Avoiding Collectable Scams

As history has shown us, wherever there is money there are scams and nowhere is this more true than in the art world and for people who collect coins and artifacts such as the from ancient civilizations like Greek, Egyptian and Mayan. It is important therefore that if you are going to collect such items that you know what to look out for and how to buy such pieces, without the risk of spending large amounts of money on something that later turns out to be a fake. There is never a guaranteed way to avoid this other than having a piece appraised before buying, something which is logistically very difficult but there are some tips which can help you to greatly minimize the risks. We spoke to the experts at the Sadigh Gallery here in new York, to find out what you should be doing.  

See It First

If you are a buying a piece which is not very valuable then buying online is fine because the worst case scenario is that you lose a small amount of money if the piece is a fake. If you are buying something of any kind of real value however then you must ensure that you see and touch the product before you part with any money. If you do plan on finding pieces online then you should ensure that you have a means to go and see the piece before purchasing. The only time that you should buy something which is expensive online is if you are buying from a trusted seller like a store which has been certified.  


Unless you have dedicated your life to learning about and buying coins or artifacts the likelihood is that you will have some gaps in your knowledge. With this in mind it is always a great idea to check out the piece before you buy. We live in a world where there is so much information and literature about collectibles that you can find out all of the information about the pace ahead of buying it and you should invest time in working out what to look for. People have written books and blogs about this kind of thing and in some cases you can even check out the history of ownership of a piece before you buy, to ensure that you are not buying something which has been stolen.

Trust Your Nose 

If at any point in time you feel as though something isn’t right with the deal, either the price or the terms of the purchase then it is always better to leave it. Don’t risk your money on something that you are not sure about because the consequences could be that you buy something which in your heart of hearts, you knew that you probably shouldn’t have done. This may mean missing out soon a piece that you wanted but it is always safer not to buy if you don’t feel confident.