PHOTO: Morgan Dollar
Morgan dollars, 1878 to 1921, are especially valuable because they are 90 percent silver.
By Kyle LoJacono
As the April 15 tax-filing deadline approaches, many people are finding that for the first time they are paying taxes on money made selling gold and silver.
“I’ve absolutely seen an increase in people selling their gold and other precious metals,” said Mark Perkins, co-owner of Gold 2 Cash in Lutz. “The economic downturn is the main reason and also the price of gold per ounce is the highest in most people’s lifetime.”
Gold 2 Cash buys all precious metals in any form.
“People don’t realize that things like silverware and dental gold is worth just as much as coins and jewelry,” Perkins said. “It doesn’t matter what the form is as long as it’s gold or another precious metal.”
The recession has even enticed people to go into the gold buying business.
“The gold market has really increased, so me and my husband (Bo) started buying last year,” said Tamara Bernal, co-owner of The Kings Gold in Wesley Chapel. “We wanted to start our own business because we knew the market for gold was good right now and we didn’t like the way a lot of other gold dealers treat their customers.”
Bernal said she had worked for a large gold dealer in the past, which she declined to name.
“A lot of gold buyers try and undersell people and we didn’t want to do that.” Bernal said. “The thing people should always do is make sure they have a lot of information before they sell anything. They should make sure they know everything about the purity of their gold and silver.”
The Kings Gold buys gold, silver and platinum.
One of the most common forms of precious metal is old coins.
“People have been coming in and selling old coin collections because they are worth more now with the price of silver and gold,” said Art Pinto, president of Legacy Coins in Lutz. “A lot of people have told me they inherited collections that they have no interest in keeping, so they bring them in to sell. We buy coins even if they aren’t made of silver and gold.”
Legacy Coins opened in October 2009. Pinto said the reason people give for selling their coins range from their child getting braces to just needing money to buy gas for the week.
A coin store in east Pasco is Charlie’s Coins in Zephyrhills.
“I’ve loved collecting coins since I was a little kid,” said Charlie Proctor, owner of Charlie’s Coins. “With the way silver and gold prices keep going up it becomes more and more profitable to buy and sell coins for businesses and for the average person.”
Charlie started his coin business three years ago.
All dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollar coins minted in 1964 or before are 90 percent silver. These almost pure silver coins, plus 100 percent gold coins, are no longer made today, with the exception of silver and gold proofs that are not put into pubic circulation.
“I would suggest that anyone go and get as much information as they can before they buy or sell anything made of precious metals,” Pinto said. “That is especially true with jewelry because when you buy jewelry you pay a premium for it. A gold buyer will try and pay something like 10 percent of that because they just want the metal and nothing else.”
Those selling precious metals are not the only one who needs to be careful.
“People can’t just start buying gold unless they get a license and go through the process with the sheriff’s office,” said Dot Murphy, owner of Dot’s Thrift Stop in Lutz. “People can get into serious trouble if they don’t follow the laws, but the market for gold is good now.”
For more information on the current price of precious metals, visit www.kitco.com.
Price of precious metals per ounce*
- Gold $1,109
- Silver $17
- Platinum $1,613
- Palladium $465
* As of March 12
Who buys precious metals or coins?
- Charlie’s Coins, 5529 Eighth St., Zephyrhills, (813) 780-1858
- The King’s Gold, 27615 SR 54, Wesley Chapel, (813) 838-1141
- Dot’s Thrift Stop, 19033 US 41, Lutz, (813) 949-9101
- Gold 2 Cash, 23116 SR 54, Lutz, (813) 948-4653
- Franklin Jewelers, 2153 Collier Parkway, Land O’ Lakes, (813) 909-4888
- Kiefer Village Jewels, 24144 SR 54, Lutz (813) 230-3417
- Legacy Coins, 1707 N. Dale Mabry, Lutz, (813) 948-8777