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Did You Buy Fake Gold Or Silver?


Finding a counterfeit gold or silver coin in your stash is far more probable than one might think.

John FisherBullion.Directory precious metals guest post 12 August, 2016
By John Fisher
President at Fisher Precious Metals

As economic times have become more uncertain, buyers are increasing their precious metals purchases, and counterfeiters are looking to cash in on the increase in demand, as well as the increases in the spot prices.

Counterfeit coins (and bars) are “flooding the market at an astonishing rate,” and compromising the investments of collectors, according to the American Numismatic Association (ANA). And not only are these counterfeits increasing in number, but also in quality and appearance.

“It’s a very serious problem and it’s really scary,” said Rod Gillis, ANA’s education director. “With improved technology, the fakes are getting better. It’s gotten to the point where even people who deal with coins all the time may not be able to recognize a counterfeit coin right away.”

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For years we could simply identify a counterfeit at first glance due to their appearance. They were not comparable to the authentic coins and if they were packaged, the packaging was a poorly sealed blister-pak.

Now the counterfeiters are improving in their technology, and the result is far more authentic looking counterfeits and professional packaging.

If counterfeiters are willing to go through the time, energy and expense to counterfeit 1 ounce silver products, you can be assured that they are willing to counterfeit literally ANY gold or silver product.

Buyers used to have the assurance of authenticity when they bought graded coins that were slabbed (encapsulated in plastic from grading agencies) or small gold bars that came in certicard plastic packaging. These products are now known to have active counterfeits in the market. We had 2 Gold Pamp 1 oz Fortuna bars walk in our office, amongst others.


Here is a partial list of known products that have already been counterfeited:

Silver Products:
American Eagles – 2011 (and other years)
Perth Mint Dragon – 2012
Canadian Maple Leafs – 2011, all coins 2015 and later have anti-counterfeiting tech embedded
in the coin (more later.)
Sunshine Mint 1 oz bars and rounds
Scottsdale Mint 10 oz bars
Pan American 1 oz bars
American Prospector Rounds
Many generic 1 ounce ingots including the USA flag design, scales design and “worth its weight
in silver design.”
Gold Products:
American Eagles 1 oz – 2001, 2003 and 2005
Krugerrands 1 oz – 1978 and 1984
Maple Leaf 1 oz – 2004 – 2013
Chinese Pandas
$20 Liberty Head
St. Gaudens
Royal Canadian Mint 1 oz bars
Pamp Fortuna 1 oz bars
Perth Mint 1 oz bars

While the list above is only a partial list, the prospect of obtaining a counterfeit gold or silver coin or bar has clearly become much more probable.

Authenticity GuaranteedBut there is 100% authentication and assurance available to the buyer through highly reputable dealers. The way to have assurance that you have 100% authentic gold and silver products is to:

1. Buy from a dealer that uses the best authentication technology, and faithfully tests all products that they sell.

2. Understand the different types of technology and testing available.

For many years, the only non-destructive professional metal tester available was an X-Ray Flourescence (XRF) machine. Even the portable versions require a $10,000+ investment, but more importantly, they cannot see through anything but the thinnest of plating to analyze the core of a coin or bar. Essentially, they provide a false sense of security, and do so at a high investment cost.

As a veteran bullion dealer, Fisher Precious Metals is not willing to allow any risk on behalf of their clients. Having invested in state-of-the-art technology, we authenticate every coin and bar that we both buy and sell. In lieu of an XRF machine, we use two forms of premium coin and bar authentication:

1. The Sigma Metalytics Precious Metals Verifier and;
2. The Bullion DNA Authentication unit from the Royal Canadian Mint

The Sigma Metalytics Verifier allows us to test any common coin or bar, and provides a reading in a couple of seconds without having to use acids, gels or filing (all of which are considered “destructive” forms of testing.) The Verifier unit is able to authenticate and penetrate 2 mm or more in to the coins and bars within seconds, thus immediately identifying attempts to plate a coin. Using electromagnetic waves that penetrate in to the coin or bar, plating and surface features are simply ignored and the main body of metal is assessed. Better yet, The Verifier can authenticate through plastic cases, so graded coins do not need to be removed from their protective holders.

RCM LogoThe Bullion DNA Program from the Royal Canadian Mint allows authorized national bullion dealers to authenticate gold and silver Royal Canadian Maple Leaf coins directly with the mint. For the years 2014 and later for gold Maple Leafs and 2015 and later for silver Maple Leafs, the Royal Canadian Mint has micro-engraved every coin with an anti-counterfeiting mark: a textured maple leaf and the coin’s production year. The Mint’s non-destructive activation (DNA) technology captures images encrypted with a string of code and stores these in the Royal Canadian Mint’s secure database. Authorized Bullion DNA dealers such as Fisher Precious Metals own the hardware and software that make up the Bullion DNA anti-counterfeiting technology ecosystem.

Digital authentication is now the new mint level state of the art anti-counterfeiting technology, providing peace of mind for precious metals buyers. The major sovereign mints will likely follow in the footsteps of the Royal Canadian Mint, it will just take some time.

At the end of the day, you need to buy from a reputable dealer that will be happy to authenticate your gold and silver right in front of you, or assure you that they have done so prior to shipping to you.

We welcome you to bring any items you have purchased, no matter from whom, to have them tested in our office at no charge. Rest assured that you will have authentic gold and silver moving forward!

This article was originally published here
Bullion.Directory or anyone involved with Bullion.Directory will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading in precious metals. Bullion.Directory advises you to always consult with a qualified and registered specialist advisor before investing in precious metals.

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