I’ve mentioned the gold stamps before. Many collectors are familiar with these philatelic creations. Informed collectors know that these are nothing more than pressed pieces of cardboard wrapped in gold colored foil. There is no gold metal used in producing these items.

Over the last couple of years, coin dealers and gold buyers have been dealing with these gold stamps too. With gold prices skyrocketing, people are digging these collections out of their attic or basement and trying to cash them in for their value in gold.

I’m sure these “investors” have used every name in the book against companies that offer to buy gold. I would love to be a fly on the wall when these “investors” find out that their gold stamps contain absolutely no gold at all. The “investors” believe these companies are trying to rip them off by paying nothing for their valuable gold stamps. And then they’ll melt them down and make a huge profit.

The truth is, these “investors” fell for the scam. They overpaid for items that they thought contained real gold. They thought they were going to cash in and retire early. Seriously, even when gold was a few hundred dollars an ounce, did you really believe you could buy stamps containing real gold for $5 or $10 each? At that price, the gold stamps couldn’t have contained more than a tiny fraction of an ounce of real gold. In reality, the company that sold these items is the only one making money from uninformed buyers.

I recently bought a small collection that contained two albums of gold stamps. For the first time, I really looked at the title on the album cover. It says, “Golden Replicas of …” The word “golden” describes their color/appearance. It doesn’t mean they contain gold.

From a legal standpoint, these “investors” don’t have a leg to stand on. If you read the fine print, there is nothing in the paperwork that implies that gold was used to produce these items. If “investors” assumed that, they assumed wrong. In strict legal terms, these companies did nothing illegal. The companies got their money and the “investors” are left holding the bag with a bunch of overpriced philatelic items.