The rise of counterfeit gold bars prompted Mints from around the world to improve their security measured. Each of the mints developed their own protective methods, but it is the UBS Kinebar produced in Switzerland that set the bar for the security protection of precious metals.
The groundbreaking technology features a kinegram on the rear side of the gold bar that reflects light in a myriad of colours. Lines of different depth and thickness have been engraved into the bars which refract the image of the UBS logo so that colours change when held at different angles.
UBS kinebar are produced by the Union Bank of Switzerland and contain 99.99% pure gold. Technology to mark the authenticity of gold bars was first introduced in 1993. It used the hologram method. Since 2010 however, kinebars have also featured a unique serial number which guarantees its quality.
It seems there is a spate of counterfeit gold on the streets almost every year. In 2012, one kilo gold bars filled with tungsten turned up in the UK and New York´s jewellery district. Last year, fake gold and silver coins flooded the market in Manhattan and China, many of which were being sold globally through eBay and Craigslist.
The skill of the counterfeiter is high-quality and to the untrained eye it would be impossible to tell whether the coin is genuine or fake – so much so that it was reported some high-street dealers had been stung by the counterfeits and unwittingly sold them on to investors.
The method used to counterfeit precious metals involves a base metal alloy, usually tungsten, copper or nickel, plated with gold or silver. There are however, several ways in which you can test gold and silver bullion for authenticity in addition to the security measures taken by mints.
Online dealers only buy gold directly from the mint thus reducing the risk of purchasing a batch of counterfeit bullion. Coins and bars manufactured by national mints and public mints offer better quality for value, will sell for more, and have advanced security measures to test its authenticity.
Before buying gold or silver, it is therefore good practice to know the dealer you are buying from. Conduct thorough research and read comments left by other users to ensure that the online merchant you intend to buy from is a reputable and reliable dealer.
Identifying a fake coin depends on the counterfeit in circulation, but online merchants such as coininvest.com have resident experts that will test authenticity using a number of scientific processes as well as knowledge accrued from years of experience.
If you are considering adding gold and silver to your investment portfolio don´t get stung by dealers dishing out fraudulent merchandise, whether they are aware of it or not. Your safest option when buying gold and silver bullion is to purchase from reputable online dealers, so play it safe and visit coininvest.com and check out the latest prices.