorado Gold Customer Service
They are open from 8AM to 4PM, Mountain Time, only and as a small family business do not run a 24 hour service with consultants on the phone 24 hours a day.

Colorado Gold state they are not a coin shop, but a broker, just like any other stock-broker but dealing in actual gold and other precious metal bullion. They buy through A-Mark, a precious metals trading company, charge a 1.5 percent commission for their services include shipping. For orders over $35,000 they charge 1.5 percent, and on orders of $75,000 or more, three quarters percent.

The prices on the web site, are the prices they pay. So when you place an order they will issue a trade number and that purchase price is locked in at that time. This is not unusual for an activity such as this where the value of the gold can change rapidly.

Colorado record all calls and these calls are used in any potential disputes over price.

Colorado Gold do not take orders for less than 10 ounces of gold or 1000 ounces of silver in any one order.

Colorado Gold state they do not keep any records on computer and they do not call clients, clients have to call them if they want anything or have any queries or questions or issues.

Colorado Gold Products

Colorado Gold charge a small percentage over the spot price for all precious metals. They are one of the cheapest available. However bear in mind that the minimum order for gold is 10 ounces and for silver 1000 ounces. This then makes it worthwhile for Colorado Gold to stay in business.
Gold Coins and Bars
Credit Suisse 1 oz bars
Krugerrands 1 oz.
Canadian Maple Leafs
Philharmonics, and
Mex 50's (1.2057 oz)

Silver Coins and Bars
Canadian Silver Maple Leafs
Mexican Libertads) "Bag" U.S
US Silver Eagles -
Johnson Matthey. 1,000 oz bars (none exactly 1,000 ounces.)

Platinum Coins and Bars
Platinum Eagles all sizes,
1 oz Credit Suisse Palladium bars
1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf palladium coins
10 oz Credit Suisse Palladium bars.

Colorado Gold Payment Options

Payments are accepted by wire transfer, personal check, or cashier's check. No credit cards or cash is accepted. All checks are given five working days to clear, including cashier's checks or money orders,

They only deal with US clients, no overseas or international.

Sell Gold to Colorado Gold

You can sell back to Colorado Gold also but only the products they sell. You will be responsible for the shipping however.

They state they will buy gold, silver, platinum, and palladium with acceptable hallmarks. At no charge if the items were originally bought from Colorado Gold, otherwise there is a one percent charge and you pay for the shipping.

Last Word on Colorado Gold
Colorado Gold also state, “We can place precious metals in your IRA account if you wish, and if you wish to turn your thousand ounce silver contract bars into smaller sizes for you to hold personally, we can do that as well, with no charge for this, other than the 1.5% for your purchase of smaller size items. We do not deal in stocks, paper currencies, or numismatics, which we consider a first rate rip-off. If you want a rare coin, don't call us. If you want a rare coin or coins, we think you should re-consider, but that's up to you.”

If you have bought gold or any other precious metal from please feel free to leave your feedback on the quality of service and products including any complaints, or special attention or service given by