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Gold & Silver Bureau
Following the collapse of Essex coin dealer Gold & Silver Bureau, we reproduce below a page of our site which was added earlier:-

Save Over £1,000 on Coins

Price Comparisons with a Competitor
We recently saw a colour catalogue from one of our competitors. We were given it by one of our customers who had asked us whether the collectors coins in it represented good value, or whether he was being "ripped off". While we never like to accuse a competitor of "ripping people off" (we don't even like the expression), we were astounded by most of the offers, and the prices. Out of about 154 offers, many were, in our opinion, junk which we would not wish to promote. Many were attractive collectable coins, but all were, again in our opinion, overpriced, some by a huge margin. The brochure itself was quite impressive, and it must have been quite expensive to produce. It kept us entertained for some time browsing through it, and laughing or gasping at the prices being asked, and no doubt obtained, for many of the items. In the end we decided to compile a list of comparisons with our own prices, which proved very interesting, and we thought we should share it with our customers. We could find 35 direct comparisons with identical or very similar items from our own stock. Incidentally we estimate that we have between 5,000 to 10,000 items listed for sale within the 2,000 plus pages of our five websites.
We debated whether to name the competitor involved but we decided against it. We thought it would be kinder to let him remain anonymous.

Update: 22nd November 2002
We have just heard that the above competitor has "gone bust" according to the Daily Mirror, and as it would appear that they are no longer trading, we guess that it will do no harm to name them. the main trading name by which we knew them was Gold & Silver Bureau, but they also appear to have had a stable of related companies, Gold & Silver Bureau (Modern Collections) Ltd., GSB (Golden Jubilee) Ltd., GSB Millennium Milestones, GSB Millennium Collections, Powerway Ltd., and GSB Golden Millennium Ltd, and possibly others.

Comparison Chart
CoinChard PriceGSB PriceDifference £% Saving
Austrian 4 Ducat1011959448
US State Quarters0.952.21.2557
1965 British Coin Set1517.952.9516
1980 Sovereign85109.524.522
1980 British Proof Set1024.9514.9560
1960 Crown1019.959.9550
1987 Britannia 2 Coin Proof Gold1251856032
Australian 10 Ounce Kookaburra89.95149.559.5240
1936 Australia Pattern Crown2529.954.9517
1964 Bermuda Crown524.9519.9580
1999 British Uncirculated Set1219.57.538
1999 Silver Britannia1018.958.9547
1931P Sovereign90119.529.525
1966 Spanish 100 Pesetas534.529.586
Tenth Eagles2749.522.546
2001 Sovereigns67.572.557
2001 Half Sovereigns3537.52.57
South Africa 2 Rands7599.524.525
South Africa 1 Rand4569.524.535
Austrian 100 Corona22334912636
1984 Gold £537547510021
1985 Gold £537547510021
1982 Sovereign85109.524.522
1899 Sovereign100119.519.516
1937 Crown2039.519.549
Jubilee Sovereign65119.554.546
1982 Canada $100 Gold Proof1252159042
Britannia 2 Coin Proof Set 1251856032
USA Morgan Dollars Choice Grade2529.954.9517
Austrian 20 Corona Gold45109.564.559
2000 £5 Gold Unc2953293410
French Gold 20 Francs56109.553.549
Canadian Silver Maple9.9516.95741
Canadian Silver Maple 3 dates29.8549.519.6540
2001 Silver Proof Crown Victorian Era34.536.451.955

Summary & Conclusions
On the 35 items listed, you could have bought them from us for £2,2821.73, compared with £4,047.75 buying them from our nameless competitor, a saving of £1,226.02, or just over 30%. Looked at another way, you would have paid over 43% more buying elsewhere!
The closest item, at only 5% saving, was a current year's coin, where we sell at a similar price to the Royal Mint, and presumably our competitor feels constrained by the Royal Mint's pricing. Similar considerations apply to two other newly released items. The maximum percentage saving was 86%.

Our Comparisons
You may think that we have, like the supermarket chains, manipulated the above figures to include only those items where we compared favourably, but this is not so. We have omitted nothing, and we have compared like-for-like. In some cases, we offer quantity discounts, and we have not included these in our comparisons. We have not included any special offers or loss leaders or other misleading items. In some cases, particularly gold bullion items, our prices are subject to market price fluctuations of the intrinsic gold content. Our prices on the day we published this page were in fact slightly lower than those shown in the table.

Update: 22nd November 2002
Readers may wonder how a dealer charging such high prices could lose money or "go bust". The Daily Mirror seems to suggest that the owner John Coppin was a "high-roller", owning a diamond encrusted Rolex, driving a Porsche, and other "Essex Boy" signs of high living. We always wondered how much their national press adverts cost them, and guess that these absorbed much of their profits. Please note that we spend a tiny amount on print media advertising, our websites being how we generate most of our new business. We have over 3,000 web pages which cost us less than a single one of GSB's press adverts. Interestingly national newspapers are quick to criticise businesses who go bust, but often the very same newspapers have been accepting their adverts and money for several years beforehand!
Earlier this year we heard from people who were surprised to learn that we could deliver 2002 sovereigns and half sovereigns from stock, when they had been waiting for months for Gold & Silver Bureau to deliver. It is true that the Royal Mint had a production delay on 2002 half sovereigns for many weeks earlier this year, but fortunately we had about 500 in stock at the time, and were able to maintain deliveries without delay.

Further Conclusion
One conclusion we believe can be drawn, buying through the internet can be better and safer than buying from traditional advertisers. The internet gives the ability to publish full details and information about products, at a very low price. Traditional printed advertising and brochures are expensive, meaning that customers have to pay higher prices or companies have to absorb higher costs. We also believe that the internet can deliver information and products efficiently to interested consumers. Intelligent use of search engines such as Google ( means interested parties can find precisely the information and products they want. This means we can market niche products direct to niche consumer segments at very competitive prices, and still make money.

Old Hand
Funnily enough, the name John Coppin was well known to us in the early days of our business. He used to advertise in Exchange & Mart, along with a few other early regular advertisers. We always assume he was a straight dealer, although we never had any direct dealings with him, he was simply a competitor we were aware of.

Why Gold?
Many of the scams listed above could involve shares, cash, bank accounts, or other commodities other than gold. The reason that they may include gold is because it is a highly portable and liquid form of wealth, and many people are aware of gold's reputation as a safe haven investment.

Gold & Silver Bureau Report by This is Money
From the Daily Mail's site November 2002, 'Golden's Cheat's Worthless Promises' - John Coppin's Gold and Silver Bureau of Essex.

Investors in Time
Investors In Time of New Bond Street London an Essex postal address. Following the collapse of Essex coin dealer Gold & Silver Bureau, other similar companies seem to have sprung up.

Regency Coins
Regency Coins (UK) Limited of Essex seem to have taken over from Investors in Time, with similar dodgy sales techniques.

Regency Coins Website
Regency Coins Website Home Page


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