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That is why we have researched every company in the industry and selected the very few with the highest customer service standards.
This way you can easily compare the best companies in the business, and choose one that fits your needs and investment goals.
Read the list to see if Hertel's Coins passed our strict customer service standards to become one of our top recommendations.
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What the Company Offers
Aside from collectibles other than coins, the company has a wide selection of items on its website. There are the aforementioned bullion coins and bars along with many collectible coins from various countries.
These countries include the United States, Canada, Mexico, pre-1949 China, post-1949 China, the Dominican Republic, current Germany, former West Germany, former East Germany, French Indo-China, Great Britain, and British North Borneo.
The company relies on four different grading companies for authentication and appraisal of all of its coins. These include:
All four of these services are reputable and have long histories of professionalism and accuracy. Beware of any coin that isn't graded by one of these four companies. All of Hertel's Coins' coins are securely packaged in plastic containers.
Inside these containers, in addition to the coins themselves, are the authentication records and verified grade of the applicable coin.
As far as United States coins go, as of June 19, 2023, Hertel's Coins has 250 different coins for sale. Hertel's Coins buys items from clients and claims to give fair prices with the least markup available.
The company provides free appraisals on all products even including rare comics, sets of flatware, and historic military collectibles.
The company also deals with paper currency collectibles from time to time, but there are none listed on the website at this time. Hertel's Coins also hosts live auctions online. Customers can bid on anything they want through the company's encrypted connection to Whatnot, an auction service.
Self-directed IRAs, which are also sometimes known as precious-metals IRAs, are retirement accounts that contain only precious metals and allowable coins. Even though they carry the name "self-directed," you're not actually allowed to do any of the transactions yourself.
When you create an account, the company with whom you work will either provide a custodian who will do all of your transactions for you or put you in touch with a partner company that provides such custodians.
When folks create these accounts, they have to buy all the precious metals, whether they're bullion or allowable coins, at the moment they create the account. They're not allowed to have any of the items in their possession before.
The way it works is that people decide what they want to buy to put into the account, contact their custodians, wait for the custodian to make the purchase, and then send the materials to a secure depository. People aren't allowed to have precious metals in a self-directed IRA in their possession.
All of the funds must stay in the account undisturbed until the account owner turns 59.5 years old. Any withdrawal before that, and having the precious metals in one's possession count as a withdrawal in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, incur taxes and other penalties.
Once someone reaches 72 years of age, however, that person must then begin making periodic minimum withdrawals from the account.
Materials that are put into self-directed IRAs must be of a certain purity. Gold must be 99.5% pure. Silver must be 99.9% pure, and platinum and palladium must be 99.95% pure. These purity levels apply both to bullion and to coins.
One exception to the purity rule is one particular group of American Eagle coins that are just 91.67% pure. They are considered a legacy, however, because they existed before the purity levels were put into place.
When it comes to collectible coins, their value isn't in the metals from which they're minted. Most of the time, that value is negligible. Their value comes from their rarity and condition. Coins in better condition cost more as might be expected.
Also, just because a coin is old doesn't make it valuable. As well, when it comes to collectible coins, their value is only in what someone will pay. These coins have a volatile price history. For example, PCGS values a 1909S VDB Lincoln cent in very fine condition at $1,325.
The same coin is going for $28 on Etsy. For this reason, these coins are not stable enough in price to be included in self-directed IRAs. For similar reasons, other collectibles aren't allowed either even if one considers items worth millions, such as a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card in gem-mint condition.
What Hertel's Coins Does Not Offer
The company doesn't seem to provide any services related to precious metals IRAs, and this includes having partners to which they can refer customers. The website doesn't mention the IRAs, custodians, or any other terms about such retirement accounts.
The website also doesn't say anything about rolling over other accounts into a self-directed IRA. Hertel's Coins also doesn't provide secure storage for any of its products.
The Ongoing Value of Precious Metals
Precious metals are what are known as tangible assets. They have a value assigned to them without the "middleman" of a secondary representation. In comparison, gold futures, stocks in a gold mine, or other such "paper assets" have no such physical presence.
Their values are based on guesswork, and the "paper" represents what someone thinks the tangible asset will be worth sometime later. The guess could be wrong.
The gold mine in which someone owns shares could go bankrupt. The gold that was mined would still have the same value it did before the mine shut down, but the stocks in the mine would then be worthless.
Those "paper assets" are highly volatile when compared to the performance of precious metals. The corrections in price in the stock market are legendary. The Great Depression, the 21st century's Great Recession, the Panic of 1907, the Panic of 1893, and all the similar events in history have featured once valuable stocks losing all of their value.
Unscrupulous bankers caused many of these problems, but despite their machinations, precious metals largely held their value. In 1893, silver dropped incredibly fast and hard, but that was because of the bankers' shenanigans.
It had recovered most of its value by 1897. In fact, in most of these crises, investors dumped their paper assets to buy precious metals to weather the economic storm.
Today, it's important to have precious metals in one's retirement accounts but not more than about 10%. Their disadvantage is that they don't generate income in the form of dividends.
The same stability that makes them hedge against economic turmoil is the same stability that prevents them from growing quickly during times of economic prosperity. If we've learned anything from past economic disasters, it's that portfolios should be broad and diverse.
The Online Reviews
The review website Nicelocal lists 70 reviews of Hertel's Coins, and every one of them is five stars. The latest reviews on that site are nine months old, but Hertel's Coins seems to respond to the effusive praise regularly.
Many of the reviews contain multiple sentences, so they're likely from real people rather than bots. The American Numismatic Association gives Hertel's Coins high marks. Hertel's Coins is a lifetime member of the association.
There are no reviews on either the Better Business Bureau website or on Trustpilot, which is unusual for a 14-year-old business. There are just seven reviews on Yelp, although they are all positive. They are also more current than those on Nicelocal.
The latest one is from the end of May 2023. They speak of both efficiency and a desire to right wrongs as part of good customer service. They all seem to be genuine because they don't have the singsong, cookie-cutter nature of fake reviews.
Another comment from the reviewers is that the proprietors of Hertel's Coins, who happen to be a married couple, are honest and forthright about all of their dealings. A couple of reviewers remarked that they checked the prices of the coins they either bought or sold with Hertel's Coins against verified price lists and found that the company's prices were fair and equitable.
The Final Word
For the buying and selling of precious metals and collectible coins, Hertel's Coins does admirably well. From all accounts, the married couple who own and run the shop are honest, dependable, and knowledgeable.
They seem to keep their word and deal straight. Therefore, for these reasons, and those things, this reviewer recommends them.
However, for self-directed IRAs and all of the accompanying requirements, even though a custodian from another company could call up Hertel's Coins and buy what was needed, this reviewer does not recommend them because of the extra red tape involved.
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