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Fun on Friday: Where NOT to Buy Gold

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There are a lot of great places you can buy gold jewelry. And then there are some places you should absolutely not buy gold jewelry.

If you’re in the market for nice gold jewelry, you can shop at a jewelry store. Most department stores also sell gold jewelry. You also can shop online. Mene’ is fantastic. They sell beautiful investment-grade gold and platinum jewelry. If you’re a little more daring, you can shop at a pawn shop. They’re hit to miss, but you may find a really good deal.

But do you know where you shouldn’t ever shop for gold jewelry?

The gas station.

More specifically in the gas station parking lot.

Yeah, I don’t feel like I should have to say this either, but apparently, some people need to hear this warning.

As reported by a Clarksville, Tennessee, newspaper, “A scam involving fake gold jewelry is circulating through Clarksville, according to local jewelry and pawnshop owners.”

One pawnbroker told the paper that nearly 30 people have come into his store over the last two weeks with chains they bought assuming they were 18 karat gold. These gullible individuals bought the “gold” in gas station and grocery store parking lots. You’ll be shocked to learn they were real gold. They were just gold-colored chains stamped with 18K.

These scam artists play on people’s sympathy. They generally hit you with a sob story about being from out of state and needing gas or food money. They say they’ll sell the gold chain for a few hundred bucks because they’re desperate.

Never forget the old adage — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. These chains would be worth upwards of $2,500 if they were real.

The value of the fake – about $12.

Ouch.

These people would have to not only be desperate but dumb. If they had real gold, they could easily get much closer to the value at a gold shop. There would be no need to hit you up in the BP parking lot.

“It’s clearly marked 18K, and if you hand it to me to look at, I’m going to hand it right back to you and tell you it’s a fake. But a person that’s standing at a gas station or an old person coming out of the grocery store or something like that, that’s who they are hitting,” the pawnshop owner said.

And the cops may not even be particularly helpful. (Not shocking, just sayin’.)

Clarksville Police Lt. Charles Gill told the newspaper that whether there’s a crime in these situations isn’t clear-cut since there was a transaction between two parties. The issue comes down to deception.

“If it usually sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably not true,” Gill said, adding that purchases of gold should only be made from reputable dealers.

The cop and I actually agree on that point.

If you want to buy gold, find a reputable dealer.

And if you’re looking for an investment, jewelry isn’t generally the best way to go. Gold coins and gold bars are much better investment choices. You can buy those with confidence at SchiffGold. But if you’re buying jewelry for that special someone, you at least want to avoid the gas station parking lot.

That’s my advice for today.

You’re welcome!

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. I dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals (however loosely) and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The opinions expressed are my own. They are 100% correct – but not necessarily shared by anybody else here – including Peter Schiff. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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