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Monarch Precious Metals is a company that operates out of Medford, Oregon, close to the California border. The refinery was created in 2008 during the economic downturn. There was a sharp uptick in demand for precious metals, since these are more stable than the stock market. Monarch was meant to fill that demand.
This is a private company that is not affiliated with any specific mint. It mints its own products by using silver. Then these are made available to potential investors.
In theory, buying directly from the refinery should be a good thing. It allows you to skip the middle man and make a purchase at closer to the market price. But Monarch might not be everything it seems on the surface. There are some concerning red flags that you should know about before you decide to invest.
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The big draw of Monarch Precious Metals is that they make their own products. The silver is delivered to them directly from the mines. They then mint it in their refinery. Rather than buying from a third party precious metals dealer, you're making a purchase from the manufacturer itself.
Official mints like the US Mint don't often have coins available for individuals to buy. They typically sell the products to wholesalers, who then distribute them to individuals. You skip this entire process when you use Monarch.
That would be a worthwhile advantage if Monarch lived up to its true potential. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be managed in the way that an ideal refinery should be.
You might be wondering about precious metals IRAs. If that's the investment you want to make, then Monarch definitely isn't for you. You need to purchase certain products at certain purity levels in order to qualify for an IRA, and Monarch doesn't refine metals that are on the list.
For the most part, when you're funding an IRA, you'll need to work with coins from government mints instead. A company that specializes in precious metals IRAs will be able to walk you through the process and make product recommendations.
Monarch deals almost exclusively in silver, rather than being a refinery that handles any kind of precious metal. This should have allowed them to operate with a greater knowledge of the industry. They should be experts. But any expertise is flattened by the high pressure sales tactics that the representatives use.
There are a variety of different silver products available, including novelty and specialty items, bars, and rounds. Some of the rounds are stamped with special designs like the zodiac, different holiday designs, or other options.
The silver bars involve specialty designs as well. If you're interested in a personal purchase of cool-looking silver, you might be intrigued. You can get bars minted like building blocks, skulls, or other interesting images.
Though the company's main specialty is silver, there are some gold products available as well. You can get gold rounds that have been embossed with the Monarch name and logo. Every round is sealed before being shipped to avoid becoming damaged.
You can also purchase a tiny gold bar, available in less than an ounce. But there aren't any larger gold bars available for purchase. You'll find much more diversity in the products by browsing the silver.
Copper is an unusual offering for a precious metals dealer, as it doesn't always qualify as a precious metal. You can't place copper products in an IRA. Though they're often mined alongside gold and silver, copper ore tends to be much less expensive.
Monarch does offer a few copper products with extremely limited means. You can get copper dice or dominoes to play with, as well as a one ounce round that is stamped with the zodiac symbol of your choice.
If you want to invest in a number of different copper products, you're probably better off looking elsewhere. There also aren't any platinum or palladium products available.
Customer reviews of this company are the most concerning aspect of the business. There aren't a lot of reliable reviews online, but the ones that do exist are overwhelmingly negative.
On the Better Business Bureau website, there are zero official complaints. But two customers have left reviews, and both gave the company 1 out of 5 stars -- the lowest rating possible.
One customer said that they went to the company on the recommendation of their grandfather. Other family members had also made purchases from the refinery. The customer sent their grandfather money to make an online purchase for them.
The customer believed that the order was confirmed, as their grandfather sent the company his card information. But when there was no word after a week, they called and were told the order didn't exist. Apparently there had been a typo in the expiration date of the credit card.
The customer tried to place the order again, double-checking that the information was all correct. But they were shown the same error. The customer service representative did not make any effort to fix the problem.
The client stated that they felt that their credit card information was unsafe, and that they would be keeping a close eye on their bank account.
Monarch did respond to say that they were very confused by the consumer's review. In answer, they posted the emails that were exchanged between them and the customer. The exchange didn't seem to show any active hostility on the part of the customer service representative.
The customer responded to say that the company was lying about their inability to forward the order. They also said that the company had not made any effort to solve the problem or contact them about the issue.
The other review was from someone who stated that they placed an online order and then mailed a check on that same day. The customer then waited for two full weeks for the check to arrive and be processed. When they hadn't received a response, they contacted the company.
Nobody picked up the phone, so they left a message. They then called on the following two days. It took until the following week for anyone from the company to reach out and follow up.
The customer indicated that the first order worked out okay. But then when he placed a second, larger order, the company sent badly damaged items.
Is Monarch Precious Metals a Scam?
Monarch Precious Metals isn't a scam. To be a scam, a company would need to have completely fraudulent services. Monarch seems to be an existing company that makes real products, but that's about all that can be positively said about it.
There are red flags indicating that this isn't a good place to invest your money. The customer reviews are atrocious, with people saying that the company is dishonest and lacks customer service. In addition, there isn't any accreditation with the Better Business Bureau.
Some of the consistent complaints include:
All of that is disturbing. It shows that there are serious issues with the way the company is run and managed. From first placing your order to receiving your items, you run the risk of having a poor experience.
Just because a company is legitimate doesn't mean that they're worth buying from. There are enough problems with Monarch that we can confidently tell you to use a different dealer.
Pros & Cons of Monarch Precious Metals
Monarch Precious Metals sounds like it should be a great company. After all, it has been successfully operating since 2008. It has a long history in Oregon, and it pioneers products that you can't get anywhere else.
Unfortunately, the customer feedback is so bad that we can't recommend it. There are clear patterns of mismanagement, and the company doesn't seem to care much about righting its wrongs. You can find more negative feedback than positive online, which tells you everything you need to know.
No matter whether you're investing personally or opening an IRA, there are better options out there. You don't want to struggle with this.
Overall, we believe that there is a better option when it comes to your investment.
The above company is our top recommendation after doing extensive research. Feel free to keep doing your own research, or you can visit Monarch Precious Metals below!