5 Ways To Spot A Fake Coin

Posted by admin on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

As more people look to find different ways of preserving wealth and investing their hard earned cash in preparation for a better tomorrow, the attraction of silver as an investment has gained wider and deeper popularity. This has lead to more scams than ever before, with criminal gangs targeting coin collectors through on site sales and auctions.

Counterfeiting coins has always been a way that criminals have been able to make illicit profits. In the past few years, many of these counterfeit coins have originated from China. With silver prices trending higher, the growth of counterfeiters operating and looking to take investors’ money for a worthless copy is likely to continue.

Here are four ways to help avoid being caught out by a coin sales scam.

Look at the Coin

A non silver coin may look less shiny than the real thing. However, the lustre of silver can be imitated. What can’t be imitated is the noise a silver coin makes. One quick and easy test is to flick a coin with a fingernail. Silver coins will make a high pitched ringing noise, whilst nickel clad coins will ring deeper and shorter.

Feel the Weight

A coin collector should never be afraid to weigh a prospective purchase. Ensuring that the details of a coin are known before viewing – by googling for information or reading up on the subject – will mean that any discrepancy from the standard weight will be easy to spot. The weight of a genuine coin is one of the hardest things for a counterfeiter to replicate.

Measure It

Just like weighing a coin, a collector should also measure it. Diameter and thickness are key ingredients to authenticity. Often the thickness of a counterfeit coin will be inconsistent with the relevant Mint’s production process.

Consider the Edge

The coins of many national Mints have reeded edges. A coin that does not have this bumped edging should always be more closely scrutinised for authenticity. Of course, some coins do not have the reeded edge. These should always be more closely inspected, as they are far easier to copy. Some counterfeits are made from two halves that have been separately stamped: the edges on these are easy to see.

Know Who You Are Dealing With

The most important and often most overlooked way to avoid being the victim of a scam is to know the person who is selling the coin. Most counterfeit silver coins have been sold over the internet: it is very easy to remain anonymous online, and disappear into the cyberspace.

Dealers on the high street do not have the luxury of anonymity, and their business is based on perhaps years of quality customer service. A reputation is built up over years, and takes only minutes to destroy. Online, fraudulent, sellers can assume another identity within minutes, and will prey on peoples’ desire for a bargain.

Having said this, not every online dealer is a scam merchant. Buysilver.org regularly reviews online dealers, and it’s always worth checking these reviews out to discover their trustworthiness.

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