The continued rise in the price of precious metals pushes counterfeiters to new heights. Always looking for ways to outwit experts who purchase gold and silver coins, counterfeiters are more than willing to steal from amateur investors and collectors. The sophisticated and unscrupulous art of counterfeiting continues to improve.
The very best of the counterfeiters make it next to impossible for even the most experienced expert to detect fake coins but fortunately, the majority of counterfeit items in circulation are of lesser quality making them easier to detect utilizing a few basic techniques.
When you make the decision to buy gold or silver coins for sale the first step is to get to know your coin dealer. Reputable and experienced coin dealers are your first line of defense in thwarting off counterfeit coins. They will go out of their way to demonstrate the authenticity to someone who wishes to buy coins and are happy to share some of the counterfeit identification tips. Dealers that are unwilling to stand by their sales do not deserve your business and may in fact knowingly sell counterfeit coins themselves. If you come across a dealer that is not willing to stand behind what he or she is selling, find a different dealer to buy coins from.
Weight and dimensions are the quickest way to detect the lowest quality of counterfeit silver and gold coins for sale. A side-by-side comparison of like coins will weed out the poorest quality counterfeit coins in minutes. The more sophisticated counterfeiters however, have nearly perfected the matching of dimension and weight making it necessary to use precision scales and calipers for weight and dimension measurements. The weight and dimension tolerances of legitimate coins are miniscule so any real deviation from either would clearly indicate a fake.
The more you inspect and buy gold coins the more familiar you will become with the details of each particular coin. The same holds true for those who buy silver coins as the same method of pressing is used for each. An authentic gold coin has a very particular color, luster and detail that are often mismatched by counterfeiters. Fine details are one of the most telling signs of a counterfeit coin. Many counterfeit coins are cast, not pressed, leaving them with a lack of fine detail, which authentic pressed coins posses.
Other details to look for are misshaped edges, another sign that the coin was cast instead of pressed. Tool markings are yet another sign of a counterfeit coin. A good magnifying glass will provide you with the means to inspect the surface and details of a coin for comparison. Lack of detail, surface blemishes, letter spacing and a casted look are tell-tale signs of a counterfeit coin. All of these same details hold true when you buy silver coins as well.
Another test is the ring test. You can tap the gold or silver coin you wish to test with another authentic coin and if it’s real then you should get a high pitched ring, but if it’s faked then it will give a thud sound without the high pitch ring. To perform this test, balance the coin you’re testing on the end of your index finger and tap the coin with the authentic coin, listen for a ring. It’s a fast and easy test that quickly identifies counterfeits.
One of the simplest methods to weed out some of the poorest counterfeit gold and silver coins is basic magnet test. Both gold and silver are non-magnetic so even the slightest magnetic attraction to either gold or a silver coin indicates some type of ferrous metal composition. If you are in the market to buy gold coins or you have managed to buy silver coins, a strong pocket magnet is a good thing to keep handy.
There are numbers of other tests you can perform to help detect if a coin is counterfeit or not, including counterfeit coin detectors however, with the exception of the counterfeit coin detectors, most of the other methods are less scientific and less forensic. Hopefully, the steps above will aid you in your next silver or gold purchase and you will not be taken for a ride by a dishonest coin dealer.