Are you worried about losing your money to scam investments? The precious metals industry is full of companies that prey upon people without much investment knowledge. Whether they're buying your jewelry for lower than market price or marking up items with super high commissions, bad companies use every dirty trick in the book.
Blanchard and Company is a precious metals dealer that offers a large number of different coins and bars for purchase. They also have a service to purchase people's precious metals. Are they worth investing with?
There are a few serious considerations that give us pause. One is that the company doesn't have many reliable customer reviews on third party websites. Another is that a few consumer reviews have complained that their shipping methods are not trustworthy.
All in all, we'd recommend working with a more reputable precious metals dealer. But not everything about Blanchard Gold is bad. Let's take a look at what they have to offer and what you need to know before making a purchase.
About the Company
Blanchard is a family-run company that has operated for more than forty years. They deal with a variety of precious metals including rare collectibles, platinum, palladium, gold, and silver. Their overall goal is to allow investors to secure their wealth using tangible assets.
The company employs individuals with strong backgrounds in investment, finance, and precious metals. When you call to ask about your options, you'll be given a thorough consultation. The representatives will ask you about your time frame, risk tolerance, current means, and long-term goals.
Once they have a sense of your needs, they'll recommend the best products for your investment. You can talk to a portfolio manager prior to investing to get insights about the current state of the market. In addition to precious metals, there are experts in inheritance law, investment diversification, storage, and retirement accounts.
The company is committed to a set of key core values that the representatives all live by.
One is customized research. There are many numismatists on staff that inspect and purchase the coins prior to sale. Only 25 percent of coins are selected. If you're looking for a coin that's not available through the website, you can contact the company numismatists to try to find it in good condition elsewhere.
Every package is shipped with full insurance and registration, as this promotes safe delivery. With the insurance policy, you can get your money back if the package is stolen. The company also offers to match or beat lower prices found on the internet, something most precious metals brokers don't do.
The company is committed to customers even after the transaction is over. They use a buyback guarantee to encourage purchases. You don't have to worry about liquidating your assets when you need cash; they'll buy your assets back at the current market value.
The final core value is relationships. The company dedicates a portfolio manager to each individual client to help with ongoing investment management. Many clients have returned to the firm because of the attention to detail in the customer service.
This is one of the oldest precious metals firms in the US, and there's a reason for that. Founder Jim Blanchard was a key player in the push to let Americans own gold again. He began a grassroots movement for the legalization of gold, based on the idea that gold ownership is an inherent right.
The campaign took off across the country like fire. There was even a plane that flew over Nixon's second inauguration. As the grassroots movement was growing, Jim held explosive and memorable press conferences.
President Ford finally legalized private gold ownership in 1974. It was just a year after that that Jim started Blanchard and Company. Over the past forty years, the firm has worked with over 450,000 people. More than 1,000,000,000 dollars in sales have been transacted in just the last three years.
Almost 20 years ago, the company became partners with renowned numismatist John Albanese. John revolutionized the company's ability to purchase collectible coins. It was only with his help that they were able to start selling seven-figure rarities.
What Sets the Company Apart
There are several key things that make Blanchard unique when compared to the competition. However, we've found that they aren't good at keeping up with the times, and their business practices may have fallen behind.
All the same, the firm boasts a longer history than almost any other precious metals firm in the country. It is also built on the passion of its founder. Only numismatic and precious metals experts are hired, and the hiring team specifically looks for passionate people.
There are also investment experts who are willing to offer insights about investing in today's market. That's pretty standard for modern precious metals firms, though.
Another interesting note is that the company approaches service on a consultation level. Instead of trying to sell you whatever first catches your eye, they take time to get to know you. Every client is given a portfolio manager who can help guide them through future purchases. Many come back for years.
The Buying Process
Buying coins is simple, and the process is flexible by design. You can order through the online marketplace or over the phone. Unlike some dealers, Blanchard posts transparent prices for all of their coins on the website.
If you do call over the phone, you'll need to do so on a weekday between 7 AM and 7 PM, Central time.
Payment is also flexible, as is shipping. If you have questions about a particular payment method, you can call the company to inquire. Payment methods include:
The company recommends using a wire transfer because of how quickly it occurs. The bank should have the money within a few hours, so you'll be able to buy items with the fully funded account. You can either set up the transfer yourself or give Blanchard a call to have one of their representatives facilitate.
You can make payments through a personal check, cashier's check, money order, or business check. If you do this, the system will be subject to a slowdown. The company will wait seven days before depositing business or personal checks, and three days before depositing cashier's checks.
To speed up the process by check, it's best to get your Blanchard account set up right away.
Credit cards like Mastercard and Visa can be used online. However, the limit for these transactions is 5,000 dollars per transaction. If you order over the phone, you can also use Discover and American Express cards. The transaction limit is also dropped for phone orders.
If you order with a credit card, you won't be able to input a separate shipping address. The order will have to be sent to the billing address on the card.
You will need to store your coins. Your choice of storage will vary slightly depending on the type of account you're funding.
If you are funding an IRA, you will need to store your materials in an IRS-approved storage facility. You'll also need to pay a custodian to maintain your funds. You can compare different custodians to see their services and fees.
It's highly recommended that you store precious metals in a vault or safety deposit box. However, some people do still choose to store them at home. They will be more susceptible to loss, theft, and damage, but no one can stop you if that's what you choose to do.
You can choose to have your items stored using one of Blanchard's partners. Or you can take care of the storage yourself once the items arrive at your shipping address. As long as it's a personal investment rather than a retirement account contribution, there's nothing stopping you.
The Selling Process
Blanchard is invested in acquiring precious metals and rare collectibles of all kinds. They have a streamlined process for selling your materials.
The first step is to call for a quote. You'll describe the items you have, and the appraiser will research the market value. For bullion, this happens very quickly. The same is true for investment grade gold that is being bought back.
With rare coins, the process is a little more complex. The numismatists have to bid the coin on the market to determine how much it's worth. You might have to wait a day or two before hearing back. The value you get is an indication of the market for the coin, rather than an offer to purchase it.
Keep in mind that if you want to sell rare coins to Blanchard, they must be graded and sealed by a professional. If your coin is loose, you should get it graded and sealed before selling it.
The appraisal isn't the same as the offer. After your items have been appraised, you'll receive further queries. You might need to ship the items to the company so that they can be inspected. You can speak to your dedicated portfolio manager about how to handle the process.
Again, rare coins must be graded and sealed.
There are specific guidelines for how to package and ship your items. You'll need to follow these steps:
After the company receives your items, a numismatist will inspect the coins to make sure they are all the correct condition and grade. When the contents of the order have been confirmed, you'll complete the paperwork with the portfolio manager.
As soon as the paperwork is processed, you will be sent a check in the mail. Depending on where you are, it could take up to a week to arrive.
Blanchard has a long history and excellent company values. But there have been some concerning aspects of the customer reviews published online.
They have received an excellent rating from the Business Consumer Alliance. However, several customers have complained through the Better Business Bureau. Apparently they had problems with shipping delays and risky shipping methods.
Ripoff Report makes the same observation. People have filed reports stating that it took them several months to receive the metals they purchased. That's significantly longer than the two-week average. It's not necessarily Blanchard's fault, but it might have been avoided with extra priority shipping.
On Trustlink, the single review of the company gives them a single star. Google has a variety of better reviews, but there's still only a handful. If the company has served more than 450,000 clients, why is it so hard to find out what customers think of them?
Past client satisfaction isn't the end-all be-all of a company. But it is strange that there are so few reviews, especially considering how many of them are negative. Industry competitors have hundreds to thousands of reviews.
One good thing is that the company appears to have made an effort to resolve all of the issues. That speaks well to their customer service, and it's more in line with what we'd expect given their stated values.
Blanchard Gold is a precious metals dealer with more than forty years of hands-on industry experience. The founder was a grassroots organizer who helped to legalize private gold ownership. Since then, they've expanded greatly and served hundreds of thousands of people.
Though the company has excellent values and a long history, they also have concerning customer reviews. It's hard to find a lot of consumer feedback, and the feedback that exists is largely negative.
The company has made an effort to resolve complaints, but there are other firms that have much more positive overall feedback. We'd recommend looking into one of those if you're investing in precious metals.
If you're looking for rare coins, though, we actually do recommend this company. They have strict policies regarding the acquisition of rare coins. Their staff includes some of the most renowned numismatists in the entire world.