How to Detect Gold and Silver Counterfeit Products – KNOW YOUR SELLER
Recently, a Gold bar allegedly “certified by the Royal Canadian Mint” was exposed as a fake. This has some Precious Metal bloggers worried Gold bars, no matter the age or where they were purchased, is suspect.
This is an issue we take very seriously here at APMEX. While the problem of Chinese counterfeiting is real, it is not new. Chinese counterfeit coins and bars have been passed off as legitimate for more than a decade. But what has changed is counterfeiters are getting better and their products are harder to detect.
As manufacturers, retailers and sovereign mints begin securing their bars in tamper-evident packaging, the counterfeiters are matching these strides and creating counterfeit packaging as well. If you can accurately counterfeit a Gold bar, it’s pretty simple to counterfeit plastic and cardboard packaging.
So how do you protect yourself in a world where counterfeiting exists? The first and most important rule is to KNOW YOUR SELLER. You have a lot of choices, both online and in a brick-and-mortar store, where Gold coins and bars can be purchased. It’s up to you, the buyer, to choose wisely.
Here at APMEX, we spend a great deal of time, money and talent on testing and verifying the authenticity of every single Gold bar and coin that is purchased on the secondary market.
It begins in our Receiving department where every coin, bar or round is carefully scanned using highly accurate and non-invasive technologies, such as X-ray fluorescence.
Highly-trained team members then use a proprietary method to determine electrical conductivity of non-ferrous metals. This method confirms the density and hardness of the metal, allowing a greater certainty on the makeup of the material examined.
Once the Receiving team has determined fineness, thickness and weight of the item, it is examined by our Numismatic team. Even if the fineness, thickness and weight are within the tolerances of our sophisticated instruments, it does not guarantee that a coin or bar is genuine, so we go one step further to protect your investment.
The APMEX Numismatic team examines how the item is struck and how the bar, coin and even packaging compare to known genuine examples. Members of the Numismatic team are seasoned veterans, with more than 100 total years of experience in this industry. In fact, they currently teach courses to the American Numismatic Association on spotting counterfeits. We even brought in the world’s foremost expert on Chinese counterfeits to teach APMEX more about their craft.
We know our unique blend of utilizing advanced technology with decades of experience make it extraordinarily difficult for counterfeit coins or bars to elude our detection. Each week, we detect dozens of counterfeit coins and bullion items and prevent them from returning into the marketplace. We send counterfeits directly to the smelter, where they rightfully belong.
KNOW YOUR SELLER. With APMEX, investors can rest easy knowing they received what they paid for and we have done everything possible to protect you and your investment.
About Mike Garofalo, Director of Numismatics at APMEX
Mike Garofalo has more than 35 years of numismatic industry experience and is the leading expert in numismatics. Along with significant experience in buying, selling and appraising U.S. and world coins, Mike Garofalo is an accomplished author and respected authority in the field of numismatics. As Director of Numismatics at APMEX, he spends his time purchasing, selling and appraising coins, currency and exonumia.