June 19, 2013
It is an unfortunate fact that when anything of value is sold or traded, especially silver and gold bullion, there is always the chance that the commodities are counterfeits. When you invest your hard earned money in precious metals it is necessary to be aware of this important fact. Buyers must not only be aware of this, they need take proactive action in order to protect themselves from fakes and frauds. The additional precautions may be time consuming, however they are well worth the added process. The following information is intended to provide you with the best ways to easily spot fake bullions. These methods also work well for silver and gold coin collectors.
1: The Magnet Test
The magnet test is by far the easiest and fastest method to spot fake silver and gold bullion. Simply purchase a neodymium magnet, otherwise known as a super magnet, online or from your local hobby store. In order for the test to work properly only use a super magnet. Incline the silver or gold bar at a forty-five degree angle, and put the magnet directly on the bar. If the gold bullion is real the super magnet will slide off quickly because gold is non-magnetic. If the silver bullion is real the super magnet will slide off slowly due to the fact that silver is a conductive material. If the super magnet sticks to either the silver or gold bullion than it is a worthless fake.
2: Inspect The Bullion Visually
If the silver or gold bullion passes the magnet test that does not necessarily mean it is legitimate precious metal. Obviously if the super magnet sticks we know the bullion is a fake, however if it does not stick the metal could still be a worthless counterfeit. At this point you must carefully examine the bullion. It is of key importance to have a sample of real silver or gold. Examine the texture and density when compared to the real thing.
3: Pay Careful Attention To The Dimensions And Weight
Once the silver or gold bullion passed the magnet test and visual inspection, the next step is to measure and weigh it. Purchase a portable digital scale online that weighs in both grams and troy ounces. You should choose a scale that weighs to the hundredths of a gram. You should also purchase a good pair of calipers or even a micrometer that can measure the bullion in millimeters. Fake bullion and especially coins simply cannot have both the dimensions and weight exactly correct. Regarding a fake coin, if the weight is correct, than the thickness and or diameter will be incorrect. Bullion or bars are harder to spot, so pay careful attention to the dimensions. For example, many fake gold bars will weigh one troy ounce, however they are closer to the size of one troy ounce of silver than a legitimate gold bar.
4: Look For The Proper Markings
Most silver and gold bars contain the mintmark of whoever produced it. If the bullion is missing this important marking than chances are it is fake.
5: The Price Is Too Good To Be True
Like most things in life when something is too good to be true it typically is not legitimate. The same certainly holds true when purchasing silver and gold bullion. Legitimate precious metal sellers are in business to make money, and they simply cannot do that by giving tremendous discounts. If the price seems too low than chances are the bullion is fake.
6: You Are Being Rushed To Complete The Sale
A legitimate silver or gold bullion seller knows how important it is to make the buyer comfortable in order to gain their trust. They should be more than happy to take as much time as you need, and answer all of your questions. If you feel like the seller is rushing you or putting the pressure on too thick than that is a great way to spot fake silver or gold bullion.
7: The Seller Is Not Willing To Meet In A Brightly Lit Place That Is Under Video Surveillance.
Although many counterfeiting rings are producing more and more convincing fakes, there is still a plethora of lower quality ones out there as well. If the seller is unwilling to meet in a brightly lit place or in an area under video surveillance they most likely have something to hide. This is a red flag that their bullion is fake.
8: The Acid Test
The acid test is a more advanced method of spotting fake silver and gold bullion. It requires scratching the gold on a touchstone and then adding a concentration of nitric and hydrochloric acids to the stone. Although this method is fairly accurate, it can be dangerous if not handled properly.
9: Use A Profession Precious Metal Tester
In the not so distant past, professional precious metal testers were far out of the reach of the average silver and gold bullion buyer due to their enormous price tags. Most machines averaged well over $10,000. However, recent technology has provided machine manufacturers with the ability to build and sell metal testers at a fraction of that price.
10: Always Purchase From A Reputable Silver And Gold Dealer
There is no doubt that the absolute best way to protect yourself from investing in fake or counterfeit silver and gold bullion is to purchase from a reputable, reliable dealer that has served the community for years on end. When investing in silver and gold bullion it is crucial to take your time and test the precious metal for authenticity. By applying some simple procedures you will avoid being a victim of one of the oldest scams in the books. Instead you will become a smart investor with a cache of silver and gold.
"A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step"
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