This is a customer dissatisfaction report about Lowell D. Lappin, proprietor of Hays City Gold & Silver at 2201 Vine St. in Hays, Kansas.
I originally purchased about $40,000 worth of collectible coins from him, based on the fact that he appeared to be the operator of an established, reputable business. He told me at the time of purchase that he bought coins for "10% under spot price
and sold for 10% over", a perfectly reasonable offer.
After purchasing the coins, I decided to finally double-check their value by getting the opinions of a few other coin and bullion dealers, and I found that they were all worth just about one-half what I paid for them.
Actually I do have the receipt from a NYC numismatics firm for their purchase of eight of these plastic-sealed coins for a total of about $6400, and their stated value on Mr. Lappin's letterhead receipt to me is about one-half of that or even somewhat less.
There is one even more outrageous exception, which is what motivated me to file this report. Mr. Lappin had sold me an 1894 S $1 silver dollar, in an NGC sealed plastic case, rated at VF35, for which his own letterhead receipt says he charged me $2500.
But a representative at the well-known numismatics firm in NYC said the coin was worth only $60 or $70. Just like that, $2400 gone, down the drain and into the pocket of Mr. Lappin on just one coin.
But I had purchased a whole portfolio, and the loss of my entire investment was on the order of 50% straight out the door. In fact, between the time I made my purchase and the time I double-checked the value of the coins, actual gold bullion has
gone from about $750/ounce to $1400/ounce, almost double the value. So during a time when gold bullion had doubled in value, my coin investment remained stubbornly and to this day worth one-half what I paid for it.
When I checked with an attorney who specializes in fraudulent numismatics sales, he asked me if I had gotten a signed statement of value first from Mr. Lappin before making the purchase. Is that not what the letterhead receipt itself stands for? Apparently not. Would you normally think to ask anyone at an established business selling you anything of equivalent value, to
sign a legal document stating and affirming that it is worth what the seller claims it is? Regrettably, I had not obtained such a document, and the attorney refused to represent me. I only had Mr. Lappins word, which turned out to be worth, well, what I'm reporting.
How could I complain publicly about this gentleman, when the mere public knowledge that I have such coins in my possession would make me the target of thieves possibly by home invasion? In the face of such fears, I did not know how to speak up. I am regrettably not as knowledgeable as I might wish, and found myself with absolutely no recourse that I knew of.
This is how this gentleman operates when he can get away with it without the danger of getting caught. I lost one-half the value of not only that coin, but $40,000 worth of other coins I purchased from him. He made what is known as a killing on me.
Please be forewarned and do not rely on Mr. Lowell D. Lappins long-standing business record for reliable service, he will ruin you if given the chance to get away with it.
Mr. Lappin, I have letterhead receipts from your shop showing a list of all the coins and prices, the date, and your squiggle of a signature at the bottom. Even though I have since had to sell most of the coins at a ruinous loss of about 50% of their value (I do still have nine coins left), a reputable numismatics firm would be able to research the official value of each of these coins at the time of purchase, and certify that they were worth only one-half of the value you wrote on your own receipt to me at that time. By your own hand, the proof of your own fraudulent
dealings with me is in my possession.
I also still have the one 1894 S $1 silver dollar, in an NGC sealed plastic case, rated at VF35, for which your own letterhead receipt says you charged me $2500, and which the NYC firm told me just today is worth about $60 or $70.
Do you wish to subpoena my name from Ripoff Report, and have it out in court so you can 'prove' that they were worth what you told me they were? Do you want to lie to a judge and jury in court the way you did to me when you originally sold them to me?