With the ever increasing amount of counterfeit gold and silver bullion reaching the market place, it has become more imperative to be sure that the bullion products you are buying are truly authentic. Simply relying on the weight, color and identifying marks is no longer thorough enough. While we primarily buy our bullion products from reputable bullion wholesalers, we still use several testing methods and technologies to ensure the validity of all the bullion products we buy and sell. The following is a list of our testing procedures for validating gold and silver bullion.
Counterfeit coins and bullion often have tell tale signs that bring their authenticity into question. Inherent flaws such as weak strikes, less than mint quality details and surface anomalies are common among counterfeits.
Rare Earth Magnet
A rare earth magnet is a very strong magnet used by coin and bullion dealers to quickly detect some counterfeit coins without any complicated testing methods. Since gold and silver are not magnetic and are either pure or alloyed with another non-magnetic metal, they should not attract any magnet whatsoever. If the item being tested reacts with the magnetic field then we immediately know that the product is not authentic.
Weight, Diameter & Thickness
Gold and silver are much more dense than most metals; thus, a counterfeit coin made from another metal may have the correct weight or the correct diameter or the correct thickness, but not all three at the same time. We use precision scales along with micrometers to verify each of these measurements.
The sound of a gold or silver coin when struck is determined by its metal content, size and shape. If a fake gold or silver coin is the correct size and shape, but is made of the wrong metal, it will have a much different sound than one composed of the correct metal. For instance, while an authentic American Gold Eagle has a distinctive and long ring tone when struck, a counterfeit Chinese made "tungsten" American Gold Eagle very close in size, shape and color does not ring at all and produces a "thud" like sound.
Sigma Metalytics Precious Metal Verifier
The Precious Metal Verifier, manufactured by Sigma Metalytics, works by measuring the unique resistivity (electrical resistance) of various precious metal products using electromagnetic waves that penetrate deep into the coin or bar. More importantly, it measures the interior of the tested item and not just the surface to ensure that the precious metal content matches the electrical characteristics that would be expected of it. Furthermore, the Precious Metal Verifier can assess a sample without affecting or damaging the item in any way. No chemicals are used and no physical damage is done during the process.