Monarch Precious Metals is an Oregon-based mint and refinery that sells collectible numismatics and novelty items. They also have some more serious bullion options. If you want to purchase precious metals, is this the right company to work with? How do they differ from the competition?
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About Monarch Precious Metals
Monarch Precious Metals is privately owned with a family ownership and operation. Like many precious metals companies, Monarch got its start in 2008 during the financial crisis. This was a time period during which many people were turning to precious metals for the first time in order to secure their retirement.
Monarch Precious Metals operates its own mint and refinery. The employees are teams of skilled people who understand how to manage the equipment and work with customers. They also include designers who create novelty designs that you can't find anywhere else.
History of the Company
The company got its start as Oregon Coin and Jewelry, which was a tiny coin shop that served a small portion of the Pacific Northwest. Over time, it became difficult for the shop to acquire silver bullion for its inventory. The owners considered and decided that they could make their own bullion to fill the gap.
They started out by creating hand-smelted silver bars using jewelry equipment. They also stamped every bar with the company logo by hand.
Over time, Monarch Precious Metals became known for smelting and stamping. The operations moved to a bigger warehouse, upon which they began creating silver rounds and unique molds for other bars.
The company moved to their Medford headquarters in 2011. In the decade since making the move, they have continually improved their refinement and added to their campus. Dozens of unique products have been created over the years, many of which are limited edition. The company has also sometimes partnered with celebrities or organizations to design exclusive unique silver bullion.
Monarch Precious Metals is a unique precious metals dealer because they smelt their silver themselves. As such, they are able to offer products at a lower price than the typical competitor.
They say that their goal is to create high quality and unique bullion products. Their gold and silver is brought in from the world's best refineries and then processed on site.
Before any package ships, it always goes through a full inspection process. Every product is double checked to make sure that it meets the correct weight and purity standards. The campus itself is also sometimes open for tourists to come see how the metal is refined and purchase silver rounds.
Is Monarch Precious Metals a Scam?
Monarch Precious Metals isn't a scam. There's no question that this is a legitimate precious metals dealership that provides services to people. However, there are a few red flags. Even if a company is not a scam, it still might not be the best one to work with.
For one thing, Monarch Precious Metals does not have an accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. They do have an A+ rating, but that seems to largely be because no official complaints have been filed. Of the three customer reviews, two out of three are overwhelmingly negative.
One customer posted a long review describing their frustration in trying to confirm and pay for a purchase. They said that they believed that Monarch might have stolen the bank account details, although there was no evidence to support this.
In addition, the customer was unhappy about how the Monarch representative handled complaints. They said that the company's response was condescending, and that the company acted like people were out to get them, when there were legitimate reasons for customers to be dissatisfied.
A representative from Monarch replied to say they were confused by the review. They then posted all of the communications that they'd had with the customer up to that point. They also repeated that they had not been able to process the order because of issues with the customer's information.
The customer replied and accused them of lying. They said that they didn't believe that Monarch couldn't push the order through, because the customer themselves had done so in a different job. They also emphasized that Monarch should keep all identifying information private, or else they would threaten to draw up a lawsuit.
Monarch Precious Metals never responded to this. It does seem unclear as to why this customer was so hostile. Both the customer's review and response included a large amount of profanity.
The other negative review was from a customer who had made a few small purchases without an issue. But when he made a large purchase, his check payment became lost in the mail. He said that if the check had been lost, it should have been returned to him, since his address was on the envelope and the check itself. But the check was never returned.
Based on this, he thought that Monarch was lying about the check being lost. He called his bank to stop the check from being cashed and had to pay $40 to do so. His biggest complaint was that the company failed to communicate properly or to respond to his grievances.
Now, the customer's extrapolation should be taken with a grain of salt. Packages get lost with USPS all the time. Sometimes they don't get returned to sender because they're stuck in some unknown sorting box. There's nothing to indicate that Monarch purposefully tampered with the check. But the lack of communication is unfortunate.
A company representative responded to say that nothing about the situation was Monarch's fault. They were not responsible for the payment being lost by USPS, and they were not responsible for the stopped check fee that the complainant's bank charged. The representative further stated that parts of the customer's complaint were totally untrue.
Pros & Cons of Monarch Precious Metals
Monarch Precious Metals is a company located in Oregon. They mint and sell a variety of their own silver designs, along with other precious metals. Their items are designed to be used as gifts or novelty items for avid coin collectors and hobbyists. In addition, their retail location is a tourist hub where people can learn about the refinery process.
However, there are some major drawbacks to working with this company. One is that there has been quite a bit of negative feedback online. Some of the complaints are totally outside Monarch's control, like the USPS losing a check or the payment information being incomplete. But Monarch's representatives don't seem to communicate very well, and they also seem to become easily frustrated and condescending.
In addition, Monarch isn't the best company to work with if you're looking for serious precious metals investment. They don't tend to focus much on investment grade bullion or on portfolio diversification. Similarly, you're unlikely to find many products that are eligible for a gold IRA.
If you want to open a gold IRA, you're better off working with a company that specializes in this. If you're interested in Monarch's novelty items, they may be worth buying. Most aren't available anywhere else. But keep in mind that you might have a frustrating experience with their customer service team if anything goes wrong.
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