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Expert Warns Of Pitfalls Of Buying And Selling Gold

CHICAGO (CBS) -- If you're thinking of buying or selling gold, WBBM Newsradio 780's Mike Krauser has some advice from an expert.

Harlan J. Berk, of numismatics and antiquities dealer Harlan J. Berk Ltd. at 31 N. Clark St., points out that four years ago, gold was at $276 an ounce.

"And it sat there for a long time," Berk said. "Gold does not pay dividends. Don't take your kids' college money and put it into gold."

You've probably seen signs reading, "We Buy Gold" in unusual places. But that doesn't mean you should sell your gold to those outfits.

"Would you buy an engagement ring at a convenience store?" he said. "Would you buy a car at a convenience store."

Investigators did some tests in New York, he says.

"And they were paying like 10 to 15 percent of the real value," he said.

At a reputable jeweler or coin dealer, Berk says, you can expect 70 to 80 percent.

Berk really has a problem with the outfits advertising in the local papers, and buying your gold in hotel rooms.

"Everybody knows what the people in the hotel rooms do to the public," he said.

Berk says those buyers take the public for a ride.

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