May 22, 2018
Ever since gold has been used as a currency, bullion traders and investors have been faced with challenges presented by counterfeit coins. Early fakes were easy to spot. All you had to do was perform rudimentary checks like biting into the coins.
Today’s forgeries are much more sophisticated. Advancements in technology enables criminals to make replicas that look, feel and appear like actual bullion coins – including weight and dimensions. To the untrained eye – or even the naked eye – fake coins in the current market can easily go undetected.
However, the precious metals industry does have effective procedures for detecting counterfeit coins. Mints include specific security features and precise measurements, and precious metal dealers have systems to ensure they are not buying or selling gold and silver coins that are worthless.
Here’s what to look out for:
Gold coin security features
When mints make coins from precious metals, gold, silver, platinum and palladium, they employ certain measures in order to help fight forgeries. Security features include intricate designs, high purity content, mint marks, precise weight and dimensions, and packaging which includes a unique serial number.
However, most conventional methods of counter-acting counterfeits are ineffectual. Technology makes it easy for criminals to copy designs precisely. Counterfeit coins are typically made from tungsten which also passes the weight test.
Mints now use additional measures including holographic features and bi-metallic compounds. Using two metals of different colors makes the coins difficult to counterfeit at low cost.
As a result, counterfeit coins tend to show signs of discoloration. Although this can be difficult to spot in brand new pieces, experienced bullion traders can usually detect a difference in the hue. If an inexperienced buyer were to examine the same coin on the black market, it would appear genuine.
Although it is common for forgers to use graphic design technology today, some fake coins still require touching up with tools. Subsequently, less talented craftsmen will leave abrasions on the metal.
Other characteristic mistakes forgers leave when adapting fake coins with tools are wrong fonts in the inscriptions or the finer details of the design will be inaccurate or missing.
Fake coin detectors
Industry professionals use special devices that can identify fake coins. This essential piece of equipment is not that well known although have been around since Gideon B Smith patented the first fake gold detector in 1853. Modern refineries use state-of-the-art technology which enables them to manufacture
bullion products with a high fineness of metal purity. The purity is also engraved onto the coins or bars.
Fake coin detectors measure the density of coins we purchase. Fake coins do not have the same density as authentic coins because of the purity. It is therefore easy for coin distributors to identify which coins are genuine and which are counterfeit.
Furthermore, Gold Capital Group only buy precious metal products from national mints and reputable companies that are certified by the London Bullion Market Association. Thisreduces the risk of us receiving counterfeit goods in the first instance.
Counterfeit coins are usually circulated on websites such as Alibaba, eBay, and Craigslist. You will also see ads in newspapers, pawn shops and precious metals resellers that are not accredited. We do not recommend buying gold coins from any of these sources.
The best way to avoid buying counterfeit coins is to purchase products from reputable distributors of precious metals. You can also double check with the manufacturers to confirm the identification number of the product you intend to buy was produced by themand is an authentic piece.
Buy authentic gold, silver, palladium and platinum coins today. Get in touch with one of our advisers to enquire what the best coins are for you.