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Blanchard Gold has been in business since 1975 and has held Better Business Bureau accreditation since 1982. The company "got in on the ground floor" when it became legal for the public to own gold.
Indeed, one of the founders of the company was one of the strongest lobbyists in that effort. Lately, however, the company's hallowed reputation has taken quite a few hits, largely because of what seems to be a collection of very poor reviews about the company's customer service.
According to these reviewers, when compared to customer-service giants of the gold industry, such as Goldco, Blanchard Gold just doesn't measure up.
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What is Blanchard Gold?
Blanchard Gold considers itself an expert when it comes both to precious metals and collectible coins. The company has been popular in the past because it offers quite a bevy of options when you're buying coins of gold or other precious metals.
The company also helps you convert your 401K into a gold IRA. Blanchard gold stresses the fact that precious metals are less volatile over the long run and are safer than stocks. The company claims that it will proof your portfolio against crashes and secure your future.
However, some online reviewers have said that, unlike other companies and gold experts, who say that only 5% to 10% of your portfolio should contain gold, Blanchard Gold tells its clients that they should have 20% of their portfolios as precious metals.
That is not the case. What the company actually says is that your combined assets of precious metals and rare, collectible coins should comprise up to 20% of your portfolio, which is a far cry from actually having 20% of your investments in bullion.
Also, to its credit, Blanchard Gold does tell clients that they need a custodian to manage their gold IRAs, and the company refers most of its clients to GoldStar Trust, with which Blanchard Gold has had a decades-long relationship.
Blanchard Gold takes pride in making the gold buying and investing process as hassle-free as possible. The company claims to have lower annual fees associated with its accounts, particularly the self-directed IRA.
Customer Reactions and Thoughts
Blanchard Gold received negative online reviews for quite a few years, but the veracity of these negative reviews is questionable. The old saying is, "If someone's satisfied, that person will, perhaps, tell one other person. But, if a person is not satisfied, that person will tell everyone."
Many of the purported online reviewers have let loose on the company for a variety of reasons. These include poor customer service to outright accusations that the company is full of crooks.
There are no extant complaints registered with the Better Business Bureau and have not been for more than three years. Unfortunately, there are multiple articles online about the company supposedly scrubbing the reviews off of the BBB website.
Still, there are also a good number of favorable reviews, most of which come from folks who say that they've been investing with Blanchard Gold since the 1970s, indicating that they make up a group of older individuals.
Blanchard Gold says on its website that one of its primary concerns is fostering long-term relationships with its clients. The array of good reviews from the Boomers seems to bear that out.
Even the folks who submitted reviews and complaints to the Better Business Bureau in the past admitted that Blanchard focuses on such relationships. The prevailing opinion of the negative reviews is that company might have "missed the forest for the trees" in its zeal to cater to older generations.
They complain that other companies have streamlined their operations, turned to advanced technology, and focused heavily on customer service. After all, selling gold and storing it for folks is a repetitive business that doesn't require much in the way of imagination.
The IRS's rules see to that, but those rules are necessary to protect buyers and dealers alike. Several reviewers remarked that many of the positive reviews might have come from people who just haven't received the kind of service that other companies provided.
They thought that those folks believed that what they got from Blanchard Gold was the industry standard and that nothing else existed. Remember, though, that there is no list of recent complaints against Blanchard Gold.
There are some claims online that Blanchard Gold has padded its own reviews with fakes, but there is a pronounced lack of evidence of such malfeasance. Blanchard Gold seems to be knowledgeable enough to know that such a strategy wouldn't be effective anyway because modern investors are a savvy bunch and don't fall for the same things folks did in the past.
What the Purported Complaints Say
Checking out the online reviews of Blanchard Gold yields puzzlement. Despite the strident tone of the older-than-three-years negative reviews and complaints, the Better Business Bureau still rates Blanchard Gold A+ and also still accredits the company after more than 40 years.
The claims included:
None of these claims is substantiated as there are also no complaints on file with the Business Consumer Alliance. Blanchard Gold issued a statement that it is its policy never to charge more than a 50% markup on its products.
Usually, according to the company, the markup is decidedly less than that. As an example, the American Eagle Gold Coin that you can get your custodian to buy for you to include in your IRA costs $2,079 on the company's website.
The current price of gold per Troy ounce is roughly $2,000. That's slightly less than a 4% markup.
The naysayers online also accuse Blanchard Gold of ignoring its customers and their complaints. It is somewhat laughable to allege something like that when there are no complaints filed with either the BBB or the BCA.
On several reviewing websites, the text of the articles is suspiciously similar. In some cases, it's directly plagiarized, which tends to undermine the integrity of the negative things written about Blanchard Gold.
This might be especially true because nearly all of the negative things that are still out there contain text saying that one of Blanchard Gold's competitors is highly recommended.
The Verifiable Data
Blanchard Gold strives to have straightforward policies that are easily grasped. The first such policy is its 10-day satisfaction guarantee. The 10 days start as soon as you or your designated representative receive the package.
The company will even reimburse you for the shipping costs. The shipping timeframe is usually 10-15 working days, and it might be more if you live overseas.
Blanchard Gold will ship items to your home for you to keep separate from any investment accounts to which you might wish to add precious metals. Remember, it's not allowed to have any gold that is part of an IRA or a solo 401K at your home.
Blanchard Gold makes that distinction very clear in its terms and conditions. In addition to the satisfaction guarantee, Blanchard Gold has a buyback program for its clients. The company will buy anything back from you that it sold you.
It will pay the current market price for the items and not what you paid for them. The company makes this also quite clear. Remember, if you've put any of the gold you buy into a gold IRA, then you can't liquidate the investment without penalty until you're older than 59.5 years.
The company deals in rare coins that are not part of an IRA or other investment account. The company is painstakingly discerning when deciding which rare coins to buy. On its website, Blanchard Gold claims to reject fully 3/4 of all coins that people offer them.
Blanchard Gold insists that any of these coins that the company keeps are both professionally graded and sealed in a plastic container. Unlike bars or coins that are part of an IRA, these coins can be sold at any time no matter how old you are.
The company will verify the grading of the coins and then issue a check by regular mail. The check will be in the amount of the price that was current when the appraisal was done.
When it comes to shipping items to your home, the company uses the postal service, United Parcel Service, and Federal Express. Blanchard Gold requires a signature on all of its deliveries and insures every package for the price you paid for the contents.
Blanchard Gold Grading Service
Blanchard Gold has had a partnership with John Albanese, who is one of the world's leading experts on numismatics, since 1999. The company rightly says that having such a figure involved forms a cornerstone that supports the integrity of everything Blanchard Gold does.
There is a list of the best United States coins in numismatics, and Blanchard Gold has sold examples of more than half of the 100 coins on that list. Albanese picks the coins that the company sells, so you know that they're graded correctly.
He has more than 35 years of experience in the field. Through his work, he founded both of the leading coin-grading companies in the United States: Professional Coin Grading and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
In his life, Albanese has graded more than a million coins. It cannot be stressed enough that having a giant like him affiliated with the company automatically lends credence to its claims and calls into question the truthfulness of all of the negative reviews.
Blanchard Gold also encourages the purchase of sets of gold and silver coins, which not only makes them more valuable than the sum of the prices of the individual coins but also makes collecting a fulfilling hobby.
The company offers several sets. The flagship set comprises examples of all 34 gold coins that the United States minted from 1795 until 1933.
In the last three years, the company has booked more than a billion dollars in transactions. Over its more than 40 years of existence, it has served more than half a million clients.
In 2021, Blanchard Gold began accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment for its precious metals and rare coins. As it expands the types of customers with whom it will do business, its client base is bound to grow further.
If you prefer silver to gold, then Blanchard Gold can accommodate you too. In addition to the single silver coins the company provides, you also have the option of purchasing what the company calls "monster boxes."
These contain 500 silver coins in 25 tubes of 20 mint-strapped coins each. Remember, if you buy these as part of a gold IRA or solo 401K, then you have to have your custodian see to storing them in a secure facility because you're prohibited from having them at home.
The company knows the difference between striving for stability and striving for growth. Blanchard Gold tailors its recommendations based on what you want to achieve. For example, the rare coins lend themselves to grow more than the bullion itself.
Rare coins will indeed go up and down more often and in larger amounts than bullion, but Blanchard Gold's advisors will work with you to strive to minimize loss and maximize gain.
The company's website is both intuitive and comprehensive as befits a self-proclaimed industry leader with nearly five decades of experience in the marketplace. You can learn, choose the materials you wish to buy, and contact the company to ask questions on different web pages. The site is well-designed as well.
When you see all of the negative reviews from supposed clients, it's easy to think that Blanchard Gold has morphed into an out-of-touch fly-by-night outfit.
A deeper inspection, however, reveals that this is very likely not the case and that the company is both trustworthy and good at its job. In the end, we think that Blanchard Gold is not a scam but a reasonable company to work with.
Remember to read our list of the Best Gold Investment Companies to work with, before investing your hard-earned savings!
Or, if you like what you read about Blanchard Gold, continue to their website below.
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