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How to Spot a Fake: Gold, Silver, and Dealers

With prices of gold and silver on the rise, it’s important to remember basic strategies in spotting fakes to prevent getting swindled.  Even good dealers can mistakes, so it’s up to you, the receiving party, to verify the coin or bar’s authenticity.

Here is how to spot fake gold and silver.

Real Gold

The easiest (though not always the most accurate) way to tell real gold from fakes is by its color.  Gold has a dull golden sheen while those alloyed with copper and silver tend to have a reddish tint.

Gold is also surprisingly heavy.  It is in fact much heavier than silver, lead, and tungsten (which are some of the metals used in making counterfeits).  After gaining some experience, you’ll find that fake gold coins will often weigh as little as half the amount of real gold.

Just because a piece of gold looks right doesn’t mean it is pure gold.  Oftentimes, fakes will have a coating of gold to fool the buyer.  Because destructive methods in which you scratch the gold is undesirable, you may consider investing in a tool called a Fisch.  A Fisch has the standard coin shape, thickness, and diameter built into its plastic body and uses a simple balancing mechanism to see if there is enough weight within the physical parameters to be authentic gold.  It works on many types of coins, including American Eagle, Maple Leaf, and British Sovereign. Continue reading How to Spot a Fake: Gold, Silver, and Dealers