Collecting Gold Sovereigns and Avoiding Fakes - Part 3

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I hope you have arrived here after reading the first two of my guides.

This is my first update of the new year - 18th January 2007 and in this part I will continue with my earlier theme and will be showing you some more examples of the dubious and the downright ugly that at some time have been passed off as coins.

The first of this year's crop, item 170071661990, is shown below:

    

This disc is just a crude copy of a jubilee sovereign and may well be contemporaneous and may have fooled people in the late 1880s but should not fool anyone today. The surprising thing is that this is being offered by a high rated and knowledgeable seller. I have emailed him to tell him that I am surprised that he would even consider selling such an item but so far, no reply. Naturally, I have not wasted my time by notifying eBay who know nothing and care even less.

This is an interesting new case - a listing that ended on 28 March 2007 - item number 280098080176. In this case you can see that the seller is offering a mint 1893 sovereign but the photo appears to be of a proof coin.

                   

This is not the first time he has done this because if you look at item 280098079376, you will see that the photo is of a matt proof 1902 sovereign and yet he was selling one that he claimed was in mint condition. I endeavoured to help the seller by advising him on what he should have done and received a rather unpleasant response. I have now reported him to eBay. Sellers of coins are supposed to use photos of their actual coins but sometimes resort to stealing others' photos or using stock photos.

Unless the seller is only stating that a coin is a bullion coin, I should strongly discourage potential buyers from buying coins without seeing the actual photos of the item being offered. You should be the person judging the condition of the coin and as a result, you will be far less likely to be disappointed.

It has been some time since I have had anything interesting to report but I have noticed a new phenomenon - the seller of real coins claiming inflated values for his coins. This seller, hello.gold, a new one from Australia, claims all sorts of ridiculous values for his coins and he does the same thing with his other account, the_house_of_jewellery where everything, including gold jewellery which is always grossly overvalued. When I emailed him and challenged him, he just ignored me and he is continuing with this practice for every coin he puts up on eBay - and everything else for that matter. This is bad enough but clearly some people are falling for his claims; 00kb0 has paid AU $370.00 plus postage for a very ordinary and worn 1909 sovereign, item 150143733289. This is about twice bullion value and so twice what this coin is worth. The simple learning point is that you should get your own catalogue and always check the value of coins.

I cannot decide whether there may be more than one Australian scammer using different accounts or a group of them but look at item  110227702730, listed in late February 2008. The seller, burtgal, makes the ridiculous claim "rrp $1950.00 NEVER TO BE SEEN ON EBAY AGAIN! BID NOW!!" for a very average and common 1913 sovereign. The photograph is also taken at an angle to make it look better than it is - and it is pretty poor and may have come out of a mount. The sad thing is that some people are fooled by these lying claims - please don't fall for sellers' lies.

Here is a new warning about a seller who is claiming that the medals or whatever that he is selling are real gold sovereigns and when I corrected him, he called me a fool!  The seller, bobbyjo42, who seems to sell minor antiques and collectables, is claiming that this coin is a mega rare 1977 sovereign and that it is hallmarked on the edge - see item 320143599492 and many others.

         

I emailed him and he rejected my comments. A further email elicited a strongly abusive response from him and a very strongly worded reply from me. He stopped that listing and then put it up again as item 320143802742, having claimed to have sold it! His next ploy was to sell only to foreign buyers because of spammers, so he claimed - ie me! This was extremely foolish because foreign collectors of British coins often know more than British coins than British collectors and the coin failed to achieve his ludicrous reserve.

As this saga developed, I reported his attempted fraud to eBay, who ignored me but when I warned off a bidder, I got warned by eBay for interfering with a live auction. It is worth remembering that eBay's so-called buyer protection is almost meaningless where coins are concerned because no one at eBay understands and eBay is more interested in protecting its revenue. He continues to list this load of rubbish, albeit with a slightly toned down description - see item 320147371706 for the latest appearance of this non-coin.

This is also a seller who threatens violence when you stand up to him - I have the emails to prove it and have reported him to the West Sussex police - so, be very careful if you ever find yourself dealing with someone with multiple accounts who turns out to be from Sunderland. He is one of many who have read my reviews so I hope he has learned something. Apparently he has also put something nasty up on the community boards about me - so he says - and promises to interfere with my future sales and has changed his eBay name to lapidary200, to deceive you!

Since writing this, he has changed his name back to bobbyjo42, has read my reviews and learnt nothing and has written a particularly hysterical and illiterate review about me which was also libellous. The review has now been removed by eBay and he has received a warning about his behaviour. His actions merely reinforce my comments about him - what a loser!

As an update, be warned that his new name is papa-lazarou-tattsyrup, a demented character from the UK series, League of Gentlemen. This is very appropriate because this sick and twisted individual continues to send me demented emails from time to time.

Finally, I have discovered that one buyer was given his money back by PayPal. I suspect that this dodgy seller bought a job lot of discontinued medallions from Pobjoy Mint. I must stress that you should all take care on eBay. Things are getting better but then these sort of characters turn up and a number of eBayers have bought this load of old rubbish from this abusive and perhaps violent, seller.

Remember:

      1. Real gold sovereigns are never hallmarked

      2. As a general rule, antique and junk dealers know nothing at all about coins

      3. Never accept someone's guarantee that a coin is rare, check it out for yourself

      4. Buy a copy of Spink!

It is May 2nd 2008 and he is at it again. A childish email from this idiot and he is selling a very ordinary sovereign with exaggerated claims about its condition - look at item 320246518440. Here is this illiterate idiot's latest email:

"Still watching you very closely any fakes you aint spotted mine yet I make them you see 8g of pure rubbish.I thought you were a lot cleverer than that but a complete dead loss.Call yourself a match.You are useless.A dead loss and a complete waste of humanity.
Your Nemesis Bob who will haunt you for ever."

If anyone knows rongrd, who paid £133 for a perfectly ordinary and misdescribed bullion sovereign, perhaps you can ask him what he thinks of his latest purchase.

Here is the email from the next day, written by someone else for him:

"Oh and look out for my new review when I really use my abilities.You know for a fact I'm a writer so be prepared for the worst yet.But of course I shall write it so well you will not believe it.Oh and stick it onto your crap reviews which nobody reads.I really will have fun trust me and when I really write I go very close to the bone.However I normally only write for royalties and advances but trust me on this one it will be a beauty on you as I now have the information I need to expose you for what you are.I'm really looking forward to this one.Great stuff but see what you think when its finished.I will send you a draft."

After several more emails from this person, he has changed his name to blackadderandbaldrick. I won't reprint his emails here as they are as bizarre as they are illiterate. As one of them includes the lyrics to "My Way" and another includes the lyrics to "Don't Stop Me Now", I leave you to draw your own conclusions about his sanity.

Here's a report about dishonesty. The item number is 120164121369 and the seller originally showed the coin separated from the mount and this shows the widow head but the coin is dated 1892, a year before this obverse was introduced. I told him that the coin was fake but he has responded by changing the picture to this:

 

Of course, the coin looks ropey but now there is a much better chance that someone will be tricked. The seller, cheyz-yed, has a rating of over 2,900 and does not need to resort to these tactics but he is an antique dealer ...

I will add further rubbish from eBay to this guide, whenever I find something new to warn you about.

As it is rapidly approaching Christmas 2007, I am now writing Part 4 and hope that you will read the latest stories and advice as well as my review of the year for dodgy sovereigns.

Please feel free to contact me, lapidary99 at hotmail.com if you have any questions or concerns and I will do my best to help you but please do not offer to sell me your coins or request coins from me as this would certainly be in breach of eBay rules.

Please read my fourth guide for the latest news on the trickery front!

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