How To Avoid Buying Fake Gold

Gold counterfeiting is nothing new. The yellow metal is so precious and sought after that the first fake gold coins were made 2,500 years ago, almost as early as the first genuine ones. It was not only the eternal fascination with gold that made people careless enough to accept an obviously fake coin, it was also the greed and cunning of counterfeiters who often produced replicas of amazing quality.

Reasons and methods of producing fake gold

With growing levels of worldwide uncertainties, mounting inflation risks, and government distrust, people are clamoring for gold primarily as insurance. But with the price of the metal at such high levels (65 times the price of silver and thousands of times the price of copper), the temptation for counterfeiters is hard to resist.

There are a number of methods you can use to mitigate the risks of ending up with counterfeit gold and some are simple, quick, safe and inexpensive.

There are basically two types of counterfeiting, content counterfeiting and numismatic forgery.

In the first case fraudsters try to replace as much gold as they can with a metal of lesser value such as copper, iron or lead. It is amazing that you can freely and legally buy authentic-looking, gold-plated replicas of most popular gold coins (for example Krugerrands) for a couple of pounds.

Nevertheless, it is very easy to understand that a coin or bar is not entirely made of gold, when you know the exact dimensions and weight of the authentic item, Gold is a very dense metal (twice the weight of iron) so a quality pair of calipers and an electronic precision scales device can help you measure the diameter, thickness, and weight of your gold item very accurately.

You should also know that gold is not magnetic so a very strong magnet should come in very handy. Just don’t use this test alone as there are other metals that are not magnetic.

Finally, fake coins have a different ring than original ones.

Substandard coins and numismatic forgery

Once you have established that your item is made of gold, you only need it checked for authenticity and substandard specifics, and a visual check is the only way to do it. Knowing what you’re looking for will certainly help here, so you can use an item you know is authentic or quality images of your coin or bar, and then compare them with what’s in your hands. Be meticulous in your search for the minutest details, and keep an eye out for anything that looks odd or abnormal.

A missing mintmark or letter, a small detail in the design or the ridge pattern, anything that looks different from the original can help you reveal the fraud. The example of dates on gold Sovereigns is the most prolific case of numismatic forgery: an 1841 Young Queen Victoria gold Sovereign is extremely rare and costs over £ 15,000, while the 1844 issue is valued at £ 900!

Detecting counterfeit coins and bars is a learned skill, but for the less adventurous of us, can offer a great variety of gold bullion products with 100% guarantee of authenticity, quality, and excellent services.