'If you don't know your bullion coins, you'd better know your bullion coin dealer,' said Richard Schwary, president of the Professional Numismatists Guild, a nonprofit organization composed of the country's top rare coin and paper money experts. To make an informed purchase, investors need to be aware of three crucial marketplace factors, Schwary said.
In the past 6 months, sales of bullion coins have increased 500% for national and local dealers of these coins, Schwary said. 'Y2K is the biggest deal that has hit precious metals in the past 20 years,' he said. Prices have also gone up about 30% across the board, although in the last 30 days prices have leveled off, he said.
Buying bullion coins as a hedge for hard times is nothing new, Schwary notes. People purchased them during the Depression and World War II. 'Pilots were given gold sovereigns that were sewn in their pockets,' he said. 'They have always been used in the event the paper money system failed.'
In the case of Y2K, he added, if nothing apocalyptic happens, investors could sell their bullion coins without a loss since gold is at a 20-year low. 'There's much less a downside to buying coins than buying an electric generator,' he said.
Richard Schwary, president, the Professional Numismatists Guild, Fallbrook, Calif., 310-674-3330; web site: www.pngdealers.com.
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