Buying Low-Priced Silver Eagles on Wish Could See You in Court
It’s supposedly the place to go for bargains but if you buy silver bullion on Wish, you could get a nasty surprise!
Wish.com is currently one of the most popular online destinations for cut price designer goods and we’re seeing more and more silver bullion products appearing at what appear to be amazing discounts.
But don’t let their low costs fool you – buying an American Silver Eagle at Wish.com could see you paying a far greater price…
But what if you were to find one for $16.00? or $10.00? Or even $2.00? Could you argue in court that you believed a $2.00 Eagle was legitimate? Could anyone think for a second that a silver coin would ever sell at 10% of it’s lowest scrap price?
Because if not – you could be looking at doing some jail time the next time you Make a Wish.
Counterfeiting is illegal in the US – and so is knowingly buying counterfeit goods. The Department of Homeland Security states:
It is illegal to purchase counterfeit goods. Bringing them into the United States may result in civil or criminal penalties. Purchasing counterfeit goods supports criminal activities such as money laundering and trafficking in illegal guns and drugs. Remember, if it seems like a steal, it is.
Using copyright logos, designs and images is also illegal, as is passing off one thing as being another.
Marking a metal item as being .999 silver when it’s not happens to be a crime too. Who’d have thought.
Those Scottsdale Silver, Credit Suisse, Johnson Matthey and SilverTowne silver bullion bars you see on Wish.com selling for $3 break literally every one of these rules.
They cannot possibly contain an ounce of fine silver at $3.00 and they most certainly aren’t manufactured by Credit Suisse or Johnson Matthey, or have their permission to use those registered marks.
Even if they were to have permission, the law states that anything made to look as if it’s a precious metal, or any copy of a coin or bullion product must have the word COPY stamped clearly on the face. Sellers can have replica, or commemorative, or silver plated written in the item description as much as they want, but if the item itself isn’t clearly marked and could confuse the average person as being the real thing – you’re talking an illegal counterfeit.
For Wish.com’s counterfeit silver bars, we’re maybe looking at a slap on the wrist and confiscation of your goods if the judge is in a good mood or the police have bigger things to deal with that week.
But counterfeit coins? Counterfeit US Currency? Counterfeit copies of legal tender produced under US law in US Federal Mints…
18 U.S. Code § 485. Coins or Bars, is very clear:
Whoever falsely makes, forges, or counterfeits any coin or bar in resemblance or similitude of any coin of a denomination higher than 5 cents or any gold or silver bar coined or stamped at any mint or assay office of the United States, or in resemblance or similitude of any foreign gold or silver coin current in the United States or in actual use and circulation as money within the United States; or
Whoever passes, utters, publishes, sells, possesses, or brings into the United States any false, forged, or counterfeit coin or bar, knowing the same to be false, forged, or counterfeit, with intent to defraud any body politic or corporate, or any person, or attempts the commission of any offense described in this paragraph—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than fifteen years, or both.
The jail time lies in the “intent to defraud” but if you’re picked up for another misdemeanor and the police find a collection of fake coins, good luck arguing that one!
Now the problem isn’t limited to Wish.com – AliExpress, Ebay and a number of other auction sites sell similar copies, sometimes described as replicas, sometimes not, sometimes marked as copies and other times providing no clue to their being fake.
While making the copies is the true crime, allowing replicas to be sold and buying those replicas can be a gray area. Forgetting the trademark and design copyright violations, the replica coin needs to be marked COPY, or be substantially larger or smaller than the real thing for everybody to be in the clear.
Ebay requests all counterfeit coins and bullion bars not marked copy be reported to them, but only this morning we found over 100 listings for replica Eagles and other legal tender coins listed on the site without the required differences.
AliExpress is seeing more replicas marked COPY, but for every legal example there are 100s in violation of US code.
One thing is certain, counterfeit coins are a growing issue and someone somewhere is making a lot of money from their sale in the US. Feeling tempted? Before you hit the buy button ask yourself, would you rather buy a real silver coin at $18 that you know is an appreciating asset or a fake that’s essentially worthless?
At the end of the day, laws are here to protect us and by knowingly buying counterfeits you’re running counter to that law. And that’s your decision.
The only safe way to buy silver bullion coins or bars, is through a trusted bullion dealer.
For more information on the right way to buy silver, we recommend you take a copy of our Free Precious Metals Investment Guide, express shipped direct to your door.
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