Silver ‘Rounds,’ Not ‘Coins,’ Dealer Says

     RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) – A federal class action claims coin manufacturers advertise and sell knockoff silver coins without marking them as copies.
     Andrew Roseman sued BGASC LLC, Jet Bullion Corp. and Golden State Mint on Friday in Federal Court. BGSAC is based in Calabasas, Calif., Golden State Mint in Redlands.
     Roseman, of New Jersey, does not accuse the defendants of counterfeiting, but of violating the Hobby Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 2101-2106) by failing to mark their American Silver Eagle rounds and Walking Liberty half-dollar rounds as copies.
      Roseman claims he bought four silver rounds from BGASC for $82.01, believing they were actual U.S. coins, but they were copies made by Jet Bullion and Golden State Mint.
      Roseman’s lawsuit refers to the items as both “rounds” and “coins.”
      A spokesman for BGASC told Courthouse News that the company states clearly that it sells “rounds,” not coins.
     The Hobby Protection Act “requires manufacturers of imitation numismatic items to mark plainly and permanently such items with the word ‘copy,'” the U.S. Mint says on its website. “Failure to do so may constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act.”
          “It appears the gentleman bought four 1-oz. silver rounds and mistakenly believed they were 1-oz Silver Eagles made by the U.S. Mint,” the spokesman said. “However, our website clearly states that the coins he purchased were privately minted 1-oz. rounds.”
     In his lawsuit, Roseman says that two of the purchases he made on April 17 were described on the BGASC website as “1 oz. Silver Rounds Walking Liberty Design by Jet Bullion .999 Fine,” and the other two were described as “1 oz. Silver Rounds Walking Liberty Design.”
     American Silver Eagle coins were minted in 1986. Though their face value is a dollar, they are worth more because they are 99 percent silver. BGASC sells them for $20.33 on its website, according to the complaint.
     Walking Liberty coins, minted from 1916 to 1947, are 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. Their face value is 50 cents, but the defendants sell them on their website for $7.99 to $1,400, the complaint states.
     Roseman claims the coins “are not marked ‘copy’ as required by the Hobby Protection Act,” and that the defendants left off the “copy” mark to trick hobbyists into paying for what they believed was an authentic coin.
     He seeks class certification, an injunction and damages for violations of the Hobby Protection Act.
     He is represented by Todd Friedman of Beverly Hills, who did not immediately return a request for comment.

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