An occasional customer comes into our store saying that they have found a cheaper gold coin online. Then, they bring them in to sell, only to find out that they are made of absolutely no gold. This article is to provide you dozens of reasons why not to buy online.
(Pictures above provided by NGC - Numismatic Guaranty Corporation)
In our store, we test the purity of every single gold and silver coin that we buy and sell. They are all weighed to make sure they are an ounce as well. Dozens of fakes and hundreds of nonpure coins have come through our doors, all of which were bought online or other dealers.
This article is set up like a quiz to show you how nearly impossible it is to tell fakes apart. The worst part, online retailers can show pictures of real coins, and then ship fake ones.
For example, the picture above is of a fake gold coin. 100% non-gold. Fakes can be crude, but can also be extremely close.
Which of the above coins is real? It can be extremely hard to tell, especially when the weights and dimensions of the coins are identical. The answer is further below, just so it didn't give the answer away. Not all "fake" gold coins are designed to be deceptive.
For example, the Deutsche bar above would look perfectly fine to purchase online. And if it sells at 50 dollars below the price we would sell it for in the store, why wouldn't you?
Well its only designed as a prop, even though it weighs the perfect amount. With a deceptive seller, and some tricky tactics, this could fool individuals.
But the American Eagle coins are even more of a popular buy. And if they look right, they are even easier to fall prey to.
These fakes are becoming wide-spread, and are very hard to tell the difference without advanced technology.
Which of the above is a real gold eagle and which is a fake?
Take your time and compare, and determine if you reject either of these as a fake if you had to at a coin store.
Here is a closer look at the one on the right.
It was actually a trick question, because they are both replica coins from china.
These aren't limited to gold coins either. Silver fakes are even more pronounced, and because of their price, more people usually tend to buy them.
Real or fake?
Thankfully, this is a real silver coin, and a popular choice in a store.
However, they are really commonly faked as well.
Now for people in the industry, this would be an easy one to tell.
That's because even though it weights one troy ounce, and is .999 fine, German Silver is not silver, and this bar does not contain silver. Buffalo silver one ounce rounds are usually the most common design for silver rounds that we sell. Can you tell which one is fake?
Here is an image from FakeBullion.com (I encourage you to check them out). These coins, despite their mirror different, are indistinguishable. Without a microscope, you would have no way of noticing. But the faking doesn't stop there. Fake graded coins, old gold coins, and any modern gold coin you can think of.
In short, any coin of value most likely has a fake, such as the fake Credit Suisse above. Buy from a distinguished dealer that can test the pieces, and that has been there for a while. More importantly, never pay less than spot for gold, because if it is too good to be true, than it probably is. Gold acts just like a currency. Someone would never give you a hundred dollar bill for 4 20's. The possibility of saving a few bucks online is never worth it.