Friday, January 10, 2014

How to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Fake Gold Coin

By Tony Davis

We met yesterday with an individual that was interested in selling a Canadian gold maple leaf coin.  Canadian gold maple leafs are among the most common coins that we purchase, so we didn’t expect this transaction to be much different than any other.  However, we were surprised when we were presented with a counterfeit gold coin.  This, in fact, is the first fake Canadian gold maple leaf coin that we’ve seen.  More commonly counterfeited gold coins are Chinese gold pandas, $20 Liberty Head gold coins and St. Gaudens gold coins.

While we were able to immediately identify the Canadian gold maple leaf as a counterfeit, as we have a good bit of familiarity with these coins, individuals that don’t have as much experience with these coins, or gold coins, in general, may not know the proper way to authenticate gold coins, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to share with our readers several ways that you can authenticate gold coins.

Not all gold coins weigh the same, even if they contain the same gold content, so it’s important to know in advance how much an authentic gold coin should weigh.  One ounce 24k gold coins, such as Canadian gold maple leaf coins, should weigh 31.1 grams.  22k gold coins, such as American gold eagles and South African gold krugerrands, weigh 33.93 grams.  $20 Liberty Head and St. Gaudens gold coins weigh 33.43 grams.

Be sure to bring a reliable portable scale with you to any gold coin buying appointment.  We have used the American Weigh digital pocket scale for years , which we have found to be very reliable.  The scale can currently be purchased for less than $10, which is a great investment, even if you only plan on purchasing one or two coins.  While confirming that the weight of the coin is accurate is the first step you should take, it doesn’t necessary guarantee that you have an authentic coin.

Read the rest here.


  1. Fatal flaw in gold! Get out now! It is not really money, more like traveler's checks that can easily counterfeited...hahaha. (tongue firmly in cheek for the slow)

  2. Dutch Central Bank Tight-lipped About Gold Policy

    Only 11 % of Dutch official gold reserves, which is 613 tons in total, is stored in Amsterdam. The rest is held abroad; 20 % in Ottawa, 20 % in London and 49 % in New York. Because of my believe gold will re-enter the monetary system within a few years I’m most concerned about the safety of the official gold reserves of the Netherlands held abroad. Just like the Germans are, expressed by the repatriation of some of their gold. Germany decided to repatriate 300 tons from New York and 374 tons from Paris in a seven year period, so that at least half of their gold reserves are stored at home.

  3. Very cool. I never realized how simple it is, but it makes sense. Great tips.

  4. Yes, it is quite simple to assess the authenticity of coins using a scale/calipers and/or a Fisch fake coin detector. But, beware of slabbed coins: the coins certified as authentic by a professional coin grading organization enclosed in a tamper-resistant hard-plastic case with imprinted holographic images, serial numbered and with a photograph of the actual coin published on the organization's web site. I know, from personal experience, that they (coin and slab) can be counterfeited and have been counterfeited by the Chinese...very high-quality counterfeits. (I got my money back from the seller.) Stick with uncased coins that you can authenticate. Assume every coin you buy (regardless of source) is a fake until you prove to yourself it is genuine.

  5. "How to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Fake Gold Coin"

    Answer: Use a "REAL" BitCoin.

    [Yeah, I know...]